During the 1960s and 1970s, a number of therapists conducted experiments using psychedelic drugs. The research was promising, but widespread recreational use of psychedelics among young people ultimately led to the prohibition of psychedelic drugs. As a result, research on the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics decreased siginificantly.
In 1985, despite its widespread reputation as an effective therapeutic tool, the DEA classified MDMA as a Schedule I drug. The following year, Rick Doblin founded the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) with the goal of developing psychedelics into legal prescription drugs. Today, MDMA is in Phase 2 FDA trials for use as a therapeutic aid for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
MAPS researchers are also finding that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, can be an effective therapeutic tool for helping addicts and people suffering from terminal diseases. Reason TV talked to Doblin and other psychedelic researchers at the 2013 Psychedelic Science Conference in Oakland, California, to learn more.