A Tribute to Larry Hagman

Larry Hagman

September 21, 1931 – November 23, 2012

Larry Hagman passed away on November 23, 2012, at the age 81. Larry was a famous Hollywood actor, known for his roles in Dallas and I Dream of Jeannie. He was a notable supporter of psychedelic research, as well as a generous contributor to MAPS. Hagman shared his viewpoints regarding psychedelics at our 2010 conference, in addition to various media interviews.

We thank Larry for his generosity, his support, his humor, and his friendship. He will be remembered for generations to come.

Why I Wanted to Donate $1 Million to MAPS

By Larry Hagman, Star of Dallas and I Dream of Jeannie

Dear Psychedelic and Marijuana Philanthropists,

When I was a younger actor in the 1960s, I experienced LSD on several occasions, and peyote. I found them of profound personal importance and have written about these experiences in my autobiography, Hello Darlin’. On CNN’s Joy Behar Show on July 19, 2010, Joy asked me about my experiences with LSD. I replied, “It took the fear of death away…I went into this place that was the white light, where everything is OK. And I think it ought to be mandatory that all our politicians should do it, at least once.”

Last year, my wife Maj and I won an arbitration case against Citibank for mismanaging our investments. Citibank was ordered to pay us the money they lost, our lawyers fees, and a $10 million punitive damage award on the condition that we give the $10 million away to charities of our choice. I thought I’d give $1 million apiece to seven or so different charities and smaller amounts to lots more.

The very first charity to which I wanted to give $1 million was MAPS. I think our society would be a lot healthier if psychedelics and marijuana were legally available for therapeutic purposes, spiritual uses, consciousness research, creativity, and just plain personal growth. It’s a Human Rights issue to me: Freedom of Thought and Freedom of Religion. You may know I am an alcoholic and have survived because of a liver transplant. It’s a lot for somebody like me to say that prohibition doesn’t work; we have to find strength inside ourselves.

I knew that $1 million could have a transformative effect on MAPS’ research efforts. Funding of that magnitude is a challenge for MAPS to raise due to the still too controversial nature of the research and lack of government funding.

I knew that MAPS invests money smartly and efficiently. MAPS needs to raise about $10 million to develop MDMA-assisted psychotherapy into a legal prescription medicine for people with chronic, treatmentresistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including veterans as well as survivors of childhood sexual abuse, rape, assault, accidents, and other traumas. MAPS also works on LSD research to treat anxiety associated with end-of-life issues, medical marijuana research, ibogaine and ayahuasca to treat addiction, and more.

When I called Rick Doblin, MAPS’ Executive Director, to tell him of my plans to donate $1 million to MAPS, he told me that he had been working for decades to be ready for a call like mine. He said he had approved projects ready to fund, each carefully designed and strategic. He told me he could give me a plan of where the $1 million would be spent and why, and then he could give me another plan for the remaining $9 million! I laughed and said, “I bet you could!” And he did. Shit, I better go out and get a job!

Unfortunately, Citibank had the $10 million thrown out on appeal. Now I’m writing to urge you to donate to MAPS so we can all raise that $1 million and more.

To freedom of thought and the mainstreaming of marijuana and psychedelics,

Larry Hagman

  • The New York Times: A ‘Party Drug’ May Help the Brain Cope With Trauma
  • Military.com: PTSD Study Findings Reinforce Case for Ecstasy
  • BBC Radio: Ecstasy to Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?