The MAPS Policy & Advocacy Department advocates for healing and justice. We work to eliminate barriers to psychedelic research, education, and care. We envision legal paradigms for psychedelic use grounded in social, racial, and environmental justice. Guided by public health, we advocate for the decriminalization of all drugs, combined with comprehensive harm and risk reduction. We work alongside passionate advocates to end the global war on drugs, building bridges with our vibrant, and rapidly growing worldwide psychedelic community.
We help vision legal frameworks for psychedelic use, and work to reform local, state, federal and international psychedelic and cannabis policy. The war on drugs was developed to criminalize people of color and anti-war activists, and has accelerated domestic militarization and surveillance. We work toward nonpartisan policies that decriminalize and regulate substances within evidence-based, equitable, and compassionate frameworks—medical and otherwise—so people can benefit from the safe and intentional use of psychedelic substances.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy has the potential to help heal trauma, but individual therapy alone cannot solve the systemic issues that often cause trauma. With a focus on systemic change, we advocate for the decriminalization of drugs in a framework of social and racial equity. This also requires advocating for comprehensive harm and risk reduction, including honest and culturally relevant drug education, legal and accessible substance analysis, peer support, and accessible services for mental health and integration. We believe that healing is intertwined with justice and that social, political, and cultural progress creates fertile ground for community healing.
We collaborate with strategic intersectional and interdisciplinary partners worldwide to collectively develop research projects, events, campaigns, networks, and actions based in healing and justice. Highlights include: co-founding Catharsis on the Mall, a free annual Burning Man-inspired event formed as a vigil for the war on drugs; producing the Psychedelic Medicine and Cultural Trauma workshop on the intersection of psychedelics and cultural and racial trauma in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2019; and co-developing a study evaluating psychedelics as a tool for healing intergenerational trauma among Palestinians and Israelis.
- Statement of Solidarity: MAPS Stands Against Systemic Racism and for Justice and Healing (June 2020)
- Public Comment Submitted to DEA: Controls to Enhance the Cultivation of Marijuana for Research in the United States (May 2020)
- Statement: MAPS Responds to Administration’s Letter About Psychedelic Research Agenda and Findings (June 2019)
- Statement: Considerations for the Regulation and Decriminalization of Psychedelic Substances (May 2019)
- MAPS’ UN Statement on MDMA (October 2018)
- Public Comment Submitted to President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (June 2017)
- Written Testimony from Rick Doblin to US Sentencing Committee: MDMA Sentencing Guideline (April 2017)
Video, Audio, and Writing
- Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)
- Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)
- Dr. Bronner’s
- International Drug Policy Consortium
- International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research, and Service
- Harm Reduction Coalition
- Psychedelic Societies
- Beckley Foundation
- Center for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London
- Accion Tecnica Social
- Onca Foundation
- Science for Democracy
- Open Society Foundation
- Libra Foundation for Human Rights
- Riverstyx Foundation
- Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation
- Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access