MAPS stands for Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, it’s the front runner in making psychedelics a legal way to use (and improve) in therapy. It’s been around since 1986 and has battled steadfastly, under the leadership of Rick Doblin, to make psychedelics medicines again.


“We envision a world where psychedelics and marijuana are safely and legally available for beneficial uses, and where research is governed by rigorous scientific evaluation of their risks and benefits.”

MAPS is the mayor mover behind getting MDMA-assisted psychotherapy through Phase 2 and Phase 3 (current) in the US. The focus here is on reducing PTSD by combining MDMA with psychotherapy. Other efforts are being done for medical marijuana, LSD-assisted psychotherapy, ibogaine therapy for drug addiction, ayahuasca-assisted treatment, and other psychedelic research.

MAPS is a non-profit and relies on donors. In the fiscal year of 2016-2017, they took in about €5.500.000 from donors, events, grants. Most of this is spent on the MDMA Phase 2/3 trial. See here the full financial reports. In 2020 they have raised $30 million for the final legwork in the Phase 3 trial.

Next to the research, MAPS is also the funder of the Zendo Project (reducing psychedelic harm).

They are full own the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) that aims to commercialize the work with MDMA (in the future, now works on training therapists).

You can find their quarterly publication, the MAPS Bulletin, on their website. Top publications have also been put into a book, Manifesting Minds.

MAPS has also made available ‘The Manual of Psychedelic Support.’

Key Staff

  • Rick Doblin – Founder and Executive Director
  • Kris Lotlikar – Deputy Director
  • Ismail L. Aili – Policy & Advocacy Counsel
  • Ryan Jay Beauregard – Zendo Project Manager
  • Amy Emerson – MAPS PBC CEO


MAPS works together with many universities and private practices. For instance, the phase 3 trial with MDMA takes place in the US, Canada, and Israel.

The have also funded studies together with ICEERS.

MAPS has worked on database projects of MDMA with Erowid and of LSD and psilocybin with the Albert Hofmann Foundation.

In the fall of 2020 they will partner with Naropa University (‘a Buddhist university’) to offer a MDMA-assisted psychotherapy training course.


“Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.”

You can find more history about MAPS on their Wikipedia page.


MAPS has relied on donations since the start of the non-profit. This funding has come from many individual donors, as well as some wealthy individuals. Part of the funding comes from the Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative (PSFC).

Other notable funders are the Pineapple Fund ($4 million), from cryptocurrency enthusiasts, Tim Ferris ($1 million) who also launched the Capstone Challenge (see news below) which has raised $30 million in 6 months and should get MAPS through Phase III of FDA trials.


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