World’s Largest Psychedelics Conference in History Underway in California

No, this is not a Burning Man offshoot but in fact a serious gathering of more than 2,600 doctors, professors, health-industry professionals and psychedelic experts from around the world.

Psychedelic Science 2017 is a six-day international gathering featuring more than 100 presentations on the therapeutic uses of psychedelics, the neuroscience behind this research, the spread of psychedelic culture into the mainstream and much more.

The conference, which runs from April 19-24, is co-hosted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and the UK-based Beckley Foundation.

Per the Psychedelic Science 2017 website, in addition to discussing the process of legally positioning psychedelics into the medical field, attendees will share information on how plant medicine, LSD, ketamine, MDMA and marijuana show promise in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and a wide range of other mental and physical illnesses.

MAPS, founded in 1986, is a research and educational organization that develops medical, legal and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

The San Francisco-based non-profit believes opportunities in the area of psychedelic science and medicine are growing. It is leading the way in one of those areas.


MAPS predicts that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will approve MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a legal treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as soon as 2021.

“There have been a lot of these pilot studies, but for PTSD and depression, we have enough data and we’re moving into negotiations with the regulatory agencies,” Dr. Rick Doblin, executive director of MAPS, told SF Weekly.

“We have approval for MDMA for PTSD. What that means is that the path to prescription approval has now begun, and we are now starting FDA approval for use of psychedelic therapy by prescription. We’re currently estimating 2021 for FDA approval of MDMA,” said Doblin.

A growing body of research suggests that MDMA and other psychedelic drugs can be effective treatment for ailments ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to social anxiety in autistic adults.

To that end, MAPS is undertaking a roughly $25 million plan to further its MDMA research. It is currently the only organization in the world that is funding clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

Although the Psychedelic Science 2017 is sold out, every presentation will be available for free on the MAPS website the week after the conference.

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