ReasonTV attends the Psychedelics Science Conference in Oakland, California, which features medical researchers studying the therapeutic uses for psychedelic compounds, such as LSDmushrooms, and ecstasy (MDMA), which are today getting more attention than they have in several decades, due to reforms at the Food and Drug Administration that allow researchers to study the effects of these drugs. Reason speaks with researchers about the past, present and future of this controversial yet promising area of medical research.

The studies range widely in scope. One recent study found that MDMA-assisted therapy could help veterans suffering from PTSD. Johns Hopkins University published a paper which presented evidence that the mental suffering of terminal cancer patients could be eased with talk therapy while under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is the organizer of this event and it also provides funding much of this research.

“It’s a fundamental right to explore one’s own consciousness,” says MAPS founder Rick Doblin. “We have the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of religion, and all those are based on the freedom of thought.”


Produced by Zach Weissmueller.

Shot by Alex Manning and Weissmueller.

Music by Kai Engel, Selva de Mar, and Lee Rosevere.