Rick Doblin

The Trials of Rick Doblin

Before MDMA was a party drug, there was a brief moment when it seemed it might become a part of the psychotherapist’s standard tool kit. The drug’s ability to lower inhibitions and foster communication seemed especially promising for couples therapy. That possibility ended in 1985, when the federal government officially classified the drug as a Schedule 1 substance, claiming it had no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. MDMA joined all the other Schedule 1 drugs — widely used recreationally but generally off-limits to researchers — but activists continued to advocate for its therapeutic benefits.
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