Robert Barnhart has a BA in comparative religion from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He has been a strong advocate for the study of psychoactive materials in spiritual and nontraditional healing practices. He is currently producing a documentary film about the use of these medicines in healing practices.
Robert has been a longtime MAPS member and has been one of the primary funders of our Swiss LSD study as well as numerous other MAPS projects. Robert spends most of his time with his family. He says that the wisdom, love, and compassion that he learned through taking psychedelics has allowed him to make his four-year-old daughter the primary focus of his energy.
Born in Houston, Texas, Robert studied comparative religions at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Through peak psychedelic experiences as a teenager, he became interested in beliefs that every living thing is part of one consciousness that is manifesting itself as individual beings. “I found it fascinating that ancient texts from Catholic mystics read as if the person had had a mind-opening psychedelic experience. Then I would see similar themes across all the religions.”
In his early 30s, Robert directed most of his assets away from the petroleum industry and now continues to work to reallocate them into socially and environmentally conscious investments. With an understanding that was highlighted by positive affirmations with nature while on psychedelics, he wishes to support organizations that will leave the world healthy and livable for his children and grandchildren.
Robert is currently working on a documentary project about psychedelic psychotherapy that is intended to educate those who have not used psychedelics about their positive attributes. He is thrilled to be on the Board of Directors and thinks that all of the folks involved with MAPS are doing fantastic and ineffably important work.
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master's thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and three children.
Richard Drake has worked as a project manager in the environmental sector since 1990, when he realized his life’s calling to be of service. These days this takes the form of integrating this work into the broader perspective of spiritual awakening. He has self published a book detailing his journey of a lifetime through India, which he calls his home when not contemplating the rainy skies of Vancouver.
Colleen Fish has a BSc with specialization in Psychology from the University of Alberta, and is in the process of completing a BA in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. She currently works as a Mental Health Rehabilitation Worker with Vancouver Coastal Health. Colleen has been working in the area of Mental Health and Addiction for many years including providing expert testimony in the legal system. Colleen has been an advocate of harm reduction for over fifteen years.
Colleen has volunteered with MAPS since 2011 which included an internship in Santa Cruz, California at their head office. She has supported MAPS since 1998 when she first became interested in the potential of MDMA as a healing treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Colleen has been the assistant to the MAPS Board of Directors.
Gillian Maxwell is based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. She is an experienced coach and facilitator, public speaker, and knowledge exchange broker and has been dedicated to the reform of drug policies nationally and internationally since 1999. She is a board member of MAPS Canada (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), and a proud recipient of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service in introducing harm reduction to Vancouver and advocating for INSITE, North America’s first supervised injection site.
Gillian is committed to raising consciousness and supporting its manifestation into the world. She feels that plant medicines play an important role in our ability to develop an authentic presence in the world that values love and compassion. She has extensive experience over a decade of working with entheogens in a ceremonial and traditional context, and brings this depth of knowledge, along with innate intuition and wisdom to her work as an Integration Coach.
A long-time resident of Strathcona, she lives happily with her beloved husband, Richard, their (spirit guide) dog, Brandy, and is the proud step-mother of two grown children.
Kirk Tousaw is a barrister and social justice advocate based on Vancouver Island, BC. He operates the Law Office of Kirk I Tousaw, a practice focusing primarily on criminal and constitutional litigation related to the production, distribution and possession of cannabis, including medical cannabis regulatory issues pursuant to the Marihuana Medical Access Regulation. Kirk began practicing law in 1998 in the United States and has a background in business litigation, criminal defence and social justice advocacy pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He has been a practicing member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2005.
Kirk is a member of the Drug Policy Committee of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and sits on its Board of Directors. He is also the Executive Director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to ending cannabis prohibition and replacing it with a system of of non-criminal regulations. Kirk sits on the Board of Directors of Sensible BC, a non-profit working toward a British Columbia legislative initiative that would effectively decriminalize simple possession of cannabis in the Province.
Kirk has written and spoken extensively on issues related to drug policy, privacy, religious freedom and criminal justice policy. In addition, Kirk has had the privilege of testifying several times before Canada's Parliament, including the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the House of Commons and the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.