Psychedelics could hold promise as medicines, and the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies Canada (MAPS Canada) wants to ensure Canadians understand them.
On Wednesday, the Vancouver-based organization launched the online School of Psychedelics to educate people about the history, science and therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances such as MDMA, LSD and psilocybin.
The new school aims to provide education on psychedelic medicines to promote safe, legal and equitable access, said MAPS Canada director Francine Douglas.
“We are excited to launch the School of Psychedelics,” Douglas said. “By using equity-based lenses to share information, the school will honour the Indigenous heritage of psychedelic medicines and lead the movement for legalization in a way that will benefit all peoples.”
The school will offer programs for clinicians, researchers, policymakers and anyone interested in psychedelics. MAPS Canada has assembled leading academics and experts as instructors.
The first offering is the seven-part Psychedelics in Canada: Past, Present and Future seminar series. The series examines the history, pharmacology, legal context, research, therapies and practical considerations of psychedelics through Indigenous, racialized and patient perspectives.
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Registration for the $500 series opens May 2, 2023, on the School of Psychedelics website. Participants can register for individual seminars or the full series. Certificates of completion will be available for continuing education.
“The seminar series is the most comprehensive digital program of its kind in Canada,” said MAPS Canada board co-chair Rielle Capler. “It’s an excellent chance for people to develop a deep understanding of how psychedelic medicines can benefit communities.”
Founded in 2011, MAPS Canada is a registered charity based in Vancouver with hundreds of volunteers across Canada. It is Canada’s leading source of education, research and advocacy on psychedelics.
The series includes seminars on the history of psychedelic research in Canada, Indigenous healing and psychedelics, pharmacology, legal and regulatory issues, contemporary research, therapies and conducting research. Seminars will be released monthly from May to December 2023.