We recently spoke with Michael Oliver of MAPS Canada to find out more about their local Vancouver charity that researches and provides public education on psychedelic medicine.
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
Working with partners in government, business and community, MAPS Canada positions itself as the leading resource in the field of psychedelic medicine through multidisciplinary research and public education.
What problem does it aim to solve?
MAPS Canada aims to improve safe access to psychedelic medicines through legalization and medicalization
When did you start/join it?
I started volunteering in 2018 and then started working for MAPS Canada in 2019
What made you want to get involved?
I have always been passionate about psychedelics for healing and was heavily involved in the UBC Psychedelic Society. I have always been fascinated by these substances as tools for spiritual growth and transformation and feel that the world desperately needs this sort of healing. I saw MAPS as one of the most notable organizations making an impact in this space
What was the situation like when you started?
MAPS Canada has always felt very grassroots. Although MAPS US is a lot more established, it has always felt like we are building the ship as we fly it!
How has it changed since?
When MAPS Canada itself started in 2011, it consisted of a small group of passionate people meeting in a church basement. It has grown a lot since then to become a national organization with close to 100 volunteers spread out across Canada.
What more needs to be done?
There is still a lot of stigma around psychedelics and so important conversations need to be had. Furthermore, research is very expensive and so there is always a need to raise more funds to support important research into how these substances can be used as medicines. Without research, there will be no solid progress. Without support from the public, there will be no research.
How can our readers help?
You can visit our website to learn more about what we are trying to do in the word and if you are in a place to do so, you can make a donation. Every bit of support makes a big difference.
Do you have any events coming up?
Check out our website for info on virtual and in person events.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
Therapsil. Check them out! They are doing amazing work.