Psychedelics: Medicine or Drug? with Richard Miller, Ph.D.

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Miller has reviewed and conducted interviews with leading scientists in America who are investigating the effects on humans of psychedelic medicines such as LSD, MDMA, also known as ecstasy, Psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms, and Ayahuasca. His first experience with psychedelics began in 1966 when he was teaching psychology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. It was then he began research into what science had to say about these medicines and why the United States government declared them non grata to the extent that profoundly obstructs scientific research into them. However, against all odds, research has persisted revealing that certain psychedelic medicines administered by proper protocol, have shown that altered states of consciousness can facilitate creativity and psychophysical healing. Respected researchers such as Rick Doblin, Ph.D., the founder of MAPS, which stands for Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, has as his professional goal to develop the legal context for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people. It's his hope that this will eventually lead psychedelics to become legal for use by licensed psychedelic therapists. Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine demonstrated to the world that one session with Psilocybin is effective for a year later for depression. These research studies are suggesting new avenues for treatment for many of our most debilitating illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD, and others. Our guest, Richard Miller, will talk about the scientific research that has been going on to better understand the emergence of psychedelic psychotherapy. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms) 


Richard Miller, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and host of the syndicated talk radio show Mind, Body, Health & Politics. He’s founder of Cokenders Alcohol and Drug Program and has been a faculty member at the University of Michigan and Stanford University. He also served as advisor on the President’s Commission on Mental Health and a founding board member of the Gestalt Institute of San Francisco as well as a member of the national board of directors for the Marijuana Policy Project. He also restored and reopened the Wilbur Hot Springs Retreat facility in Northern California. 

Richard Miller, Ph.D. is the Editor and author of the book: 

  • Psychedelic Medicine: The Healing Powers of LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin, and Ayahuasca. (Park Street press 2021)

To learn more about the work of Richard Miller go to 

Topics explored in this dialogue include: 

  • How taking psychedelic substances help us realize that all life is connected
  • What the retired Navy SEAL discovered that led him to work with veterans to repurpose their skillsets to build a butterfly sanctuary
  • What are the recommended protocols for a safe and beneficial psychedelic journey
  • Are psychedelics a drug or a medicine
  • How, when taking a psychedelic, the set, setting, and guide are crucial for a beneficial journey
  • Why setting your intention prior to a psychedelic journey is crucial
  • Why integration of a psychedelic journey leads to deep healing
  • Why MDMA (ecstasy) is best taken in a controlled setting and the cautions of taking it in public such as at a rave.
  • Why, because of the illegality of psychedelics, it can be dangerous and difficult to know how “clean” or “pure” the medicine is
  • What are the cautions of Amazonian Ayahuasca tours
  • Why are SSRIs (anti-psychotic drugs) called a lobotomy in a pill
  • Why withdrawing from SSRIs is so difficult
  • Where does legalization of psychedelics stand now
  • Where does big pharma stand on the issue of psychedelics as medicine 

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 9/30/2021   Program Number: 3742

Music Playlist

Album: Neurosphere
Artist: Eso-Terra
2012  EsoTerra

Opening Essay: Tracks 01 Seeking Samadhi & 02 In This Moment (combined)
Music Break 1: Track 03 Sacred Desert
Music Break 2: Track 05 Conscious Mind / World
Music Break 3: Track 05 Conscious Mind / World (reprise)