Board of Directors
Rick Doblin, Ph.D.
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.
Matthew J. Neal currently works as the Sr. Director of Product Management in Regulatory Solutions at PAREXEL. He previously spent mor ethan a decade at Amgen, Inc. as Director of Operations in Global Regulatory Affairs & Safety with a focus on Human Therapeutics to dramatically improve people’s lives. Prior to that, he lived in Philadelphia where he was one of the pioneering members of the Regulatory Submissions Department for GlaxoSmithKline. Matthew has been publishing and submitting electronic dossiers to the FDA since 1996, and submitted the very first fully electronic NDA for GSK in 1999. Matthew holds a Master's Degree in Communication from Temple University. He and his wife Beth spend most of their time entertaining their 8 year-old daughter, Claudia, their 4 year-old son, Tobias and their dog, Matilda. Matthew also performs stand-up comedy all over Los Angeles (mattnealcomedy.com), writing and producing various projects, travel, surfing, running, playing golf, and playing the drums in the improv jazz duo Mr. Driscoll and other studio projects (http://marinernine.bandcamp.com) He is also a member of the Founders Circle for the non-profit music engine Weathervanemusic.org.
Allen Hopper is an attorney and consultant with more than 20 years of criminal justice and drug policy experience. Mr. Hopper provides legal and consulting services to help clients understand and safely navigate local, state and federal laws and regulations and to envision, create and implement improvements to them, including innovative public safety and criminal justice solutions such as alternatives to incarceration and cannabis regulation. Mr. Hopper previously was a civil rights attorney and legislative policy advocate with the ACLU for more than a decade. At the ACLU of California he directed the state-wide Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Project (CJDP), which he founded in 2010, where he developed strategies to reform California’s criminal justice system and drug policies. Specific areas of focus included down-sizing California jails and prisons, drug law enforcement, medical marijuana implementation issues and broader marijuana law reform. Mr. Hopper served as a Senior Legal and Strategic Advisor to the California Propistion 47 campaign in 2014, the voter-approved ballot initiative to end felony punishment for low level drug possession and theft crimes and to redirect government cost savings into public health and community-based rehabilitative and reentry programs.
From 2004 through 2010, Mr. Hopper was the Litigation Director of the National ACLU’s Drug Law Reform Project, where he coordinated the ACLU’s drug policy-related litigation and litigated cases across the nation as part of an overall strategy to combine impact litigation with policy and legislative advocacy and public education to transform public understanding of, and government response to, drug use and drug policies. Mr. Hopper has been involved in the drafting of statewide ballot initiatives to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis and has worked closely with top public opinion research firms testing various approaches to legalization as well as broader criminal justice reform and mass incarceration issues. He has co-authored law review articles analyzing the complex intersection of federal and state marijuana laws, as well as California’s prison overcrowding crisis and the political resistance from the organized law enforcement lobby to reforming the state’s sentencing laws. Mr. Hopper published an analysis of the continued validity of state medical marijuana laws after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Gonzales v. Raich, and a similar analysis of the constitutional validity of California’s 2010 marijuana legalization voter initiative, Proposition 19. He has been quoted extensively in the national news media on numerous criminal justice and marijuana law reform topics, including the intersection of federal and state drug laws. He has litigated these issues in federal and state courts, including, among other cases, defeating San Diego County’s challenge to all California medical marijuana laws as preempted by federal law and bringing a Tenth Amendment challenge to federal law enforcement practices targeting medical marijuana patients and providers working collaboratively with local government officials. Mr. Hopper testified as a constitutional law expert in October, 2009 before the California State Assembly Public Safety Committee’s historic hearings on the legalization of marijuana.
Mr. Hopper received his B.A. in 1988 from New College of Florida, the independent public honors college for the state of Florida, and his J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law in 1992, where he was the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Award for Public Service. Before joining the ACLU, Mr. Hopper worked in private practice focusing on criminal defense, prisoners’ rights and police misconduct litigation and was also a staff attorney for the California Appellate Project in San Francisco, established by the California Supreme Court and the State Bar to oversee and provide case assistance to the lawyers appointed by the Court to represent death row defendants in their state and federal post-conviction proceedings.