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Amanda Feilding and the Beckley Foundation

A timeline covering key moments of psychedelic change

driven by Amanda Feilding and the Beckley Foundation 

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Significant Scientific Research Milestones

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Key Drug Policy Change Milestones 


Amanda Feilding founds the Beckley Foundation to pioneer psychedelic research and drive evidence-based drug policy reform.



A collaboration with Prof Franz Vollenweider begins, investigating psilocybin’s effects on changes in cerebral circulation using PET (results unpublished). The investigation of the changes in cerebral circulation and capillary volume has been Amanda's passion since 1966.



Amanda sets up Society and Drugs: a Rational Perspective, a series of ten highly influential international seminars (2002-2011) at which high level international decision-makers, politicians, and scientists participated at a series of invitation-only, Chatham House rules events, in order to develop policy ideas and influence and educate thought leaders. These conferences were key in opening up research and in laying the ground for science-based international drug policies.

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A research collaboration with Prof David Nutt at the University of Bristol is initiated, with the aim of investigating the effects of LSD and psilocybin on brain function.

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A collaboration with Berkeley, California, gains the first ethical approval for a brain imaging study with LSD in humans.



The Beckley Foundation’s seminal Global Commission on Cannabis was initiated in 2006 and launched in 2008 with the report, Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate. This highly influential report was later co-published by Beckley and Oxford University Press.

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The Beckley/Imperial Psychedelic Research Programme is established, with Prof David Nutt and Amanda as co-directors, and Dr Robin Carhart-Harris as PI.

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Amanda launches ‘The Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform’ at a Beckley Foundation seminar, in collaboration with the All- Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform (which Amanda helped instigate), which was attended by Heads of State. Amanda Feilding commissioned two new reports for the Commission: ‘Roadmaps to Reforming the UN Drug Conventions’; and ‘Towards a Cost Benefit Analysis of a Regulated and Taxed Cannabis Market in the UK & Wales’.

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The Beckley Foundation launches the ‘Public Letter’, calling for drug policy reform, signed by 7 former Presidents, including Jimmy Carter, 2 incumbent Presidents, 12 Nobel laureates and dozens of global notables, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

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The Beckley/Imperial Research Programme publishes the first brain imaging study of the neural correlates of the psychedelic state induced by psilocybin, identifying for the first time, crucial changes in the Default Mode Network during the psychedelic experience.

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Amanda commissions and publishes ‘Licensing and Regulation of the Cannabis Market in England and Wales: Towards a Cost-Benefit Analysis’, as a Beckley Foundation publication. This ground-breaking report is the first of its kind to quantify the fiscal and social benefits of a regulated and taxed cannabis market.

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The Beckley Foundation’s collaborative research with UCL on the effects of two different strains of cannabis is featured in the Channel 4 documentary, Drugs Live: The Cannabis Trial.

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Amanda launches the second Beckley Foundation Public Letter ‘Out of UNGASS: A New Approach’ at the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs and hosted an official side event at the UN Headquarters in New York, which calls for the abandonment of the 1961 Drug Convention, and for every country to be allowed to implement drug policies that are cost-effective, harm-reductive and respect human rights. 

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The Beckley/Imperial Research Programme publishes ground-breaking results on psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment resistant depression. Amanda is a co-author in the study.

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The Beckley/Imperial Research Programme publishes the first images of the human brain on LSD. Amanda is an author on the paper and the driving force behind the study's conception.



Amanda sets up the Beckley/Brazil Translational Research Programme with Prof Sidarta Ribeiro and Prof Stevens Rehen.

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Amanda and Dr Jordi Riba publish the first study showing that components in ayahuasca (harmine and tetrahydroharmine) promote neurogenesis.



Amanda sets up the Beckley/Maastricht Psychedelic Research Programme with Prof. Jan Ramaekers to study LSD microdosing.

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Ground-breaking results from the Beckley/Maastricht study demonstrates, for the first time, the beneficial effects of LSD microdosing on mood, vigilance, neuroplasticity (BDNF) and pain tolerance.

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Results from the Beckley/Brazil collaboration demonstrate the beneficial effects of LSD on neuroplasticity in lab-grown minibrains, and enhancement of cognitive functions in rats.

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Amanda develops her new Double-Headed Research Programme with leading experts in neuroscience, to study LSD in greater detail than ever before, including the first personalised fMRI study with LSD, and the first clinical study of LSD microdosing for Alzheimer’s.

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