MAPS is proud to be a Participation Row charity at all Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well shows!
"Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right."
—Robert Hunter, "Scarlet Begonias" (1974)
Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.
MAPS furthers our mission by:
• Developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines
• Training therapists and working to establish a network of treatment centers
• Supporting scientific research into spirituality, creativity, and neuroscience
• Educating the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana.
Over 2,000 people are currently donating funds to support our research and educational activities. We are asking for your support to expand our promising research to obtain FDA approval for legalizing psychedelic therapy.
All MAPS-sponsored research is conducted by the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of MAPS. MPBC faciliates MAPS’ goal to become a sustainable non-profit balancing social benefits with income from the eventual legal prescription sale of MDMA, other psychedelics, and marijuana.
Zendo Project: Psychedelic Harm Reduction
This year, millions of people will use psychedelics outside of research and medical contexts. Using psychedelics can result in overwhelming and uncomfortable experiences. These are more likely with high doses, unknown substances, inadequate preparation, and unsafe settings. Psychedelic harm reduction includes a variety of methods to help prevent and transform difficult experiences related to non-ordinary states of consciousness.
Since 2012, approximately 500 Zendo Project volunteers have donated over 10,000 hours to assist 736 guests at Burning Man (Nevada), Boom (Portugal), AfrikaBurn (South Africa), Bicycle Day (California), Envision (Costa Rica), Lightning in a Bottle (California), and other events around the world.
The mission of the Zendo Project is to provide a supportive space for guests undergoing difficult psychedelic experiences or other psychological challenges to:
- Transform difficult experiences into opportunities for learning and personal growth
- Reduce the number of psychiatric hospitalizations and arrests
- Create an environment where volunteers can work alongside one another to improve their harm reduction skills and receive training and feedback
- Demonstrate that safe, productive psychedelic experiences are possible without the need for law enforcement-based prohibitionist policies.
You can help expand the Zendo Project! Donate and share our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign! zendoproject.org.
More Ways to Help
Support Psychedelic Harm Reduction: Help provide compassionate care for people having difficult psychedelic experiences at festivals and events! For information about harm reduction principles and activities and to learn how a 2003 law discourages venues from providing safe spaces, onsite drug education, or drug-testing at events, visit maps.org/atra.
Free Deadheads in Prison: Nearly half of the federal prison population is serving time for drug-related crimes. Tell Obama to grant Deadheads and all non-violent drug offenders clemency. Sign the petition at Change.org: maps.org/clemency.
Share Your Story
Visit the MAPS table on Participation Row at the Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary shows, where we’ll video, photograph, and archive you telling your story.
• What do the Grateful Dead mean to you?
• What do psychedelics mean to you?
• What’s your vision of how psychedelics should be regulated?
Help us honor the Grateful Dead community and expand awareness for psychedelic research!
"For me, psychedelics are individual. People don’t experience the same effects, they experience themselves, which can sometimes be delightful, and sometimes a bummer. Either way, you’ve got the bigger picture to work with."
—Jerry Garcia, The Last Interview, April 28, 1995
Current Psychedelic & Marijuana Research
MAPS has nearly completed Phase 2 of our $20 million plan to develop MDMA-assisted psychotherapy into an FDA-approved prescription treatment for PTSD by 2021.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatment
Our top priority is making MDMA-assisted psychotherapy an FDA-approved treatment for PTSD. Our studies have shown that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can help people overcome debilitating PTSD caused by sexual assault, war, violent crime, and other traumas. In MDMA- assisted psychotherapy, MDMA is only administered a few times—and always in combination with psychotherapy— unlike most psychiatric medications which must be taken daily, often for years.
83% of those who received two MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions in MAPS’ first completed study no longer qualified for PTSD after treatment, and those results were sustained, on average, 3.8 years later.
Anxiety Related to Life-Threatening Illness
MAPS supports research into LSD- and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety related to life-threatening illness. Our current Phase 2 study in Marin, Calif., is gathering preliminary data about the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety in 18 subjects diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Our study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for this condition in Switzerland (published 2014) was the first completed study of LSD in humans in over 40 years.
Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
MAPS sponsors research into MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults. Autistic people frequently have difficulties with social interaction. Our current study is the first time this treatment has been explored for this population, and is not a treatment for autism. Conventional medications lack effectiveness in this population, and there are currently no approved treatments for autistic adults with social anxiety. Based on anecdotal reports and our preliminary data, MDMA-assisted therapy can be a suitable intervention for these individuals.
MAPS is the only organization working to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of whole plant marijuana as a federally approved prescription medicine. Our upcoming study will be the first study ever conducted of smoked marijuana to treat 76 U.S. veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD.
The study has been fully funded by a $2.1 million grant to MAPS from the State of Colorado. The upcoming study was featured in Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution with Sanjay Gupta, M.D., on CNN in April 2015.
Drug Addiction Treatment
MAPS investigates treatments for opiate dependence using ibogaine, a traditionally used psychoactive from West Africa, which has been shown to help reduce opiate withdrawal and may help overcome or reduce other addictions. MAPS also supports research on ayahuasca-assisted therapy for substance abuse and dependence.