President’s Review – Spring 1993

Summer 1993 Vol. 04, No. 2 So Close Yet So Far

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This last year has been one of remarkable growth for MAPS. Membership has doubled to over 700, and income has risen to over $110,000 (MAPS’ 1992-1993 Fiscal Report). MAPS’ organizational success is due primarily to its success in helping facilitate historic breakthroughs at the FDA permitting the expansion of psychedelic research. These new possibilities have in turn inspired people to get involved in the process of turning opportunities into actual accomplishments, a long-term task for which your continued support is essential.

MAPS’ growth is also due to the successful conferences it helped coordinate April 16 and 17,1993 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSD (The Summit Meeting Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Albert Hofmann’s Discovery of LSD). Over 50 speakers addressed more than 1000 people in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. The events were extensively and fairly covered by national and international TV, radio, and print media.

This newsletter reports on a wide variety of psychedelic-related topics. In the US, preliminary work on Dr. Charles Grob’s MDMA research project in cancer patients is underway, and volunteers are being recruited for research into MDMA neurotoxicity (“Normal” Volunteers Needed for MDMA Research and Volunteers Needed for Study of Birth Trauma). Dr. Rick Strassman’s pioneering DMT research has moved forward in leaps and bounds (DMT Research: Latest Findings). Both Drs. Grob and Strassman spoke to a receptive audience at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual convention.

In marijuana-related research, Nick Cozzi conducted a MAPS-sponsored literature review of the effectiveness of water pipes in filtering marijuana smoke in preparation for a study MAPS is helping Dr. Donald Abrams to facilitate evaluating marijuana’s efficacy in treating HIV-related wasting syndrome (a href=””> Meanwhile, Garry Trudeau has generously donated to MAPS original artwork from two Doonesberry cartoon strips dealing with marijuana’s medical use. Proceeds from the sale of the strips will support MAPS’ marijuana research (Marijuana Research Update: Summer 1993).

Drs. Julie Holland and David McDowell gathered pilot data from the first-ever survey of rave participants (Raves for Research or Psychedelic Researchers: The Next Generation), and Phil Mengel completed his Ph.D. thesis on the effects of MDMA and shamanic drumming (A Retrospective Study of Alterations in Consciousness During Shamanistic Journeying and MDMA Use). I report on legal developments regarding LSD, and Ann Landers’ recent LSD column ( Wanted: Real-Life LSD Stories). Dave Nichols, Richard Yensen and Ralph Metzner engage in a spirited discussion regarding MDMA terminology (The Great Entactogen – Empathogen Debate), and Art Goodtimes reports on the annual Telluride Mushroom Festivals (Telluride Mushroom Festival: Hunting and Gathering with the Clan). Several intriguing letters appear in the correspondence section (Correspondence : Jill M.G. Chapleau-Canavan, Correspondence: Letter From an Interested Party, Correspondence : Humphrey Osmond).

On the international front, Dennis McKenna’s ayahuasca research has begun in Brazil (A Multinational Interdisciplinary Biomedical Investigation of Hoasca, a Plant Hallucinogen Used in Brazil). From Finland, J.C. Calloway explains tryptamines for the non-chemist (Tryptamines, Beta-carbolines, and You). Fascinating and ground-breaking case histories of U.S. substance abuse patients treated in Holland with ibogaine are reviewed by Bob Sisko (NIDA and Ibogaine Research Excerpts of Bob Sisko’s Remarks on May 12, 1993 to the 54th meeting of the National Advisory Council On Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health). In Switzerland, a variety of promising developments are taking place (Developments in Europe).

All in all, this issue provides some fascinating summer reading about the psychedelic renaissance which your MAPS membership donations have helped make possible.

Rick Doblin,
MAPS President