The Funding of Scientific Studies – An Appeal for Donations

MAPS Bulletin Summer 1989 Vol. 1, No. 2

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Medical use of MDMA may prove very beneficial to many U.S. citizens, yet unless scientific studies are conducted this potential remains unrealized. Since scientific studies require financial support, this MAPS report is both informational and an appeal for tax deductible donations from individuals who care about this research. Donors can make restricted gifts to the project of their choice, or simply make donations to the general fund.

Supporting the Swiss collaborative neurotoxicity study can be accomplished for $10,000. MAPS has offered to try and raise $400 for each of the 25 subjects, who all will be receiving two spinal taps. NIDA is paying U.S. subjects $400 for one spinal tap and three days of other tests. It seemed considerate to offer something to the Swiss subjects, who are conducting this specific study more for our benefit than theirs. The Swiss doctors have volunteered their time collecting the spinal fluid and Dr. Ricaurte has offered to cover costs of conducting the analysis of spinal fluid out of his current laboratory budget.

The seminar in Moscow can be fully supported for $10,000. The three psysicians and myself who will attend will receive no remuneration, and incur estimated travel costs of $2,500 each. This project is important both as a small citizen-sponsored bridge between two nations very cautiously allowing the cold war to thaw and as a method of furthering the possibilities for legal MDMA research in the USSR and the United States. There would be nothing quite like an MDMA gap to motivate U.S. officials to permit MDMA research. What better sort of competition could there be than on healing technologies?

In the United States, one additional control group would be very helpful in Dr. Ricaurte’s neurotoxicity study at Johns Hopkins. In addition to testing a group of MDMA users who had tried MDMA over 20 times, another group of subjects who had only used MDMA 2-7 times would help determine whether users of small amounts of MDMA were significantly different from the frequent users of MDMA, or from non-drug users or non-MDMA drug users. This additional control group would ideally have 24 subjects, just like the other groups. Estimated expenses of $435 and a $400 fee suggest that a total of about $20,000 is needed to bring this extra control group into being. Dr. Ricaurte could cover the cost of the lab fees and expermienters’ time from out of currect budgets.