Playboy: Massive National Drug Deal Set to Take Place (for a Good Cause)

Summary: Playboy reports on MAPS’ Global Psychedelic Dinners, a worldwide fundraising initiative to purchase one kilogram of pharmaceutical-grade MDMA for Phase 3 trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The article highlights MAPS as one of the leading organizations working towards reducing the stigma surrounding psychedelics by promoting and funding ongoing psychedelic research."Psychedelics are becoming less of a countercultural term and more of a medical or spiritual one,” explains MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing Brad Burge.

Originally appearing here.

The first mass, legal drug deal in the United States is about to go down, and even if you don’t partake, you’re invited to chip in, because it’s for a good cause. The deal will enable the purchase of one kilogram of pharmaceutical-grade (read: over 99 percent pure) MDMA, with the goal of getting it on track to be FDA-approved for use as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Funding comes via donations through Global Psychedelic Dinners, an initiative from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a non-profit organization based in California that studies psychedelic substances in medical, legal and cultural contexts. The dinners are a way for participants around the world to host a dinner and collect donations for the final phase of its MDMA research. Basically, these are the guys who are going to get psychedelic drugs legalized in the United States–and perhaps other countries–within our lifetime.

MDMA was used by doctors in the United States until it was banned in 1985, a decision, by many accounts, the government based on outdated scientific research and cultural stigma. Psychotherapists used it during therapy sessions to treat anxiety and communication disorders.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies needs to raise $20 million for the Phase 3 trials of its MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research, which would gather the data needed to get MDMA on the road to being legalized for psychotherapy in the U.S. by 2021.

“Without the blockade of government obstacles and cultural stigma, we could have started this research 30 years ago,” said Brad Burge, director of communications and marketing at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which has invested over $26 million in psychedelic studies domestically and internationally since its inception in 1986.

Of the $400,000 goal, half of it is for the actual manufacturing of MDMA, and the other half is for government accountability certifications. With certifications, every single step of the process can be documented and legal. In fact, the group has an existing batch from 1985 it can’t use because it does not have the certifications needed to qualify it for the final phase of FDA approval.

“There has been this countercultural stigma on psychedelics for a long time, like being associated with the hippies or the Rolling Stones or whatever,” said Burge, who says a new culture is emerging. “Baby boomers who have kids. College graduates. Activists. Physicians. People suffering from PTSD. Psychedelics are becoming less of a countercultural term and more of a medical or spiritual one.”