On August 11, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) launched its boldest crowdfunding campaign yet. In just 16 days, the Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign on Indiegogo reached its ambitious $50,000 goal to complete funding for the world’s largest-ever clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The campaign, which has already raised over $75,000 from more than 940 funders, continues through September 25.
Contact: Brad Burge, MAPS
SANTA CRUZ, Calif.—On August 11, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) launched its boldest crowdfunding campaign yet. In just 16 days, the Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign on Indiegogo reached its ambitious $50,000 goal to complete funding for the world’s largest-ever clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The campaign, which has already raised over $75,000 from more than 940 funders, continues through September 25.
Reaching its $50,000 goal completes MAPS’ five-year, $1.38 million fundraising effort for its ongoing clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for 24 veterans, firefighters, and police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. All funds raised above $50,000 pay for experimental sessions for subjects in MAPS’ second-largest study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. This study in Boulder, Colorado, is now treating 23 subjects with PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, war, natural disasters, or any other cause.
Public support is growing for research into the beneficial uses of Schedule I drugs. A Scientific American article published three days after the campaign’s launch announced: “Psychedelic drugs are poised to be the next major breakthrough in mental health care” (“Psychedelic Drugs Hold Medical Promise,” August 14, 2014).
“After 28 years working to make psychedelics into legal medicines, I’m starting to wonder if we have underestimated the extent of public support for our work,” said MAPS founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D. “With our campaign far from over, I’m excited to see how far that support really goes.”
The campaign video is hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Amber Lyon, and features exclusive interviews with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study participants. “I really did find the healing that I needed for the combat experiences that I went through during my very first session,” says Iraq veteran Nicholas Blackston. “It just helped me go so much deeper within my consciousness. I accepted that part of myself that I had cut off.”
Blackston’s story is featured in Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal, the new book by award-winning journalist and bestselling author Tom Shroder, releasing September 9 from Blue Rider Press. Acid Test is available as a gift for most campaign contributions $50 and above.
More factors contributing to the campaign’s early success include:
- A $10,000 matching donation (from Neurons to Nirvana producer Mangu.TV, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, and Sir Ivan and his Peaceman Foundation) was met in just 28 hours by 101 funders
- An anonymous funder unexpectedly donated $10,000 on September 2
- Since the campaign launched, 26 donors have contributed 2.01204626 bitcoins (BTC) to MAPS, valued at $1,018.75
Data from MAPS’ Phase 2 clinical trials will be used to plan the larger Phase 3 studies necessary to demonstrate to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is a safe and effective treatment option for PTSD. MAPS estimates that it will take $2.3 million and two years to complete Phase 2 clinical trials, and an additional $15.8 million and five years to complete Phase 3 and establish MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a legal FDA-approved treatment by 2021.
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. Since its founding in 1986, MAPS has disbursed over $20 million to psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.