The Mercury News: Meet MAPS, The Psychedelic Research Foundation That’s Winning Silicon Valley Gives

Summary: The Mercury News highlights MAPS’ participation in Silicon Valley Gives, a one-day fundraising initiative to raise funds and awareness for non-profit organizations working in Silicon Valley. “If there was one big winner in the early going, it was the Santa Cruz-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a 30-year-old nonprofit that promotes the careful use of marijuana and psychedelic drugs,” reports Sal Pizarro of The Mercury News.

Originally appearing here.

Every year of Silicon Valley Gives has produced a breakout star — a nonprofit that few people have heard of that manages to capture lots of attention and dollars during the 24-hour online crowdfunding campaign.

And this year’s star is MAPS, which sounds like an explorer’s group. You’d be right on that count, but the Santa Cruz-based nonprofit doesn’t have anything to do with cartography. No, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies advocates for the careful use of marijuana and psychedelic drugs, like MDMA and LSD, especially for medicinal purposes.

MAPS ( had received more than $44,000 from approximately 480 donors by early Tuesday afternoon, putting the nonprofit high, no pun intended, on the leader boards in both categories. And while the group was listed by Silicon Valley Gives as a large nonprofit, spokesman Brad Burge said MAPS has just 15 employees but is still growing to keep up with its expanding psychedelic and medical marijuana research programs.

“We’re excited to be sponsoring this cutting-edge research into psychedelic-assisted therapy as a treatments for people suffering from PTSD, anxiety, addiction, and other conditions, and grateful for the support our work is receiving today through Silicon Valley Gives,” MAPS spokesman Brad Burge said.

Founded in 1986 by Rick Doblin, MAPS has disbursed more than $26 million — almost all of it donated by individuals and small family foundations — to support that research and to educate the public about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana.

The big initiative it pushed for Silicon Valley Gives this year was clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, for which it’s trying to raise $400,000 to purchase 1 kilogram of pharmaceutical grade MDMA. Burge said as long as MAPS gets the funding it needs, it anticipates getting FDA approval.