MAPS Newsletter

Stay connected!

Subscribe to emails for research news, event announcements, volunteer opportunities, study recruitment and harm reduction updates, videos, and more from the fast-growing fields of psychedelic and medical marijuana science, therapy, and spirituality.

Your email address:

Newsletter cover image

MAPS Funds 136% of Annual Fundraising Goal for Expanding Psychedelic Medicine

Only 5 Days Left To Donate to Our Fundraising Campaign

December 26, 2019



Dear friends and supporters,

As the year comes to a close, we feel immense gratitude for the generosity of our supporters. In just 36 days, 957 donors have helped MAPS raise $545,085 in donations to psychedelic medicine and education. Thanks to supporters like you, we’ve exceeded our initial fundraising goal of $400,000, quickly surpassed our $500,000 fundraising stretch goal, and fulfilled matching grants provided by Matt Khoury ($15,000), the TinMan Fund ($10,000), Frank Kavanaugh ($25,000), and John A. Griffin ($100,000).

Our final stretch goal of 2019 is $600,000. Make a tax-deductible donation to MAPS between now and December 31 to fund our mission to create medical, legal, and cultural contexts for psychedelics.

Fundraising Strech Goal: $600,000

$545,085 raised by 957 donors


From now until December 31, we are still offering a Special Edition MDMA Molecule Enamel Pin for MAPS supporters who pledge a monthly gift of $15 or more. Pins are 1.5” in diameter, and are available while supplies last.

We’re excited to share that MAPS received $3,628 in donations thanks to AmazonSmile customers this quarter. To date, our supporters who use AmazonSmile have donated a total of $34,268.73 to MAPS. When you shop using AmazonSmile, 0.5% of your purchase price is donated to the charitable organization of your choice. Be sure to select MAPS as your preferred nonprofit organization on Amazon!


Cover artwork by Martin Stensaas and Sunny Strasburg

The Winter 2019 edition of the MAPS Bulletin is now available online and in subscriber mailboxes In addition to our detailed Fiscal Year 2018 - 2019 Annual Financial Report, the issue includes a dozen original articles, including:

Hosted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and the Zendo Project, the Entheogeneration speaker series launched at Burning Man 2019. A wide variety of educational presentations were held from Wednesday, August 28, 2019, through Saturday, August 31, 2019, featuring topics that explore the latest research and healing opportunities for humanity, how to address issues of inclusion and access, strategies to protect indigenous plant medicine traditions and more, from the brightest leaders active in the field today. Watch the videos from Entheogeneration 2019 at Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada.

We are continuing to accept applications for research volunteers for MAPS-sponsored Phase 3 clinicals trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Volunteers in this study will help us better understand if MDMA-assisted psychotherapy works for the treatment of PTSD. MAPS conducts clinical trials under the guidance and regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with all federal regulators, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). For more information on study participation, please visit our website: mdmaptsd.org.

Pioneering psychedelic researcher and spiritual teacher Baba Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert, passed away on Sunday, December 22, 2019. MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., reflects on Ram Dass' life, stating, "Ram Dass was a great inspiration to thousands/millions of people including me. I first interacted with him directly in 1986 when I interviewed him for my long-term follow-up to the Good Friday experiment in which he was a part of the experimental team. Ram Dass and Laura Huxley reading from Laura’s book, This Timeless Moment, with Ram Dass taking the part of Aldous Huxley, was an emotional highlight of a 1990 benefit event for MAPS at which Ram Dass, Ralph Metzner and Tim Leary, and others, spoke. Ram Dass was a model of personal accountability and was willing to address with courage and honesty the mistakes he made along the way, as well as acknowledge his profound accomplishments with humility. I was hoping Ram Dass would live to see FDA approval of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy but take comfort that he was fully aware of the renaissance in psychedelic research and that his pioneering work in psychedelics and in mindfulness had taken deep root in Western culture, even though it took about half a century." • Read More

In this month’s edition of the MAPS Newsletter, you'll also learn:

  • The new book Fantastic Fungi is now available in the MAPS Store
  • MAPS therapist trainer Marcela Ot’alora, M.A., L.P.C., discusses how to become a psychedelic therapist on podcast The Tim Ferriss Show
  • MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) and MAPS Europe are accepting applications for new career opportunities

Follow MAPS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and reddit.

Thank you to all our supporters, volunteers, and contributors who make MAPS' research possible. Have a wonderful new year!

With appreciation,

Amy Mastrine
MAPS Web and Email Marketing Associate

Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy



Phase 3 Trials of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD: Now Enrolling

We are currently seeking research volunteers for Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Volunteers will help contribute to scientific knowledge and will help us better understand if MDMA-assisted psychotherapy works for the treatment of PTSD. MAPS conducts clinical trials under the guidance and regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with all federal regulators, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). To learn more about our clinical trials or apply to be a study participant, visit our website: mdmaptsd.org.

Therapist Training Study: 87 Participants Enrolled

As of December 18, 2019, 87 total participants are enrolled in our ongoing Phase 1 study of the psychological effects of MDMA when used in a therapeutic setting by healthy volunteers. Enrollment in this multi-site study is limited by invitation only to therapists in training to work on MAPS-sponsored clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The Boulder, Colorado, study site is led by Principal Investigator Marcela Ot'alora, M.A., L.P.C. Zhenya Gelfand, M.D., is serving as Principal Investigator at the site in Charleston, South Carolina. • Learn More

Startle Testing with MDMA: Twenty-Fourth Participant Receives Experimental Treatment

On December 18, 2019, the twenty-fourth participant completed experimental treatment in our ongoing study of the effect of MDMA on startle testing in healthy volunteers. Led by Principal Investigator Barbara Rothbaum, Ph.D., this study is conducted at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. If you have tried MDMA, you may be eligible to enroll in this study investigating the effects of MDMA on the startle response. You will receive monetary compensation for completing the study. All involvement is confidential. This study takes place at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. • Learn More

MDMA Therapy Training Program Update: December 2019

The MDMA Therapy Training Program has launched a series of trainings to prepare therapy providers to become eligible to work on an MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD protocol.

The MDMA Therapy Training Program organized five training retreats in 2019 and provided training to over 250 practitioners in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. These trainees completed the Part A online course and Part B training retreat. The training retreats took place in Israel, North Carolina, Colorado, and Kentucky. In addition to these five retreats, the MDMA Therapy Training Program offered one training for the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research 2019 cohort in Northern California and provided training to an additional 95 practitioners. The training team is taking time to build infrastructure to support the growth and evolution of the training program for 2020 and the years ahead. No dates have been set for 2020 trainings at this time. Dates and tuition fees for the 2020 training year will be announced through the Training Program Newsletter once they are scheduled.

Sites in the U.S. and U.S. territories interested in being considered to participate in an Expanded Access MDMA/PTSD protocol may now apply with MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) to assess eligibility and obtain the prerequisite training to administer MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.  The basic requirements of a qualified site are 1) treatment facility conducive to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, 2) therapy team, qualified and able to complete MDMA Therapy Training Program, and 3) prescribing physician who can obtain a DEA Schedule I license for MDMA.

Additional site and practitioner requirements are posted on the MAPS PBC website. Each site must submit one site questionnaire and all applicants interested in training need to complete a therapy training application for providers. Only applicants affiliated with a qualifying site can be considered for training at this time. MAPS PBC will review applications on an ongoing basis, as they are received. The MAPS PBC Therapy Provider Connect Portal is a community discussion forum for therapy providers, physicians and facilities to connect with one another to develop a site or treatment staff, in order to become eligible to participate in a MAPS PBC Expanded Access MDMA/PTSD protocol.

Sign up and stay tuned to the Training Program Newsletter to receive updates on upcoming trainings. • Learn More

Zendo Project: Psychedelic Peer Support Training in Salt Lake City, Utah

The Zendo Project will be facilitating a psychedelic peer support training workshop in Salt Lake City on January 19, 2019. The physical, mental, and emotional effects of psychedelics will be discussed, and participants will learn about the factors that contribute to a difficult experience as well as Zendo Project’s four principles of psychedelic support. Registration is currently open.

On January 18, 2019, Zendo Project Director Sara Gael will speak at the Intermountain Psychedelic Symposium in Salt Lake City, Utah, a conference dedicated to the science and therapy of psychedelic medicines.

Sign up to receive the Zendo Project Email Newsletter (ZEN) at zendoproject.org to learn about more events and updates.

Support MAPS



November 2019 Giving Report: MAPS Raises $3,270,713 in Donations and Pledges

In November 2019, MAPS raised $3,270,713 in donations and pledges from 992 supporters. Of that amount, $2.7M was a multi-year pledge for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) MDMA, $2,725 for MDMA research, $8,473 for the Zendo Project, $200 for ibogaine research, and $559,314 was for general support. Additional funds were raised for fiscal sponsorships ($75,528) and by MAPS Canada ($42,125).

We launched our annual year-end fundraising campaign, Expanding Psychedelic Medicine, on November 19, 2019. We are humbled by the generosity of our community. Over 740 donors helped us exceed our initial fundraising goal of $400,000! We are particularly grateful to our supporters who offered matching grants including John A. Griffin ($100,000), Frank Kavanaugh ($25,000), Matt Khoury ($15,000) and the TinMan Fund ($10,000).

Our stretch goal for 2019 is to raise $600,000 by December 31, 2019. Help us meet our goal by making a tax-deductible gift today. Donors who establish a $15 monthly donation, or increase their existing monthly gift by $5 will receive a special edition pin. Pins are 1.5" in diameter. Available until December 31, 2019, or while supplies last.

We extend a special thanks to those who so generously supported MAPS last month:

General Support:

  • John and Gwen Smart Foundation – $175,000
  • John A. Griffin – $100,000
  • Inkinen Family DAF – $75,000
  • Frank and Susan Kavanaugh – $25,000
  • Jeffrey Kwatinetz – $25,000
  • Matt Khoury – $17,500
  • Courtney Hull – $15,000
  • Joshua Mailman Foundation – $11,100
  • Max Kerr – $10,000
  • The TinMan Fund – $10,000
  • Suzy Batiz – $5,000
  • Native Cat Recordings – $5,000
  • Roland Wiederaenders – $5,000
  • Yavanna Foundation – $5,000
  • MUD\WTR – $4,000
  • Rachel Hamilton – $2,500
  • Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund – $2,500
  • YPO Gold Long Island Chapter – $2,500
  • RollSafe.org – $1,903
  • Alan Bader – $1,800
  • Joshua Dirlam – $1,500
  • Ocean Labs – $1,250
  • Sean Cleary – $1,000
  • Flora L. Thornton Foundation – $1,000
  • Jerry Greenfield – $1,000
  • Aerin Lim – $1,000
  • Sean McAllister – $1,000
  • William Phipps Mcgrail – $1,000
  • David Nuss – $1,000
  • Ann Parrish – $1,000
  • Robert Anton Patterson – $1,000
  • Dieter Ramaekers and Susan Kavanagh – $1,000
  • Jacob Sablosky – $1,000
  • Jeffrey St Claire – $1,000
  • Cody Stross – $1,000
  • Anonymous – $1,000
  • Anonymous – $1,000

MDMA/PTSD:

  • The Kramer Foundation – $1,500

Zendo Project

  • George Sarlo – $5,000
  • Manick Bhan – $1,000
  • Alison Whitmire – $1,000
  • Anonymous – $1,000

Fiscal Sponsorships:

  • Frank and Susan Kavanaugh – VETS ($25,000)
  • Riverstyx Foundation – ICEERS ($20,000)
  • Mark Henry – Somatic Center Portland ($14,600)
  • Brian Heather – Somatic Center Portland ($11,200)
  • Jess Wetsel – Somatic Center Portland ($2,633)
  • William Boyd – Somatic Center Portland ($2,033)
  • Jonah Boersma – Somatic Center Portland ($1,633)
  • Krisyé Jospa – Somatic Center Portland ($1,300)
  • Jason Hallman – Somatic Center Portland ($1,216)
  • Shari Taylor – Somatic Center Portland ($1,150)
  • Aaron Jackson – VETS ($1,000)
  • Stewart Juneau – Somatic Center Portland ($1,000)
  • JD Kleinke – Somatic Center Portland ($1,000)

MAPS Canada

  • Singhal Health Foundation – $32,125
  • Sunshine Coast Health Centre – $10,000

MAPS relies on the generosity of individual donors to achieve its mission. Psychedelic science is again being conducted under federal guidelines, but no funding for psychedelic psychotherapy research is yet available from governments or major foundations.

Together, we can legalize psychedelic medicine.
Donate now at maps.org/donate. Learn how to include MAPS in your will or estate plans.

We're Hiring!

MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) and MAPS Europe are currently hiring!

MAPS PBC:

MAPS Europe:

You can support psychedelic science by referring qualified applicants to these open positions.

Media



Featured Media

MAPS Store



MAPS Store Winter Sale

winter sale

From now until January 11, 2020, take this special opportunity to receive discounts up to 30% off in the MAPS Store when purchasing a gift for a friend, expanding your psychedelic library, or acquiring a historic artifact for your collection. All sales support MAPS' efforts to make psychedelic-assisted therapy a legal treatment and to expand the scientific, medical, and spiritual uses of psychedelics and marijuana. • Explore the Winter Sale

Events



Browse our Event Calendar page for more opportunities.

Fantastic Fungi Film Screenings, Now - January 2020, International

insight 2019

Fantastic Fungi, a new documentary directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is an important scientific exploration of the little-known realm of fungi, featuring interviews with well-known figures like Paul Stamets, Michael Pollan, and Andrew Weil, M.D. Special film screenings of Fantastic Fungi are taking place around the world from now through January 2020. • Learn More

Head Talks with Shane Mauss Tour, January 2019, United States

maps soap 2019

Shane Mauss is an award-winning stand-up comedian, science podcaster and a psychedelic advocate. Head Talks is his new tour where he is joined by a psychedelic researcher in each city for a show combining all three of his worlds into one two-hour show. You’ll get psychedelic comedy, a science talk, a Q&A, and a community meet & greet in one event. • Learn More

Intermountain Psychedelics Symposium, January 17-18, 2020, Salt Lake City, Utah

Intermountain Psychedelics Symposium

The Intermountain Psychedelic Symposium is brought to you by Salt City Psychedelic Therapy and Research (SCPTR), a Utah-based non-profit. Their mission is to educate, reduce harm, and raise funds for clinical trials locally in Utah. The conference is just the first exciting opportunity to network and learn what’s at the cutting edge of psychedelia, therapy, and altered states of consciousness. Following the conference, there will be many local, community events for education, harm reduction, and integration. • Learn More

Zendo Project Psychedelic Peer Support Workshop, January 19, 2020, Salt Lake City, Utah

zendo workshop

Topics include: physical, mental, and emotional effects of psychedelics; factors that contribute to a difficult experience; Zendo Project’s four principles of psychedelic support; tools, techniques, and protocols; sitter self-care; assisting the integration of a psychedelic journey; ethical guidelines for psychedelic peer counseling. • Learn More

Psychedelic Integration in Psychotherapy: A Retreat for Clinicians, January 17-20, 2020, Phoenicia, New York

psychedelic liberty summit

This 3-day retreat offered by psychologists and psychedelic therapy researchers Ingmar Gorman and Elizabeth Nielson is designed for clinicians and healthcare providers who want to learn more about current psychedelic research and clinical practice, including how to work with patients who have a history of psychedelic use or have expressed an interest in using psychedelics. This interactive training includes experiential learning, demonstrations, self-reflection, and role-play exercises. The themes of spirituality and ethics and critical discussion will be woven throughout the program with opportunities for connection, collaboration, and building community. • Learn More

Holotropic Breathwork Weekend Workshop Special Event in Celebration of Global Holotropic Breathwork Day, April 10-12, 2020, Stony Point, New York

az psychedelics conf

Holotropic Breathwork is a powerful breathwork process where each person uses their own breath and the music in the room to enter an expanded state of consciousness where there is infinite potential for transformation, self-discovery and healing. Workshop includes a talk about the Power and Practice of Holotropic Breathwork, two holotropic breathwork sessions, mandala drawing, sound meditation, shamanic fire ritual and group integration activities. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Laurane McGlynn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. • Learn More

The Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research, April 24-26, 2020, Haarlem, The Netherlands

az psychedelics conf

This is the fourth edition of the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research. ICPR 2020 takes place from Friday, April 24 to Sunday, April 26, 2020, in the beautiful city of Haarlem, The Netherlands. ICPR 2020 is an academic conference focused on high quality scientific and scholarly research into psychedelics. Many academic disciplines have important contributions to make within the field of psychedelic studies. ICPR aims to bridge and connect these disciplines, and to facilitate a dialogue between the diverse academic fields and researchers involved in the study of psychedelics. • Learn More

Psychedelic Liberty Summit, April 25-26, 2020, San Francisco, California

psychedelic liberty summit

This summit will bring together experts from around the world to discuss the legal, cultural, and political issues around the emerging psychedelic renaissance. The topics addressed will include: the process of applying for religious exemptions with the DEA; psilocybin decriminalization initiatives; the right to ameliorate pain and suffering; cognitive liberty; drug use and human rights; ibogaine bills; the upcoming FDA regulation of MDMA and psilocybin; psychedelic harm reduction; licensed health care providers and psychedelic-assisted therapy; the paradoxes of cannabis regulation and NIDA monopoly for research cannabis; conservation of endangered species; human’s relationship to sacred plants and nature; the continuities and discontinuities between recreational, therapeutic and religious use of drugs; the future legal markets; and the commercialization of psychedelics. • Learn More

Meet Delic, May 2-3, 2020, Los Angeles, California

psychedelic liberty summit

Meet Delic is the first of its kind, Psychedelic Wellness Summit. We are bringing together the leading minds in wellness education and psychedelic sciences at the award winning immersive entertainment art park, Wisdome.la. Meet Delic and gain practical information about the latest in psychedelic wellness. Come dive into a world of fun while learning and interacting with some of the most engaging visionaries of our time. • Learn More

Participate in Psychedelic Research



MDMA Studies Sponsored by MAPS

MAPS sponsors clinical trials around the world that offer volunteers the opportunity to participate in our research studies. Our studies have strict enrollment criteria based on the goal of the study and the condition the study is investigating.

Phase 3 trial participant enrollment is now open. Please bookmark our Participate in Research page and check it frequently for updates.

Ayahuasca Ceremony and Retreat Participant Survey

This is an anonymous survey gathering preliminary data about the safety and ethics of ayahuasca ceremonies in various settings. The data collection is a part of the doctoral dissertation work of the principal investigator, Jessica Brown, M.A., L.M.F.T. • Learn More

Global Drug Survey 2020)

GDS believes that the expertise and experience of people who use alcohol and other drugs can be used to inform the creation of better drug policy, whilst helping people use drugs more safely, regardless of the legal status of the drug. This year, Global Drug Survey focuses on some of the major public health and scientific issues that have been making waves over the last 12 months. The survey deadline is December 30, 2019. • Take the Survey

More News

DoubleBlind Magazine

Order physical copies of DoubleBlind Magazine, a new publication focused on timely, untold stories about the expansion of psychedelics around the globe. • Buy Now

Account of MDMA’s Healing Effects: Arachnophobia and MDMA

Wesley Price writes about how one experience with MDMA helped alleviate a lifetime of arachnophobia. • Read the Story

Thank you to Dr. Bronner’s for their company’s support of the MAPS Newsletter!