Who is Henry Ives?: MAPS News – June 2009
Dear MAPS Supporters and Friends,
This month I opened an envelope that contained a $3666 check from the estate of the late Henry Ives. Henry Ives bequeathed a portion of his trust to mescaline research for bipolar disorder. Henrys lawyer first contacted a non-profit organization involved in bipolar research, but they werent interested in mescaline research and declined the donation. His lawyer then sought us out to see if we could accept the donation. We agreed that our research was in the spirit of what Henry would have wanted, so the lawyer went to the courts to get legal permission to have the money donated to us. MAPS isnt directly involved at the moment with either mescaline or bipolar research but since were focused on psychedelic research for therapeutic purposes, Henrys lawyer and the court concluded that our mission comes closest to meeting Henrys intent for his will. We are grateful to Henry and his attorney for choosing to see that what was important to Henry on Earth could continue past Henrys lifetime!
MAPS is 23 years old this year. We have made great strides in reopening the doorway to psychedelic and marijuana research. What we are attempting to do in recreating legal contexts for psychedelic experiences is not a small feat. The sort of change that MAPS is engaged in, with your support, may take another generation to fully blossom. By adding MAPS to your will, you could have a similar legacy as Henry Ives. You can join other MAPS members who are ensuring that their vision lives on after they have left this life.
Randolph Hencken, MA
Director of Communications and Marketing
P.S. We have a special book for the gift of the month. Undergrowth #8: The Journeybook, Travels on the Frontiers of Consciousness, edited by Rak Razam. We will give this book to current members who donate $25 or more and to new members who donate $50 or more (membership includes our tri-annual Bulletin). Journeybook will retail in the US for approximately $35. Supplies are limited. See www.thejourneybook.com for more info.
Heres a sample of what is happening this month at MAPS:
- Crakers Attorneys File Potential Witness List with DEA, Seeking Reconsideration of Rejection of License
- MAPS Funds Security Guards to Protect Israeli Marijuana Facility
- Michael Mithoefer, MD, Presents to Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK
- MAPS Receives Over $62,000 in Gifts!
- MAPS Files FDA Annual Report for Psilocybin IND #79,321
- Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Researchers Seek Volunteers
- Psychedelic Psychotherapy Pioneer Abram Hoffer Passes Away at Age 91
- MAPS will be at THC Expo in LA
- LSD Problem Child And Wonder Drug DVD $25
- Gift of the Month: The Journeybook: Travels on the Frontiers of Consciousness
* * * Dues-paying MAPS members are empowering staff, scientists, and volunteers to carry out pioneering research and educational projects. To donate, learn about the benefits of MAPS membership, or purchase books, clothes, art, and other merchandise, visit: store.maps.org * * *
On June 5, 2009, Professor Lyle Crakers attorneys Allen Hopper of the Drug Law Reform Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Julie Carpenter, Jenner & Block, filed a list of potential witnesses in Crakers eight-year MAPS-sponsored struggle to obtain a license to grow marijuana for federally-approved research. On May 18, DEA Deputy Director Michelle Leonhart filed an order requesting the witness list to determine if there is cause to accept Crakers Motion to Reconsider DEAs Final Order, issued January 14, 2009. After delaying for almost two years, DEA rejected the February 12, 2007 recommendation of DEA Administrative Law Judge Bittner that it would be in the public interest for Prof. Craker to receive his license. Its now DEAs turn again to respond. As it currently stands, DEA has extended the effective date of its Final Order to July 1, 2009. DEA seems likely to rule on the Motion to Reconsider prior to July 1 but could take longer.
- The witness list includes:
- Jeremy Sare, formerly of the Drugs Strategy Directorate, Home Office, Government of the United Kingdom. Sare will testify that the Home Offices licensing of GW Pharmaceuticals to grow marijuana in order to produce and research Sativex, a marijuana based medicine, is in full compliance with international treaty obligations, as would be the licensing of Craker to grow marijuana for research.
- Peter Barton Hutt, former Chief Counsel for the Food and Drug Administration. He will testify that DEA made erroneous claims when it asserted that plant-based opium is no longer an FDA-approved medicine and wasnt a model for the medical use of marijuana in plant form. Furthermore, in Hutts view, the Single Convention not only permits research into plant-based medical marijuana, it encourages research.
- Professor Frederick Scherer of John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Scherer is a leading economist and will testify that DEA made inaccurate claims that a federal monopoly on the supply of marijuana for research provides adequate competition. Adequate competition is a regulatory requirement for DEAs licensing of the production of Schedule 1 drugs.
- John Halpern, MD, Harvard Medical School, will testify that he conducts research on controlled substances but has not undertaken research into the medical uses of the marijuana plant because of the wide-spread chilling effect of the bias of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) against certain types of marijuana research looking at beneficial uses.
Crakers attorneys have also requested to subpoena Dr. Anand K. Parekh, of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Parekh would be asked to testify about HHSs six-year denial of a MAPS-sponsored request to purchase from NIDA 10 grams (!) of marijuana for laboratory research into the properties of vaporized marijuana. Vaporizers are non-smoking delivery systems that dont involve burning the marijuana plant. The Volcano vaporizer has already been accepted by FDA for use in clinical studies in patients. HHSs refusal to sell 10 grams has caused MAPS to be unable to conduct its vaporizer research. For more detailed information about MAPS’ lawsuit against the DEA see our DEA Lawsuit Page.
Using funds from an anonymous donor, MAPS has donated $750, with another $3000 likely to follow, to Yohai Golan for security guards to protect the Israeli medical marijuana production facility that he has been operating, with previous assistance from MAPS. Our involvement in this project began with a $15,000 matching grant donation from the same donor.
Harvest time is nearing and over the next two months the facility is expecting to produce approximately 150 kg of high-potency medical marijuana, with a retail value of more than $1 million (calculated at $7 a gram, which is quite a low price). All of the marijuana will be given away for free to Israeli Ministry of Health-approved medical marijuana patients. The key policy change that the Ministry is considering is whether to allow the sale of medical marijuana. This is necessary in order to create a sustainable model that can meet the needs of patients over the long run.
MAPS has also sponsored Val Corral, Mimi Peleg, and Mike Corral, from Wo/Mens Alliance for Medical Marijuana, to travel to Israel to consult with several Israeli medical marijuana growers and activists, and with the Ministry of Health.
On June 5, for the first time in about 40 years, the United Kingdoms Royal College of Psychiatrists heard presentations on psychedelic psychotherapy at its annual meeting, which this year took place in Liverpool. Michael Mithoefer, MD presented findings from his MAPS-sponsored pilot study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of people with treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). UK’s Channel 4 aired a fantastic story and called Michael the star attraction.
Ben Sessa, MD, organized the presentation. Charles Grob, MD, presented information on his psilocybin research in cancer patients with anxiety. Ben shared, “The symposium was a tremendous success, with an excellent turnout (we got as many at our talks as they did at the keynote speakers). So many doctors since have approached me, expressing their interest and enthusiasm. Gone are the cynical and preconceived remarks of previous years. In their place there is a real groundswell of serious interestWe have appealed to hard-nosed scientists and given them evidenced-based data. If our goal is to truly work towards making these substances prescription medicines for the future, I think this is the only sensible approach. The medical profession is a conservative group.”
Robert Barnhart donated $25,425 to our Swiss LSD/end-of-life anxiety study, making the study now fully funded! Robert has donated over $125,000 to this study during the last two years.
The Libra Foundation awarded us a $25,000 grant for our next US MDMA/PTSD study, which will just be in veterans with PTSD, mostly from Iraq and/or Afghanistan. Our friend Tim Butcher has donated the first $1000 of five monthly donations, totaling $5000, for the same US MDMA/PTSD study in vets. This study will cost about $200,000, so weve a long way to go before its fully funded.
We also received $3000 from Google in unrestricted funds, from its matching grant program. Google was matching a donation of $3000 that an anonymous donor gifted us in December, 2008. This is our third matching grant from Google!
In an unusual donation, the late Henry Ives bequeathed a portion of his trust ($3,666) to mescaline research for bipolar disorder. We are grateful to Ives’ lawyer, who sought us out to see if we could accept the $3,666 donation and then went to the courts to get legal permission to have the money donated to us. Thank you Henry Ives, for choosing to see that what was important to you on Earth can continue past your lifetime!
MAPS research will take decades and millions of dollars; please consider making a bequest to MAPS in your will.
On May 28, 2009, MAPS filed its annual report to FDA regarding our psilocybin Investigational New Drug (IND) Application, #79,321. MAPS opened IND #79,321 in order to seek permission to conduct our initial pilot study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with advanced-stage melanoma.
All sponsors of research must open an IND with FDA about the specific drug that they are going to study. The data from all the studies they conduct with that drug becomes part of their IND. Depending on the results of research, these INDs could become the basis for applications for prescription use. The annual reports are meant to inform FDA about new developments in the sponsors own research efforts as well as whether there are any new studies in the scientific literature that fundamentally change the risk/benefit calculations for clinical research subjects. FDA has favorably reviewed our protocol, but the study is in limbo because Principal Investigator Sameet Kumar, PhD, has not been given permission by the hospital where he works to submit the protocol to its Investigational Review Board (IRB), a legal requirement before research could begin. This study will remain on hold until Sameet is able to find a location where he can conduct this pioneering study. Fortunately, Heffter Research Institute is currently sponsoring several studies of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in cancer patients.
The Johns Hopkins psilocybin research team has started a new study involving psilocybin, mystical-type experience, and spiritual practices such as meditation. The study is open to healthy volunteers, who would need to live within commute distance of Baltimore. For more information see www.bpru.org/spiritual-practice. For background information see www.csp.org/psilocybin.
The team continues to run a study of the effects of psilocybin and mystical-type experience in patients with a current or past diagnosis of cancer who are suffering from anxiety or depression. Anyone who can travel to Baltimore, not only local residents, may be able to participate in this research, as it requires fewer on-site visits. For more information see www.bpru.org/cancer
Dr. Abram Hoffer died in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada on Wednesday, May 27. Hoffer was a close collaborator with Humphry Osmond. Together they pioneered LSD-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for alcoholism. Abrams work with alcoholism led to a close friendship with Bill Wilson (Bill W.), the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. With the prohibition of psychedelic drugs, Hoffer focused the remainder of his career on orthomolecular psychiatry, applying nutritional therapies to alcoholism and schizophrenia. He authored more than 500 peer-reviewed papers and 30 academic monographs. Hoffers obituary and a video of him discussing his work are online.
If you are going to be at the THC Expo in Los Angeles this weekend, June 13 and 14, stop by the MAPS table. MAPS’ volunteers will be there seeking new members, selling MAPS books and art. Our volunteers would love to say hi to current supporters. We hope to see you there!
LSD: Problem Child and Wonder Drug captures the fascinating story of LSD as it is eloquently spoken by Dr. Albert Hofmann, the 100 year old sage-scientist who brought it into the world. With interviews and presentations by Rick Doblin, PhD, Alex Grey, Ralph Metzner, PhD, Carl Ruck, PhD, Goa Gil and others, this historic message from the father of LSD is a timeless relic and an immediate source of inspiration. This DVD was filmed in January 2006, when 80 speakers and 2000 participants gathered for a three day International LSD Symposium held in Basel, Switzerland to celebrate Dr. Albert Hofmanns 100th birthday, and to hear the father of LSD speak first hand about his life, his discovery and his thoughts on the psychedelic experience.
This month we are pleased to offer Undergrowth #8: The Journeybook, Travels on the Frontiers of Consciousness, edited by Rak Razam. We will give this book to current members who donate $25 or more and to new members who donate $50 or more (membership includes our tri-annual Bulletin). Journeybook will retail in the US for approximately $35. Order quickly we have limited inventory.
This spectacular book is an essential map of hyperspace for the contemporary psychonaut and the uninitiated alike. Travel through time and space and partake of mushrooms at Harvard, hemp in Nimbin, DMT in the Amazon and anti-depressants in the suburbs of the West, to name but a few of the experiences which await you. Dance at Dionysian festivals, meet alchemists in the laboratories of Switzerland, trippers in the corporate high-rises of Brisvegas, and journey to the edge of the universe within the anthology’s pages.
The book features interviews with Terence McKenna (previously unpublished), Dennis McKenna, Daniel Pinchbeck, as well as articles by Rak Razam, Erik Davis, Graham St John, Tim Parish, Tim Boucher, Dave Cauldwell, Des Tramacchi, Brummbaer and others. The over 250 pages art edition is fully illustrated with over 50 pages of color paintings, photography and digital graphics from the Undergrowth art collective. More info can be found at: www.thejourneybook.com
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