MAPS Email Newsletter:
Historic Shift in Federal Policy as Public
Health Service Approves Medical Marijuana Study
April 9, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle:
Pot to Be Tested as Remedy for PTSD
Front page: March 23, 2014
There is no doubt about it—the conversation is changing.
On March 14, 2014, after one final 4½-month delay, the U.S. Public Health Service finally approved our planned study of marijuana for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in U.S. veterans. After working for over 22 years, we’ve been granted permission to purchase marijuana from the the sole provider of marijuana for federally regulated research in the U.S., the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The approval came with an unprecedented landslide of media coverage, including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, Associated Press, Nature, Military Times, a front page article in the San Francisco Chronicle, and hundreds more.
Here are just a few highlights from the April 2014 edition of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter:
- Our all-new website is launched at mdma-autism.org, and the first potential subject is screened in our new study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults
- Four subjects are treated with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in our ongoing training study for MAPS-sponsored therapists
- Registration opens for Psychedelic Science: How to Apply What We’re Learning to Your Life, our upcoming five-course webinar hosted by Evolver Learning Lab (Early Bird discount through April 18)
- Discover unique books and collectibles while supporting psychedelic research in our Online Benefit Auction (April 10-20) and MAPS Store Spring Sale (ending April 20)
The conversation is expanding—in March alone, 8,728 people joined us on Facebook, with over 77,000 Likes and counting. Plus, over 15,000 people have joined the conversation on Twitter, and more than 160 videos are available on our YouTube channel.
There has never been a more exciting time for psychedelic and medical marijuana research, and at the same time there has never been such a need. I ask you to remember that we could not have made these strides without you, and that we still need your help to accomplish our mission. Our work is far from over.
MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing
- Public Health Service Approves Medical Marijuana Study, Marking Historic Shift in Federal Policy
- Arizona State Senator Blocks Funding for Medical Marijuana Research
- Therapist Training: Four Subjects Receive MDMA-Assisted Therapy
- Boulder: Fifth Subject Treated, Sixth Subject Enrolled
- Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: First Potential Subject Screened; We
- Donating with Intention
- The Los Angeles Times, NPR, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more…
- Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Medicines DVD
- MAPS Store Spring Sale Ends April 20
- Online Benefit Auction: April 10-20
- Psychedelic Science Evolver Learning Lab Webinar: May 7-June 11
- Exploring Psychedelic Medicines: April 22, Vancouver, Canada
- Fourth Annual Perspectives in Psychedelic Medicine Speaker Panel: April 10, Boston, MA
- Psymposium 2014: The Nature of Psychedelics: April 12, Amherst, MA
- Imaginatrix: The Terence McKenna Experience Launches Kickstarter Campaign
Medical Marijuana Research
Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Therapy
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
A family tells NBC 7 San Diego why they believe that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy could have prevented the suicide of their son Daniel, a U.S. Army veteran diagnosed with PTSD. Watch now…
MEDICAL MARIJUANA RESEARCH
1. Public Health Service Approves Medical Marijuana Study, Marking Historic Shift in Federal Policy
On March 14, 2014, in an historic shift in federal policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted permission for MAPS to purchase marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for our planned study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in U.S. veterans. We have been working for over 22 years to start marijuana drug development research, and this is the first time we’ve been granted permission to purchase marijuana from NIDA, the sole provider of marijuana for federally regulated research in the United States. We have been denied permission to purchase NIDA marijuana for two prior FDA- and IRB-approved studies and one laboratory vaporizer study, preventing them from taking place. It took over four and a half months for reviewers at the Public Health Service (PHS) to respond to our October 24, 2013, protocol resubmission, after initially rejecting the protocol on September 16, 2011. The study still requires final approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, for which Principal Investigator Dr. Sue Sisley’s Schedule I application was submitted on March 25. We are optimistic the DEA will approve the study in a timely manner. The study will also require funding support. "When it comes to researching the medical potential of Schedule I drugs," said MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, "Privately funded medical marijuana drug development research has been the last domino to fall." The tide has turned for medical marijuana research, and we look forward to starting the study. View the approval letter from HHS | Learn more…
$885,000 estimated study budget • $885,000 still needed
Phoenix, Ariz.—An April 2 rally against Senator Kimberly Yee’s blockade of a bill that could have helped fund medical marijuana research for veterans with PTSD. Learn more…
2. Arizona State Senator Blocks Funding for Medical Marijuana Research
On March 10, 2014, the Arizona House of Representatives passed HB 2333, a bill that could have provided up to $250,000 in funding for our planned study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in U.S. veterans. The funds would have come from over $7.5 million in fees collected from the Arizona medical marijuana program. The possibility for the study to receive this funding disappeared, however, when Arizona State Senator Kimberly Yee (R-Phoenix), who chairs the Senate Committee on Education, blocked the bill by refusing to put it on her committee’s agenda before the March 20 deadline. Senator Yee said that she prefers the funds to be used for anti-drug education. With these funds now unavailable, we will still need funding to make the study possible. Learn more…
TREATING PTSD WITH MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
3. Therapist Training: Four Subjects Receive MDMA-Assisted Therapy
Between March 24 and April 4, 2014, four additional subjects received MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in our ongoing therapist training study in Charleston, SC. This protocol was designed as a Phase 1 study of the safety and psychological effects of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in healthy volunteers, with subjects limited to therapists in training to work on a MAPS-sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study. Two of the subjects enrolled are therapists in our ongoing study in Boulder, Colorado, and two are affiliates of the U.S. Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD Research training for a possible collaborative VA/MAPS study, with funding offered from MAPS. During these sessions, an additional night attendant affiliated with the VA was also trained. Learn more….
$472,000 needed • $8,000 raised • $464,000 still needed
Learn about our current Funding Priorities.
4. Boulder: Fifth Subject Treated, Sixth Subject Enrolled
On February 7 and March 9, 2014, the fifth subject was treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, Colorado. This study is investigating the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for 17 subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD resulting from sexual assault, violent crime, war, or any other cause. The sixth subject was enrolled on March 1. Our goals for this Phase 2 study include (1) gathering evidence for the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for subjects with PTSD from a variety of causes, (2) comparing different doses of MDMA for therapeutic effectiveness and ability to create a successful double-blind, (3) exploring whether using intern co-therapists can reduce costs while maintaining treatment effectiveness, and (4) training the next generation of psychedelic psychotherapists. Download the study protocol | Learn more….
$592,000 estimated study cost • $193,000 raised • $399,000 still needed
Learn more about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on or at mdmaptsd.org.
HuffPost Live interviews MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, psychopharmacologist David Nichols, and Harvard psychiatrist John Halpern about the recently published results from MAPS’ study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy to treat anxiety associated with advanced-stage illness. Watch now…
MDMA-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY IN AUTISTIC ADULTS
5. Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: First Potential Subject Screened; Website Launched
On April 4, 2014, screening took place for the first potential subject in our new study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in adults on the autism spectrum. On March 26, we officially launched mdma-autism.org, an all-new website with background on the goals of the study, plus educational resources about autism, social anxiety, and MDMA-assisted therapy. Adults on the autism spectrum often face social adaptability challenges and greater anxiety, depression, and victimization than typically developing adults. The study is the latest in our expanding program of research into the therapeutic use of MDMA. Our $100,000 grant application to Autism Speaks was rejected on April 4. Learn more…
$312,000 estimated study cost • $1,000 raised by MAPS • $16,000 raised by partners • $296,000 still needed
Learn more at mdma-autism.org.
In March 2014, 180 people donated $17,323 to help create a world where psychedelics and marijuana are used safely and legally to treat illness, enhance creativity, and awaken spirituality. Special thanks goes to MAPS Board Member Joby Pritzker, who gave $2,500 to sponsor a reception at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, and to Board Member Robert Barnhart who gave $900 in general support and a $5,000 for the Peyote Dialogues through our fiscal sponsorship of the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council. Our gratitude goes to the 178 donors who gave between $5 and $899, many of whom are part of our Sustainers Club. If you are interested in joining other Sustainers who give between $5 and $450 a month, visit maps.org/donate and choose “Make this a recurring donation deducted monthly,” or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for helping us build a more fearless and compassionate world. Why give to MAPS?
Help us make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines—donate today!
7. The Los Angeles Times, NPR, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more…
PRESS RELEASE: Arizona State Senator Blocks Funding for Long-Sought Medical Marijuana Research | view
MAPS/DPA/SSDP/others | March 31, 2014
PRESS RELEASE: Historic Shift In Federal Policy As HHS Approves Medical Marijuana Study for PTSD | view
MAPS | March 28, 2014
PRESS RELEASE: Study Initiated Exploring MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults | view
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute and MAPS | March 27, 2014
NBC 7 San Diego: Can Ecstasy Treat PTSD? | watch
Bridget Naso | March 26, 2014
Los Angeles Times: First Trial of LSD as Medicine in 40 Years Shows Promise | view
Melissa Healy | March 5, 2014
Los Angeles Times: Government Approves Medical Marijuana Research | view
Evan Halper and Cindy Carcamo | March 14, 2014
Los Angeles Times: Exploring Therapeutic Effects of MDMA on Post-Traumatic Stress | view
Alan Zarembo | March 15, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle: Pot To Be Tested as Remedy For Post-traumatic Stress Disorder | view
Stacy Finz | March 23, 2014
NPR: The ’60s Are Gone, But Psychedelic Research Trip Continues | listen
NPR Staff | March 9, 2014
The Washington Post: Marijuana Research Hampered by Access from Government and Politics, Scientists Say | view
Ariana E. Cha | March 21, 2014
FOX 10 Phoenix: State Senator Blocks Medical Marijuana Study | watch
Steve Krafft | March 19, 2014
USA Today: Medical Marijuana Research for PTSD Clears Major Hurdle | view
Jolie Lee | March 18, 2014
Nature: Federal Red Tape Ties Up Marijuana Research | view
Helen Shen | March 25, 2014
Associated Press: Marijuana Study In Veterans Wins US Backing | view
Matthew Perone | March 17, 2014
Military Times: Research OK’d Into Effects of Pot on PTSD Symptoms | view
Patricia Kime | March 25, 2014
The Joe Rogan Experience: Amber Lyon Talks About Psychedelics | view
Joe Rogan | March 18, 2014
Playboy: Can LSD Be Used for Medical Purposes? | view
Tyler Trykowski | March 28, 2014
Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
8. Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Medicines DVD
Neurons to Nirvana:
60 minutes | Mangusta Productions | 2013
Through interviews with the world’s foremost researchers, writers, psychologists and pioneers in psychedelic psychotherapy, Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Medicine explores the history of five powerful psychedelic substances—LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, and cannabis—and their previously established medicinal potential.
$25.00 | Now available
9. MAPS Store Spring Sale Ends April 20
Is your psychedelic science library complete? Selected books and DVDs in the MAPS Store are 25-50% off until April 20. Now is the time to fill those holes in your psychedelic and marijuana research library!
10. 10-Day Online Benefit Auction to Support MAPS Research: April 10-20
Featuring rare historical items, breathtaking artwork, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and other items donated by our supporters, our Online Benefit Auction (April 10-20) is your chance to support MAPS while expanding your personal collection of artifacts and memories. Auction items will include:
- Rare books and fine art autographed by psychedelic luminaries
- Dinner with MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, PhD
- Signed glassware from the laboratory of Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin
- Signed portraits of Albert Hoffman and Ann and Sasha Shulgin by Alex Grey
- and much more…
Want to skip the bidding? Items are currently available at a Buy-It-Now price, until the auction opens on April 10. Check out the MAPS eBay Store for listings. Special thanks to Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Ann and Sasha Shulgin, Alex and Allyson Grey, Threyda, Illuminated Jewelry, Nierika AC, and many others for donating auction items. Questions? Contact Brian Brown at email@example.com.
All purchases from the MAPS Store support our research and education projects.
11. Psychedelic Science: Evolver Learning Lab Webinar: May 7-June 11
Brad Burge of MAPS has invited some of the leading experts in psychedelic science and medicine to help you understand, integrate, and learn to use the most recent research from this transformative field. You will be part of the discussion over five weekly sessions, able to ask your questions on camera, just like a Skype call. A portion of the proceeds support MAPS’ psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education projects. Early Bird special through April 18—$25 off with coupon code MAPS! Register now…
12. Exploring Psychedelic Medicines: April 22, Vancouver, Canada
Presented by MAPS Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, join us for an evening lecture and reception with leading researchers in the fast-growing Canadian psychedelic science field, including Dr. Gabor Maté (ayahuasca researcher and author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts), Mark Haden (Chair, MAPS Canada Board of Directors), Rick Doblin (MAPS Founder), Philippe Lucas (ayahuasca and addiction researcher), and Dr. Ingrid Pacey (MDMA and PTSD researcher). Seating is limited and tickets are selling out. Buy tickets…
13. Fourth Annual Perspectives in Psychedelic Medicine Speaker Panel: April 10, Boston, MA
Dr. Rick Doblin, Dr. John Halpern, and Dr. Carl Ruck will speak about recent developments in research on the medicinal benefits of psychedelic drugs. This is a free event sponsored by Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). Learn more…
14. Psymposium 2014: The Nature of Psychedelics: April 12, Amherst, MA
Psymposium 2014 brings together researchers and experts to speak on issues relating to the role of psychedelics in culture, medicine, and science. Featuring presentations by MAPS MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study participant Tony Macie of Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy (VET), Joshua Wickerham of the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council (ESC), and others. Learn more…
View our Event Calendar for more upcoming events.
15. Imaginatrix: The Terence McKenna Experience Launches Kickstarter Campaign
Imaginatrix is a deeply experiential film by Ken Adams illuminating Terence McKenna’s advocacy of psychedelic experiences and other enticing ideas. The movie crowns over 20 years of collaboration and wonderment with McKenna’s unprecedented ecology of mind. Learn more…
Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out our Student Resources page!