Denver Decriminalizes Psilocybin Mushrooms, Oakland Decriminalizes Psychedelic Plants
June 25, 2019
Dear friends and supporters,
MAPS is grateful to share a wave of exciting news in the psychedelic universe this month!
On May 8, 2019, citizens in Denver, Colorado, voted to make psilocybin mushrooms the lowest law enforcement priority within their city. Less than a month after the historic legislative shift in Denver, on June 4, 2019, the Oakland City Council in Oakland, California, voted unanimously to stop city funds from being used to enforce laws criminalizing people for the use or possession of ayahuasca, iboga, and other psychedelic mushrooms and cacti. These plants and fungi have a long history of ceremonial use in indigenous traditions around the globe, though the active psychedelic compounds in them—including psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline—are still federally scheduled substances and illegal under federal law. Oakland is the first U.S. city to pass a resolution effectively decriminalizing psychedelic plants and fungi. • Read the Press Release • Read the Policy Statement
MAPS is proud to serve as the guest editor for the 50th Anniversary Special Issue of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, a new publication featuring 13 new articles about the ongoing progress of psychedelic research around the world. • Read the Issue
From now until June 30, 2019, receive discounts up to 40% off in the MAPS Store Summer Sale! Expand your psychedelic library, buy a gift for a friend, or purchase a rare historic artifact for your collection. All sales contribute to MAPS’ mission to develop medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.
In this month’s edition of the MAPS Newsletter, you’ll also learn:
- MAPS and MAPS PBC have new career opportunities
- The 79th participant enrolls in our ongoing therapist training study
- Tickets are available for Psychedelic Medicine & Cultural Trauma Workshop in Louisville, Kentucky from August 10-11, 2019
We express our sincere gratitude for psychedelic community members who are creating new cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics. Congratulations, Denver and Oakland!
MAPS Web and Email Marketing Associate
Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Therapy
Therapist Training Study: 79th Participant Enrolls
On June 5, 2019, the 79th participant 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: Fifteenth Participant Receives Experimental Treatment
On June 5, 2019, the fifteenth 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. This research group is planning to conduct a subsequent study exploring the combination of MDMA with Prolonged Exposure in people with PTSD. • Learn More
Expanded Access Training Update: June 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. In January 2019, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) submitted an MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD protocol to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of an application to participate in the FDA Expanded Access (EA) program. We’ve received and responded to several rounds of comments from FDA and will hear from FDA by the middle of July. The Expanded Access program’s purpose is to grant access to potentially beneficial investigational treatments for individuals or populations facing a serious or immediately life-threatening condition for which there is no satisfactory treatment currently available. If approved, Expanded Access would allow additional qualified sites to provide MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for participants with treatment-resistant PTSD under a MAPS protocol.
Sites in the U.S. and U.S. territories interested in being considered to participate in an MDMA/PTSD protocol may now apply with 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.
Site and practitioner application procedures are posted on our website. Each site must submit one site questionnaire. Additionally, each therapy provider must submit an MDMA Therapy Training Application for Therapy 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 MDMA Therapy Training Program is working in collaboration with the California Institute of Integral Studies’ Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research (CPTR) program to support a June training retreat in northern California. This retreat will be for the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapies and Research 2019 cohort and will include a select number of MDMA Therapy Training Program trainees. This six-and-a-half-day training retreat focused on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD will be led by Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., and Michael Mithoefer, M.D.
An additional training retreat with Annie Mithoefer and Michael Mithoefer is scheduled for September 29 – October 6, 2019, in Asheville, North Carolina. Eligible therapy providers interested in this event can submit the MDMA Therapy Training Application and respond ”yes” to the question about interest in this event. For those who have already completed applications, you will be automatically considered for this fall event and do not need to re-apply. Future training retreats will be announced through the training newsletter as they are scheduled.
Applications remain open for the MDMA Therapy Training for Communities of Color event, taking place August 10-17, 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky, led by Marcela Ot’alora M.A., L.P.C., and Monnica Williams, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., with support from additional trainers. There are two parts to this event: a 1 ½ day Psychedelic Medicine and Cultural Trauma Community Workshop (guest presenters will be added to this website as they are announced) and a week-long MDMA-Assisted Therapy Training Retreat with a focus on making this treatment accessible and relevant to communities of color. The workshop is open to the public; the MDMA Therapy Training is for eligible therapy providers who have been accepted into the training program, with a focus on providers from and serving communities of color, with priority registration for providers who are affiliated with a potential Expanded Access site. Eligible therapy providers interested in this event can submit the MDMA Therapy Training application for providers, and respond “yes” to the question about interest in the August MDMA Therapy Training for Communities of Color, as well as the associated questions about scholarship. More details for this event, including exact location, schedule, scholarship, and registration fees will be available as they are updated on the workshop website.
Scholarships and tiered tuition rates, for both therapy providers and affiliated community organizers who work with communities of color, are currently available for this event through generous funding from the Open Society Foundation (OSF), Libra Foundation, Riverstyx Foundation, Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative (PSFC), and Dr. Bronner’s. Applicants who applied for this event will receive more information about the scholarship process. Additional scholarship programs are under development. For questions about this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Policy and Advocacy Update: June 2019
From May 31 to June 2, 2019, MAPS staff including MAPS Policy and Advocacy Counsel Ismail L. Ali, J.D., MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., MAPS Sales and Outreach Assistant Rudy Maldonado, and MAPS Policy and Advocacy Director Natalie Ginsberg, M.S.W., attended the third annual World Ayahuasca Conference, hosted by the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS) in Girona, Spain. Ginsberg presented “Palestinians, Israelis, and Ayahuasca: Can Psychedelic Medicines Promote Reconciliation?” with partners Dr. Leor Roseman from Imperial College Center for Psychedelic Research and Antwan Saca. This is a collaborative study which interviews Palestinians and Israelis who drink ayahuasca together. Ali led a workshop entitled “Sacred Reciprocity,” which explored effective strategies and approaches for the intentional expansion of ayahuasca.
On June 5, 2019, Ginsberg and Ali visited Energy Control in Barcelona, Spain, a government-sponsored drug purity analysis facility. Drug possession is decriminalized in Spain, allowing government-funded drug checking facilities.
Zendo Project: Zendo Project: Burning Man 2019 Volunteer Application Closes July 1
Zendo Project volunteer applications for Burning Man 2019 close on July 1! We have a brand new application system in place. Apply by visiting the Zendo Project application website and following the instructions. Applicants will be notified of their application status by early July. Volunteers must secure their own Burning Man ticket and camping. We look forward to receiving your application! • Apply Now
May 2019 Giving Report: MAPS Raises $4.301 Million for FDA-Regulated Phase 3 Trials, Seeks Funding for EMA-Regulated Phase 3 Trials
Currently, MAPS estimates $9-$10 million is needed for European Medicines Agency (EMA)-regulated trials to supplement the data gathered for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Last month, MAPS reached our goal of $2 million raised for this European research program, facilitating the continuation of critical start-up activities for the planned trials in multiple European countries.
In May 2019, MAPS raised $5,884,632 in new donations and pledges from 926 supporters, as well as our corporate sponsor, Dr. Bronner’s. Of that amount, $191,208 was for general support, $4,302,338 for MDMA/PTSD Phase 3 trials, $390,010 for the MDMA Therapy Training Program, $1,077 for other MAPS programs, and $1,000,000 in sponsorships from Dr. Bronner’s.
We extend a special thanks to those who so generously supported MAPS last month:
- Psychedelic Science Funders Collective (PSFC) ($50,000)
- Tim Chang ($25,000)
- Paul and Kristina Eklund ($10,000)
- The Libra Foundation ($10,000)
- Evie Piele ($8,000)
- Roman Stalder ($3,000)
- John H. Buchanan ($2,500)
- Mack Fuhrer ($2,500)
- Tom Litle ($2,500)
- AmazonSmile Foundation ($2,250)
- Jillian Gibbs and APR ($2,000)
- Cannabis Buyers Club Berkeley ($1,000)
- David Dansky ($1,000)
- Cristin Devine ($1,000)
- David Friedman and Rabbi Tirtzah Firestone ($1,000)
- Macdonald Hawley ($1,000)
- The Hollingsworth Family ($1,000)
- Doug Hutchinson ($1,000)
- David Lenderts ($1,000)
- Valentia Valentine ($1,000)
- Anonymous ($1,000)
MDMA/PTSD Phase 3 Research:
- Psychedelic Science Funders Collective (PSFC) ($4,050,000)
- Rebekah Mercer ($250,000)
- Anja Saunders ($1,000)
MDMA Therapy Training Program:
- John T Sperling Foundation ($200,000)
- The Libra Foundation ($90,000)
- Psychedelic Science Funders Collective (PSFC) ($40,000)
- Dr. Bronner’s ($30,000)
- Cody Swift, RiverStyx Foundation ($30,000)
MAPS fiscally sponsors like-minded organizations and projects. This list includes donors who have contributed to organizations we fiscally sponsor.
- Jamie Wheal ($7,500 – Psykia Institute)
- Jasen Trautwein and Sagara Sanchez-Reinoso ($6,000 – Psykia Institute)
- Andrew Carton ($5,000 – Psykia Institute)
- Patricia and Richard Simon ($5,000 – Prescription X)
- Peacelights.org ($5,000 – Aniwa)
- Spencer Stewart and Stephanie Ansin ($5,000 – Visions of the Forest)
- Laura Riley ($1,756 – Somatic Center Portland)
- Deanne Adamson ($1,500 – ICEERS)
- Mandy and Friends at Palladium Mind ($1,500 – Psykia Institute)
- Anonymous ($1,500 – Psykia Institute)
- Kristen Bigliardi ($1,000 – Aniwa)
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.
Help us reach our goal to make MDMA a medicine by 2021 by establishing a monthly gift of $10 or more. maps.org/donate
Featured Media: June 2019
- PRESS RELEASE: Oakland City Council Makes Psychedelic Plants and Mushrooms Lowest Priority for Law Enforcement
- Published by MAPS on June 5, 2019
- The Verge: Can Efforts to Bottle MDMA’s Magic Transform Psychiatry?
- Published by William Joel on May 22, 2019
- Big Think: MDMA Heads to Phase 3 Trials for Helping PTSD
- Published by Derek Beres on May 20, 2019
- San Francisco Chronicle: Psychedelics, Long Ignored by Scientists, Seeing Resurgence in Medical Research
- Published by Erin Allday on June 1, 2019
- After On Podcast: Fighting PTSD with MDMA – Episode #48, Part 1
- Published by Rob Reid on May 21, 2019
- After On Podcast: Fighting PTSD with MDMA – Episode #48, Part 2
- Published by Rob Reid May 28, 2019
- The Colorado Sun: With Denver’s Vote on Magic Mushrooms, Will Colorado Anchor a Psychedelic Medicine Revolution?
- Published by Jason Blevins on May 20, 2019
- PBS Newshour: Why Many Combat Veterans Are Still Suffering, Years After the Fight Ended
- Published on May 27, 2019
From now until June 30, 2019, receive discounts up to 40% off in the MAPS Store Summer Sale! Expand your psychedelic library, buy a gift for a friend, or purchase a rare historic artifact for your collection. All sales contribute to MAPS’ mission to develop medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. • Shop Now
MAPS Tank Top – NEW!
Enjoy the sun with the new MAPS tank top, an airy and comfy piece that proudly shows your support for psychedelic research. • Buy Now
Zendo Project Apparel – 15% Off
Show your support for the Zendo Project with our comfy eco-shirts and eco-fleece hoodies! Each item is made with recycled and organic materials and low-impact dyes by Alternative Apparel, whose facilities are WRAP-certified and adhere to Fair Labor Association guidelines. • Buy Now
Browse our Event Calendar page for more opportunities.
The Annual David E. Smith Symposium, San Francisco, California, June 28, 2019
Few have done more to shape the field of addiction treatment than Dr. David E. Smith. Come join Dr. Smith and 16 engaging speakers for this one-day symposium on Friday, June 28 at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. The keynote speaker will be Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of MAPS. • Learn More
Psychedelic Medicine and Cultural Trauma Workshop, Louisville, Kentucky, August 10-11, 2019
Trauma experienced by people of color is historical, cultural, systemic, and communal, in addition to an increased likelihood of experiencing discrete interpersonal trauma. To understand individual therapy, it is imperative that therapists, as well as community leaders, understand the larger traumatic context. This day-and-a-half opening workshop focuses on the political and social factors that impact trauma and healing. Community leaders will join trainees for this workshop to engage in dialogue about the social, political, cultural, and historical causes of trauma, as well as to discuss barriers to acceptance of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in communities of color while envisioning ways forward. • Learn More
Breaking Convention 2019, August 16-18, 2019, London, United Kingdom
Breaking Convention is a biennial multidisciplinary conference on psychedelic consciousness, featuring more than 150 presenters from around the world. Europe’s largest conference on psychedelic consciousness, Breaking Convention is now approaching its eighth year. Breaking Convention is a truly multi-faceted festival selling nearly a thousand tickets in forty countries and offering the latest ground-breaking research and insights across human and social sciences, law, politics, art, history and philosophy. Spanning three full days, Breaking Convention features numerous workshops, awards, an art exhibition, and films. • Learn More
Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics 2019, October 11-13, 2019, New York, New York
Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics is an annual forum in New York City that examines the role of psychedelic drugs and plant medicines in science, medicine, culture and spirituality. In recent years, a growing community of scientists, doctors, scholars, and activists have orchestrated a renaissance in psychedelic research and practice. Horizons brings together the brightest minds and the boldest voices of this movement to share their knowledge, insights, and dreams for the future. Now in its twelfth year, Horizons is the largest and longest-running annual gathering of the psychedelic community in the world. • Learn More
Psychedelics for Clinicians 101 & 102, November 2-3, 2019, Montreal, Canada
This 2-day training offered by psychologists 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 and role-play exercises. It is the first time a program of this kind has been offered in Montreal. • Learn More
International Drug Policy Reform Conference, November 6-9, 2019, St. Louis, Missouri
The International Drug Policy Reform Conference is a biennial event that brings together people from around the world who believe that the war on drugs must end. Reform attendees have the opportunity to spend three days interacting with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions given by leading experts from around the world. • Learn More
Participate in Psychedelic Reseearch
MDMA Studies Supported by MAPS
MAPS sponsors clinical trials around the world that require human participants. Our studies have strict enrollment criteria based on the goal of the study and the condition the study is investigating.
MAPS and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) are currently hiring! MAPS is hiring a Full-Charge Bookkeeper and Financial Planning Manager. MAPS PBC is hiring a Clinical Study Assistant and Clinical Research Associate. You can support MAPS by referring qualified applicants to our open positions.
Thank you to Dr. Bronner’s for their company’s support of the MAPS Newsletter!