First Controlled Trial of Cannabis for the Treatment of PTSD Raises No Safety Concerns, Further Research is Needed to Determine Efficacy
MAPS Bulletin: Winter 2021 now available online and celebrating 35 years of psychedelic science this April
March 29, 2021
Dear friends and supporters,
On March 17, a peer-reviewed paper in PLOS ONE analysed the results of the MAPS-sponsored study of the short-term impact of 3 smoked cannabis preparations versus placebo on PTSD symptoms. The study was funded by a $2.2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to MAPS. Though no statistically significant difference was shown between the groups, all showed improvement in PTSD symptoms during treatment with the THC group having the largest response. Read the press release here and learn more about the study.
We’re excited to share that the MAPS Bulletin: Winter 2021 was published this month! This edition of the MAPS Bulletin features all new articles including our latest research updates, MAPS mentions in major media, the Zendo Project’s initiatives to integrate peer support into the community, health equity, drug policy, and Ask MAPS Anything. The triannual MAPS Bulletin is a crucial part of our work to educate the public and encourage scientific research into the safest and most beneficial ways to use psychedelics. The Bulletin is mailed to members who donate $50 or more per year ($70 international).
Stay tuned to this newsletter for upcoming announcements about other MAPS-hosted virtual psychedelic events including the return of Bicycle Night on April 19 and our next webinar series.
New merch is now available in the MAPS Store! For the first time ever, MAPS stickers are available to purchase in a pack so that you can proudly spread the word about psychedelic science! We’ve also stocked new shirts, hats, windbreakers, tote bags, pins, and more!
Shop using AmazonSmile to donate a portion of your purchase price to MAPS at no extra cost to you! We are humbled to share that we received a check for $7,334.57 for the last quarter. This brings our AmazonSmile contributions to a total of $60,000 to date. Thank you to everyone who shops with MAPS in mind! You can sign up to support us by clicking this link.
New job opportunities are available with MAPS, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), and MAPS Europe! We’re seeking candidates to join our team including Director of Development and Fundraising, and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Director, Senior Accountant, and Payroll and Benefits Administrator. MAPS PBC is hiring a Regulatory Medical Writer, Research Site Coordinator, Regulatory Publishing Specialist, Associate Director of Clinical Operations, and many more. MAPS Europe is hiring an Independent Rater.
We are still seeking research volunteers for Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. Trials are recruiting in Charleston, South Carolina; Boulder, Colorado; Fort Collins, Colorado; Boston, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; Madison, Wisconsin; San Francisco, California; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Volunteers will help contribute to scientific knowledge and will help us better understand if MDMA-assisted therapy works for treatment of PTSD. MAPS conducts clinical trials under the guidance and regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with 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.
In this edition of the MAPS Newsletter, you’ll also learn:
- Send your name submissions for our brand new membership program completing our short survey. The person who submits the winning name of the membership program will receive a special prize!
- Fireside Project’s Psychedelic Speed Dial campaign has begun! Save the phone number 6-2FIRESIDE (623-473-7433) to your contact list now to utilize Fireside Project’s psychedelic support services in the future.
- The first study investigating MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for alcohol use disorder (AUD) was published by United Kingdom researchers in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
We’re pleased to share alternative ways to donate to MAPS! MAPS currently accepts donations in cryptocurrency including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Monero.
Be sure to share the MAPS Newsletter with your friends!
MAPS Web and Email Marketing Associate
Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Therapy
A Multi-Site Open-Label Extension Study of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD
This multi-site open-label study assesses the efficacy and safety of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy in participants who were enrolled in a parent study for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). On February 12, 2021, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) in the United States received the protocol submission for our multi-site open-label study assessing the efficacy and safety of MDMA-assisted therapy in participants diagnosed with at least severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). On the same day, the Canadian IRB approved the protocol submission for the study site in Montreal. The study has been reviewed by the US FDA and Health Canada and cleared as safe to proceed. The study will be conducted in up to 100 participants. Participants in the two parent Phase 3 trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy who did not receive MDMA and who meet all other entry criteria will be eligible and invited to participate in this open-label safety extension study. Participants who are eligible for this study will be contacted by the study site when the site is enrolling.
Phase 3 Trials of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD: Seeking Research Volunteers
We are currently seeking research volunteers for our second Phase 3 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. Volunteers will help contribute to scientific knowledge and will help us better understand if MDMA-assisted therapy works for treatment of PTSD. MAPS conducts clinical trials under the guidance and regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with 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.
We are recruiting participants in the following locations:
- Los Angeles, California, United States
- San Francisco, California, United States (Private Practice)
- San Francisco, California, United States (Institution)
- Charleston, South Carolina, United States
- Boulder, Colorado, United States
- Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
- Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- New York, New York, United States (Institution)
- New York, New York, United States (Private Practice)
- Madison, Wisconsin, United States
- Be’er Ya’akov, Israel
Not yet recruiting:
- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Tel Aviv, Israel
MDMA Therapy Training Program Update: March 2021
The MDMA Therapy Training Program is completing our redesign of training curriculum, and we are excited to re-open admissions to the MDMA Therapy Training Program and launch our first training for 2021 in the Summer. This 100-hour program consists of live presentations, video case presentations, roleplay, scenario enactments, self-reflection activities, group and dyad activities, reading, writing, coursework, and creative projects. Small groups, facilitated by MAPS Trainers, meet regularly throughout the program and provide a container for discussion, integration, process, and practice. Trainers and assistants are available to support trainees throughout the program.
The MDMA Therapy Training Program is committed to addressing mental health disparities in psychedelic psychotherapy as well as trauma treatment, especially those facing marginalized communities. In a commitment to address the current lack of diversity in psychedelic research, qualified clinicians from and serving communities of color, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, military populations, and other marginalized or underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply. Thanks to the MAPS Health Equity Fund, the MDMA Therapy Training Program is able to offer a scholarship program to train therapists who identify as Indigenous, Black, all people of color, those who come from refugee or immigrant communities, as well as trans and non-binary practitioners.
The Health Equity Fund scholarship program offers full and partial (50%) scholarships toward tuition fees for the MDMA Therapy Training Program.
To learn more about the MDMA Therapy Training Program including dates and details for our Summer training, please visit our website. To receive updates on upcoming trainings and training program admissions, sign up for the MDMA Therapy Training Program Newsletter.• Learn More
February 2021 Giving Report: MAPS Raises Over $392,000 for Psychedelic Research and Education
In February 2021, we raised $392,256 in donations and pledges from over 950 supporters. Of this amount, $380,896 is for general support; $10,000 is for Health Equity; $500 is for a psychedelic conflict resolution study of Israelis and Palestinians doing ayahuasca together; $413 is for MDMA-related projects; $250 is for ibogaine research; and $198 for psychedelic harm reduction and peer support.
We extend a special thank you to our monthly donors who contributed a total of $22,314 in February. Your support is vital in making MAPS’ programs sustainable.
In addition to the funds raised in February, we gained support from 9 individuals in the form of a planned gift or bequest to MAPS. These planned gifts were made with the help of FreeWill, a free online tool that allows US-based individuals to plan a legacy gift for the non-profit of their choosing.
MAPS is honored to support a number of like-minded organizations by providing fiscal sponsorship so that contributions for their social benefit projects consistent with MAPS’ mission may be tax-deductible as allowed by law. An additional $66,898 was raised by organizations that MAPS fiscally sponsors including: Ayahuasca Diaries ($30,000); Enthea ($25,000); Instituto Phaneros ($10,000); Psychedelic Integration Esalen ($1,000); Ayahuasca Foundation ($250); Somatic Center Portland ($200); Bluelight ($126); Psychedelic Seminars ($125); From Shock To Awe ($100); Better Living Through Chemistry ($50); ICEERS ($20); MAPS Canada ($20); The Psychedelic Renaissance ($5); and Kahpi ($2).
We appreciate donations of any size and are particularly grateful to the following supporters for their generous contributions of $1,000 or more:
Joichi Ito ($10,000)
Craig Cunningham ($7,500)
Maxx Mannheimer ($5,000)
Nick Sullivan ($5,000)
Ron and Susie Codd ($5,000)
John Buchanan ($2,500)
Manatt, Phelps, and Phillips LLP ($1,500)
Angela Gu ($1,000)
Jeffry Pearl ($1,000)
Jiri Techet ($1,000)
John D’Orazio ($1,000)
Jonathan Mahaffy ($1,000)
Marc Ortiz ($1,000)
Nicholas Newman ($1,000)
Tanny Keeler ($1,000)
Fred J. Brotherton Charitable Foundation ($10,000)
Fiscal Sponsorship Grantees
Stephanie Ansin and Spencer Stewart ($30,000) – Ayahuasca Diaries
Shelby Clark ($25,000) – Enthea
Patrick Brett ($10,000) – Instituto Phaneros
Laura Lochrane ($1,000) – Psychedelic Integration (Esalen)
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 therapy 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.
MAPS, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), and MAPS Europe are currently hiring!
- Chief of Staff to the Deputy Director
- Director of Development and Fundraising
- Full Charge Bookkeeper
- Senior Accountant
- Payroll and Benefits Administrator
- Associate Director of Clinical Operations
- Associate Director of Quality Assurance
- Clinical Supervision Program Manager
- Regulatory Medical Writer
- Research Site Coordinator
San Francisco, California
- Risk Management Program Associate (Temp)
San Francisco, California
- Senior HR Manager – Temporary
- Study Coordinator
Los Angeles, California
- Independent Rater
Policy and Advocacy
Drug Policy Reform Bills Introduced in Multiple States
In February, New Jersey reduced criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of psilocybin, as well as legalized cannabis. The MAPS Policy and Advocacy team has been working closely with California Senator Scott Wiener, who introduced Senate Bill 519 (“SB519”) to decriminalize the personal possession, personal use, and social sharing of certain psychedelic substances. See MAPS’ press release here.
Drug policy reform bills have been introduced in a number of other states as well, including Massachusetts, Washington, Texas, and Missouri. Introduced bills include a range of approaches to drug policy including establishing committees to gather information on potential regulatory schemes applicable to psychedelic substances, creating therapeutic access to certain substances through state “right to try” systems or clinical research processes, reducing criminal penalties for possession and use of certain substances, and/or elimination of criminal penalties for some or all substances.
Drug policy reform initiatives and medicalization processes are shifting the prevalence and content of the social narrative about psychedelics. As a result, propertization and commercialization approaches to psychedelics have become topics of much discussion. A number of legal professionals and psychedelic business watchers have taken note of a potential trend in patent applications towards the inclusion or direct focus on products and services related to psychedelics. Read more about this in this article and get a glimpse at perspective from MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., on the role of patenting in the psychedelic market in this Twitter thread.
MAPS in the Media
MAPS in the Media:
- MAPS Press Release: First Controlled Trial of Cannabis for the Treatment of PTSD Raises No Safety Concerns, Further Research is Needed to Determine Efficacy
- March 17, 2021
- Marianne Williamson Podcast: Psychedelics and Spirituality with Rick Doblin, Ph.D.
- March 11, 2021
- Stanford Social Innovation Review: The Psychedelic Revolution in Mental Health
- March 21, 2021
- Wall Street Journal: Could Group Therapy Get a Boost From Psychedelics?
- March 10, 2021
- TED Radio Hour on NPR: Rick Doblin: How Can We Use Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy To Treat Trauma?
- March 19, 2021
- Bialik Breakdown: Overcome Trauma: MDMA, PTSD and Our Ability to Heal
- March 16, 2021
- Boston Globe: A Long, Strange Trip to the Mainstream for Psychedelics
- March 12, 2021
- New Age Of Psychedelics: Science, Trauma, and Treatment
- March 10, 2021
- Clinical Trial Podcast: Psychedelic Clinical Trials with Rebecca Matthews
- February 28, 2021
- Lucid News: CryptoPsychedelic Conferences Examine Links Between Psychedelics and Blockchain Technology
- March 4, 2021
Proudly show your support for psychedelic science and harm reduction by shopping our new MAPS apparel and accessories in the MAPS Store! Featuring new t-shirts, eco-fleece hoodies, stickers, hats, pins, eye masks, tote bags, and more.• Buy Now
Browse our Event Calendar page for more opportunities.
Sacred Plants in the Americas II: Global Psychedelic Summit, April 23-24, 2021, Online
This global virtual summit will bring together Indigenous leaders from throughout North, Central and South America as well as researchers, practitioners, community builders and other experts from around the world. We will discuss the potential benefits and harms of the globalization of psychedelic plant medicines and explore how we can offer reciprocity to honor the Indigenous cultures and traditions that these medicines come from. It is vital that members of the psychedelic community help support Indigenous groups and the traditional spiritual and ecological knowledge they preserve and practice. • Learn More
Polaris Insight Center: Trainings for Clinicians, December 2020 – June 2021, San Francisco, California
Polaris Insight Center provides didactic, experiential, and residential trainings in ketamine-assisted therapy. These programs are designed to provide interested physicians, psychologists, therapists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals with principles and procedures of KAP and how to use ketamine in combination with psychotherapy in a clinical setting. • Learn More
CryptoPsychedelic Summit Flashback, April 11, 2021, Online
On February 3, 2018, the world-bridging CryptoPsychedelic Summit brought leaders in blockchain and psychedelic science together to the gorgeous beaches of Tulum, Mexico. Three years later, we’ll be streaming for the first time the 2018 Tulum videos and bringing back panelists to reflect on what remains true and what’s changed. This event takes place in 3 parts, featuring all 6 panels from Tulum and 3 live reflection + Q&A sessions. • 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 MDMA/PTSD trial participant enrollment is now open. Please bookmark our Participate in Research page and check it frequently for updates.
Fireside Project: Psychedelic Speed Dial Campaign
Fireside Project’s Psychedelic Speed Dial campaign has begun! Save the phone number 6-2FIRESIDE (623-473-7433) to your contact list now in case you want to utilize Fireside Project’s psychedelic support services in the future. The free, confidential support line will launch on April 14, offering peer support by phone, text, and live chat.
From March 14 to April 14, share 6-2FIRESIDE on social media with the hashtag #62FIRESIDE or email a screenshot of the number saved in your phone to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By sharing 6-2FIRESIDE on social media, you could win giveaways like organic body care products from Dr. Bronner’s, psychedelic art from Android Jones, Simon Haiduk, Paul Lewin, Mugwort Designs, Adam Rubin, Michelle Anderst, and Eric Nez, a special recording from Desert Dwellers, private DJ shows by Manic Focus and divaDanielle, psychedelic books from Synergetic Press, and more! You can use these ready-made social media graphics for your platforms.
Thank you to Dr. Bronner’s for their company’s support of the MAPS Newsletter!