MAPS Email Newsletter:
Doors Open for LSD Research;
Obama Still Blocking Medical Marijuana
March 7, 2014
Dear friends and supporters,
Sometimes history progresses slowly, and sometimes it takes a massive leap. Most of the time, it does both.
On Tuesday, March 4, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease published online the results of our completed study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety in subjects with advanced-stage illness, the first study of the therapeutic use of LSD in over 40 years. That same day, The New York Times explained how results like these are helping bring psychedelic research “back into the fold of mainstream psychiatry.”
Ironically, meanwhile we’ve been waiting almost 4½ months for the Public Health Service to review our planned study of marijuana for PTSD in U.S. veterans. “Given the dramatic move in public opinion in support of medical marijuana programs, medical marijuana research, and marijuana legalization,” wrote MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin in his February 13 letter. “Can you help me understand why the Obama administration still insists on obstructing medical marijuana research?” We have still received no response.
In the March 2014 edition of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter, you’ll also learn:
- Two more subjects are treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in U.S. veterans, firefighters, and police officers
- Our new study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults is officially initiated
- Our work receives widespread media coverage in Forbes, TIME, MSNBC, High Times, and more…
- Save 25-50% on selected books and DVDs in the MAPS Store Spring Sale
More than 67,000 people are staying informed and connected on Facebook, and over 13,000 have joined us on Twitter. Over 160 videos are available on our YouTube channel, and be sure to check out reddit for breaking news.
Major foundations and government agencies have not yet decided to fund our work, so all of our current and future successes are made possible only through your support. Help spread the word—share this newsletter with anyone who may want to learn about our mission.
MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing
- U.S. Veterans: 15th and 16th Subjects Treated with MDMA-Assisted Therapy
- Canada: Institutional Review Board Approves Protocol Amendment
- Switzerland: Results Published in Journal of Nervous Mental Disease
- Study Initiation Takes Place at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute
Doblin to HHS: When Will You Stop Obstructing FDA-Approved Marijuana Research?
- FDA Sends Pre-Inactivation Letter after Three Years Waiting for Marijuana for Study
- From the Department of Gratitude and Generosity
- The New York Times, Forbes, TIME, and more…
- LSD: My Problem Child by Albert Hofmann (autographed original hardcover)
- MAPS Store Spring Sale
- Online Benefit Auction Starts April 10
- Exploring Psychedelic Medicines: April 22, Vancouver, Canada
- Neurons to Nirvana Film Premiere and Discussion: March 13, San Francisco, CA
- TEDxSantaCruz: March 8, Santa Cruz, CA
- Pathway to Reform: March 20, Auckland, New Zealand
- Adventures in Self-Discovery: 5-Part Video Webinar from Grof Transpersonal Training
Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Therapy
LSD-Assisted Therapy for Anxiety
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
Medical Marijuana Research
TREATING PTSD WITH MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
On February 21, 2014, the 15th subject was treated in our ongoing study in 24 U.S. veterans, fire fighters, and police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. The 16th subject was enrolled on February 17, and received his first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment on February 24. Both of these subjects have also enrolled in our new physiological effects sub-study, which will measure the physiological effects of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy using heart rate variability (HRV) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and explore correlations with clinical outcomes. Learn more…
$1,376,000 estimated study cos • $1,027,000 raised • $349,000 still needed
2. Canada: Institutional Review Board Approves Protocol Amendment
On February 14, 2014, the Institutional Review Board approved an amendment to our ongoing Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The amended protocol, which includes changes to the MDMA dose condition, was submitted to Health Canada for review on February 14, and to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on February 6. Subjects are now being screened for this study. Learn more…
$587,000 estimated study cost • $16,000 raised • $571,000 still needed
Learn more about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on or at mdmaptsd.org.
“That’s why I started MAPS in ’86,” MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., tells Reason.tv. “The drug war is too powerful, but maybe through science and medicine we can make some progress.” Watch now…
LSD-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR ANXIETY
On March 4, 2014, the results of our completed study of the therapeutic use of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to treat anxiety associated with advanced-stage illness were published online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. This is the first study of the therapeutic use of LSD in humans in over 40 years. The double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot stu
dy in 12 subjects found statistically significant reductions in trait anxiety following two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions. The results also indicate that LSD-assisted psychotherapy can be safely administered in these subjects, and justify further research. Eleven of the 12 subjects had never used LSD previously. “The study was a success in the sense that we did not have any noteworthy adverse effects,” reports Principal Investigator Peter Gasser, M.D.. “All participants reported a personal benefit from the treatment, and the effects were stable over time.” Download the paper | Learn more….
This study has been fully funded.
Case reports suggest that MDMA-assisted therapy may help reduce social anxiety in autistic adults. Watch the video…
MDMA-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY IN AUTISTIC ADULTS
From February 7-10, 2014, the official study initiation visit for our new study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults took place at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. MAPS Clinical Research Scientist Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., and Clinical Study Assistant Ben Shechet met with the research team, conducted a thorough review of the protocol and subject informed consent forms, conducted a compounding and encapsulation training with the research pharmacy, evaluated the study facilities, helped set up the treatment room, and met with site staff. Led by Charles Grob, M.D., and Alicia Danforth, Ph.D., the goal of this study is to enhance functional skills in autistic adults, an underserved group which tends to experience greater anxiety, depression, and victimization than typically developing adults. Learn more...
$311,000 estimated study cost • $1,000 raised by MAPS • $15,000 raised by partners • $295,000 still needed
Will the Obama administration stop standing in the way of medical marijuana research? Learn more in the Winter 2013 MAPS Bulletin.
Learn about our current Funding Priorities.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA RESEARCH
As of March 7, 2014, MAPS has been waiting for almost 4½ months for the Public Health Service (PHS) to review our Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in 50 U.S. veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. On February 13, 2013, MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., once again contacted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reminding the agency that how mcuh time had passed since we resubmitted the protocol. “Given the dramatic move in public opinion in support of medical marijuana programs, medical marijuana research, and marijuana legalization,” Doblin writes, “Can you help me understand why the Obama Administration still insists on obstructing medical marijuana research?” Read the entire letter to HHS | Learn more...
$10,000 needed for protocol development and approval • $10,000 raised
Over three years ago, on December 15, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the protocol for our planned study of marijuana for PTSD in U.S. veterans, pending information about the source of the marijuana to be used in the study. In their January 27, 2014, pre-inactivation letter, the FDA asked MAPS to respond within 30 days if we still wished to proceed with the study. In his February 17 response, MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., wrote, “We still do plan on responding to the clinical hold deficiencies but we can’t say exactly when we will have located a supply of marijuana for the study.” On March 5, the FDA informed MAPS that our IND will remain active for another year.
In February 2014, MAPS received $300,192 in contributions from 171 donors. Richard Rockefeller gave the first $200,000 of his five-year, $1 million pledge for our MDMA drug development research. Board Member Robert Barnhart gave $29,310 in general support. Anton Bilton gave his second $25,000 for our veterans study in Charleston, SC. We also received an anonymous donation of $20,000 to help develop MDMA into a prescription treatment for PTSD, and John Buchanan gave $4,000 for publishing a new book of essays by Stanislav Grof. The Michael & Anita Siegal Family Foundation gave $4,000 for our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study for PTSD in Israel. Ben Warner contributed $1,500, and Alexander Banach gave $1,000 in general support for MAPS’ research and education programs. Google Match gave $969 to match gifts from employees. 153 people additionally gave from $1 to $999 for a total of $5,612, showing the breadth of support that exists for psychedelic and medical marijuana science. Nine people gave to two of our fiscally sponsored projects: Bluelight ($2,800) and the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council ($6,000). Thank you for helping build a world where psychedelics and marijuana can be used safely and legally for healing and growth.
PRESS RELEASE: LSD Study Breaks 40 Years of Research Taboo | view
MAPS | March 4, 2014
PRESS RELEASE: Public Health Service Blocking Medical Marijuana Research for PTSD | view
MAPS | February 21, 2014
The New York Times: LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy | view
Benedict Carey | March 4, 2014
MSNBC: Challenge Everything You Know About Drugs | watch
Chris Hayes | March 5, 2014
TIME: LSD Therapy Lowers Anxiety, Study Finds | view
Alexandra Sifferlin | March 4, 2014
Forbes: Reclassifying Marijuana Could Have A Significant Impact On Drug Policy | view
Jacob Sullum | February 7, 2014
AlterNet: Psychedelic Science Org’s 14-Year Headache Trying to Buy Pot From Feds | view
April M. Short | February 28, 2014
High Times: Feds Won’t Supply Pot for PTSD Research | view
Mike Adams | February 24, 2014
O’Shaughnessy’s: NIH Director Francis Collins—Ignorant, Dishonest, or Both? | view
Fred Gardner | March 1, 2014
Reason.tv: How Ecstasy Is Helping People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder | watch
Paul Feine and Alex Manning | March 4, 2014
Intellectual Gentlemen’s Club: Interview with Veteran Tim Amoroso | listen
Jason Abbott and Matt Abbott | February 13, 2014
Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
by Albert Hofmann, Ph.D.
209 pages | McGraw-Hill | First printing (1980)
For a limited time, MAPS is offering this rare title with proceeds benefiting psychedelic research and education. Each book is signed by LSD discoverer Albert Hofmann and original translator Jonathan Ott. More than 70 years after the birth of Albert Hofmann’s problem child, his vision of its true potential is more relevant—and more needed—than ever.
$1,000 | Limited Quantity Available
Save 25-50% on selected books and DVDs in the MAPS Store until April 20. Now is the time to fill those holes in your psychedelic and marijuana research library!
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:
- Signed lithograph series by Salvador Dalí
- Dinner with MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D.
- Signed glassware from the laboratory of Sasha Shulgin
- Signed portrait of Albert Hoffman by Alex Grey
- and much more…
Keep an eye out in the next few weeks as we release the extensive auction item listing on eBay, and get ready to bid! Do you care to donate an item, experience, or service to the auction? Contact Brian Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and sponsorship opportunities.
All purchases from the MAPS Store support our research and education projects.
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). Learn more…
Neurons to Nirvana is a feature documentary about the resurgence of psychedelics as medicine. The film will be followed by a Q&A with ayahuasca researcher Bia Labate, Virginia Wright of MAPS, MDMA researcher Dr. Phil Wolfson, and Psychedelic Society of San Francisco founder Daniel Jabbour. Register…
Join Virginia Wright of MAPS at TEDx Santa Cruz on March 8, 2014, for her presentation about the connection between drug policy and medical research. The event features a full day of exhilarating live talks, TED videos, and a delicious lunch served poolside at the Hotel Paradox. Buy tickets…
Pathway to Reform is a unique opportunity to hear how New Zealand became the first country to regulate the “legal highs” industry and where it is going from here. International speakers include Amanda Feilding of the Beckley Foundation, Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, and Rick Doblin of MAPS. Buy tickets…
View our Event Calendar for more upcoming events.
Grof Transpersonal Training invitse you to join world-famous transpersonal teacher Stanislav Grof for this presentation of his life’s work. This special event will be an opportunity to learn from one of the most influential and respected teachers of transpersonal psychology, consciousness, and spirituality. The five-part series starts Saturday, March 8th with a free introductory session. Early Bird discount available until March 11. Sign up…
Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out our Student Resources page!