MAPS Email Newsletter:
Rick Doblin on CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta;
Crowdfunding Campaign Raises Over $100K
September 13, 2014
Sanjay Gupta, MD of CNN interviews MAPS founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and Acid Test author Tom Shroder on Saturday, September 13. Watch now…
Whether you’ve just signed up for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter, or whether you’ve been helping us grow since our founding in 1986, thank you for being part of the change.
The ongoing momentum of our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy crowdfunding campaign, which has raised over $100,000 (double our original goal) from over 1,000 funders, speaks for itself. Public support has never been stronger for research to develop psychedelics and marijuana into legal prescription treatments. The campaign continues through September 25. Update: Campaign extended to October 9!
As our international research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) advances, we’re simultaneously developing new indications to expand the future use of MDMA in therapy. The first two subjects have been treated in our new study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults, and the protocol for our upcoming study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness has been submitted to the first reviewers.
On August 9, The New York Times reported on federal barriers to marijuana drug development research in the United States, focusing on MAPS and Dr. Sue Sisley’s efforts to start our Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trial of marijuana for U.S. veterans with PTSD: “Medical Marijuana Research Hits Wall of U.S. Law.”
Also in the September 2014 edition of the MAPS Email Newsletter:
- Scientific American writes that “Psychedelic drugs are poised to be the next major breakthrough in mental health care”
- Learn about all our work in the Summer 2014 MAPS Bulletin: Research Edition, now available online and arriving soon in subscriber mailboxes
- Join us for upcoming events this fall in New York, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Calif., and around the world
- MAPS receives the most donations we’ve ever received in a single month due to the success of our ongoing crowdfunding campaign
Stay connected—we post daily on Facebook (with 111,000 Likes and counting), Twitter, and reddit, and hundreds of videos are available on our YouTube channel.
It’s an honor to share so many successes with you, since all of our work is made possible only with your support. Whether you contribute by making a donation or just sharing this newsletter with a friend, you’re helping find a new place for psychedelics and marijuana in science, medicine, and spirituality.
MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing
Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Therapy
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Anxiety Associated with Life-Threatening Illness
Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy Perks
- BOOK LAUNCH: Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal: September 24, San Francisco, CA
- Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy: Dinner and Acid Test Author Reception: October 11, New York, NY
- Transforming Medicine: The Role of MDMA in Mental Health Care: October 23, Palo Alto, CA
- MDMA Therapy: Treating Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: November 13, Los Angeles, CA
- Psymposia: September 13, Boston, MA
- World Ayahuasca Conference: September 25-27, Ibiza, Spain
- Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference & Lobby Day: September 26-29, Arlington, VA
- Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics: October 10-12, New York, NY
- Science and Nonduality Conference: The Entanglement of Life: Oct 22-28 2014, San Jose, CA
- Expanding & Reenchanting the Psyche: Honoring Stan Grof: October 24-25, San Francisco, CA
- Spirit Plant Medicine Conference: October 24-26, Vancouver, Canada
- BOOK LAUNCH: Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond: October 15, Vancouver, BC and October 16, San Francisco, CA
TREATING PTSD WITH MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
1. U.S. Veterans (South Carolina): 20th Subject Enrolled and Treated; Funding Completed
On August 26, 2014, the 20th subject was treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for 24 U.S. veterans, firefighters, and police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. This subject was enrolled on August 12, and is the first police officer enrolled in the study. In just 16 days, over 800 funders helped us reach our $50,000 goal for our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy crowdfunding campaign (ongoing through September 25), completing our multi-year, $1.38 million fundraising effort for this study. “I really did find the healing that I needed for the combat experiences that I went through during my very first session,” says Iraq veteran and study participant Nicholas Blackston in the campaign video. “It just helped me go so much deeper within my consciousness. I accepted that part of myself that I had cut off.” Learn more…
$1,382,000 estimated study cost • $1,382,000 raised • This study has been fully funded
2. Boulder: 11th Subject Treated; One More Enrolled; IRB Approves Protocol Amendment
The treatment room for our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, Colorado.
On August 15, 2014, the 11th subject was treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD for 23 subjects with PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, war, natural disasters, or any other cause, taking place in Boulder, Colorado. The 12th subject was enrolled on August 5. • All funds contributed to our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign above $50,000 will pay for costs associated with this study, including over 200 experimental and non-drug preparatory and integrative psychotherapy sessions; customizing the treatment room; storing and preparing the MDMA; training therapists; and gathering, monitoring, and analyzing the data. • On August 18, an amendment to the study was submitted to the Institutional Review Board, and was approved on August 28. The amendment adds greater variability in dosing options for subjects’ unblinded sessions, giving subjects randomly assigned to the 100mg condition for their first two sessions the option of requesting either a 100mg or 125mg dose for their third experimental session. “The first two treatments with 100mg felt like I helped the medicine help me,” reported one participant. “With the 125mg, the medicine was right there to help and hold me. It held me and supported me doing my work.” Learn more…
$711,000 estimated study cost • $260,000 raised • $451,000 still needed
The MAPS Bulletin: Summer 2014 Research Edition is now available online.
3. Canada: Subject Screening Begins
On September 2, 2014, the first potential subjects were screened for our Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Led by Principal Investigator Ingrid Pacey, M.D., and co-therapists Donna Dryer, M.D., and Richard Yensen , Ph.D., in Vancouver, B.C., this study will treat up to 12 subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD from any cause. On August 12, the study was highlighted in an article on Canada.com. MAPS is sponsoring this study in association with MAPS Canada, the first and only Canadian organization dedicated to psychedelic research and education, now able to receive tax-deductible contributions in Canada. “After an incredibly long process of study approval and start-up, it is wonderful to see all of our hard work come to fruition,” said Amy Emerson, MAPS Director of Clinical Research. “The addition of this study team will give us experience with a new therapy team and a chance to compare with results from our other studies.” Learn more…
$419,000 estimated study cost • $48,000 raised + $3,500 raised by partners • $367,500 still needed
Learn more about treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy at mdmaptsd.org.
MDMA-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY IN AUTISTIC ADULTS
4. Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: First and Second Subjects Treated
On August 9 and 16, 2014, the first and second subjects were treated in our new study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in adults on the autism spectrum. This exploratory pilot study in 12 subjects will focus on enhancing functional skills and quality of life in autistic adults with social anxiety, and is being conducted in affiliation with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. “After years of planning and months of logistics preparation, we are excited that the first part of the study has flowed smoothly for the first two participants,” reports co-investigator Alicia Danforth, Ph.D. “Early indications suggest that our team has created a comfortable and supportive setting for this work, and the steady pace of enrollment so far has been inspiring.” Learn more | Donate to this study
$320,000 estimated study cost • $1,000 raised + $15,000 raised by partners • $304,000 still needed
Learn more at mdma-autism.org.
MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR ANXIETY
5. Marin, Calif.: Study Protocol Submitted to IRB and RAP-C
On August 6, 2014, the protocol for our new study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness was submitted to the Institutional Review Board. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study, located in Marin, Calif., will gather preliminary data about the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety in 18 subjects diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Principal Investigator Phil Wolfson, M.D., is a currently practicing psychiatrist with substantial experience using MDMA in psychotherapy before MDMA was criminalized in 1985. On August 21, the protocol was submitted for review to the Research Advisory Panel of California. On September 5, the IRB gave conditional approval for the study, pending one final point related to subject privacy. Once this final discussion with the IRB has been completed, the protocol will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration for review. Read Dr. Wolfson’s published 1986 article on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Download the protocol…
$582,000 estimated study cost • $120,000 raised • $462,000 still needed
6. Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy Campaign Raises $100,000 (and Counting)
On August 11, we launched our boldest crowdfunding campaign yet. In just 16 days, our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign on Indiegogo reached our ambitious $50,000 goal to complete funding for the world’s largest-ever clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The campaign, which has already raised over $100,000 from more than 1,000 funders, continues through September 25 Update: Campaign extended to October 9!. All funds contributed above $50,000 will pay for costs associated with our secon
d-largest study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, located in Boulder, Colorado. We still need $498,000 of the total cost of $711,000 to complete this study, which is now treating 23 subjects with PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, war, natural disasters, or any other cause, and is an essential part of our plan to make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy a legal treatment by 2021.
- A $10,000 matching donation from Neurons to Nirvana producer Mangu.TV, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, and Sir Ivan and his Peaceman Foundation was met in just 28 hours by 101 funders
- A second $10,000 match from Mr. René Ruiz and Dr. Susan Ruiz, MAPS Board Member Robert Barnhart, and an anonymous donor was met in less than 36 hours by 131 funders
- An anonymous funder donated $10,000 on September 2
- Since the campaign launched, 31 donors have contributed 2.611 bitcoins (BTC) to MAPS, valued at $1,305.83
Every gift and every share helps—thank you for helping transform medicine!
Help us make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines—donate today!
7. With the Help of Our Friends
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD researchers Dr. Michael Mithoefer and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., filming in Dallas for the upcoming documentary The Starck Project.
In August 2014, 998 people donated $139,784 to support MAPS! Due to of the phenomenal success of our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy crowdfunding campaign, we broke our record for the number of donations made in one month. In August, 755 people contributed $50,000 in USD and bitcoin (BTC), completing our five-year, $1.38 million fundraising effort to fund our study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in veterans and first responders. Thank you also to the 60 people who contributed to our study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, Colorado. Our gratitude also goes out to five individuals who gave to our new Canadian MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD study, our Zendo Project psychedelic harm reduction services, and our study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD. This month’s donors who gave over $1,000 include: Frederick Gross, Maria Dines, Peter Taubkin, Aaron Loehr, Sir Ivan and his Peaceman Foundation (all $1,000); Robert Barnhart, Highfield Foundation, and Anonymous ($2,500) David Bronner ($4,000), John Berg, Mr. René Ruiz and Dr. Susan Ruiz, and Neurons to Nirvana producer Mangu.TV (all $5,000). We also send our huge thanks to Philip Payson, who fulfilled a pledge of a planned gift from his mother’s estate ($53,442). • We’re doing great, and we still need to raise another $1.6 million this fiscal year (ending May 31, 2015). Please ask your friends to support MAPS! Together we are making the world a better place by developing mind-manifesting drugs into prescription medicines, and by helping people think about psychedelics as tools for spiritual growth and cultural healing. Thank you!
Learn about our Funding Priorities.
8. The New York Times, Scientific American, Washington Post, and more…
FEATURED PRESS RELEASE: Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy Crowdfunding Campaign Exceeds $50,000 Goal in 16 Days | view
MAPS | September 4, 2014
FEATURED The New York Times: Medical Marijuana Research Hits Wall of U.S. Law | view
Serge F. Kovaleski | August 9, 2014
FEATURED The Washington Post: Book Review: ‘Acid Test,’ On Psychedelic Drug Therapy For PTSD, By Tom Shroder | view
Gregory Crouch | September 11, 2014
FEATURED Scientific American: Psychedelic Drugs Hold Medical Promise | view
Roni Jacobson | August 14, 2014
The Guardian: A Brief History of Psychedelic Psychiatry | view
Mo Costandi | September 2, 2014
San Francisco Weekly: MDMA, M.D.: MDMA Heals Veterans’ PTSD. Now It’s Got to Find a Way Into Pharmacies | view
Chris Roberts | August 26, 2014
Phoenix New Times: Weeded Out: How the U of A Fired Pot Researcher Sue Sisley After a State Senator Complained | view
Ray Stern | September 10, 2014
Arizona Daily Wildcat: Former UA Professor Looks For New Place To Conduct Research | view
Ariella Noth | September 9, 2014
Reset.me: Psilocybin and MDMA Therapy Explained by Dr. Alicia Danforth | view
Amber Lyon | August 29, 2014
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: U. of Arizona Prof’s Marijuana Study Remains in Limbo | view
Susan Kruth | August 12, 2014
Toronto Star: Music Festivals Need Better Strategies For Party Drugs, Health Advocates Say | view
Brian Platt | August 9, 2014
PRESS RELEASE: Mother Launches Campaign to Amend the RAVE Act | view
Dede Goldsmith | September 10, 2014
Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
LEGALIZING PSYCHEDELIC THERAPY PERKS
Proudly display your support with a limited edition yellow brass Healing Hands pendant featuring the MAPS “Healing Hands” logo. These elegant and enduring treasures are handcrafted with love by Earthwing exclusively for this campaign. Approximately 30mm in diameter.
These are only available as Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign Perks for all gifts $125 and above.
10. Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal by Tom Shroder
Hardcover | 432 pages | Blue Rider Press
Released September 9, 2014
Available as a Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign Perk for most gifts $50 and above
Read praise and reviews on the MAPS Store. Also available on the MAPS Store.
All purchases from the MAPS Store support psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.
11. BOOK LAUNCH: Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal: Lecture and Book Signing with Author Tom Shroder: September 24, San Francisco, CA
Provocative, informative, and wildly entertaining, Acid Test is a timely and controversial take on the potential psychedelic renaissance that is changing lives, clinical trial by clinical trial. Register online | RSVP on Facebook
12. Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy: Dinner and Acid Test Author Reception: October 11, New York, NY
Join MAPS for an evening in the West Village during the Horizons conference with award-winning journalist and Acid Test author Tom Shroder, and Iraq veteran and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study participant Nicholas Blackston. Enjoy good food, fine wine, warm hospitality, and the company of other visionary thinkers in an intimate venue. Space is limited and tickets are selling fast. Register online… | Tickets available as Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign Perks
13. Transforming Medicine: The Role of MDMA in Mental Health Care: October 23, Palo Alto CA
Join us for the opening of the new MAPS satellite office at Sofia University in Palo Alto! Bring a friend and enjoy a catered reception and presentations by MAPS founder and executive director Rick Doblin Ph.D., and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD investigators Dr. Michael Mithoefer and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N. Register online…
14. MDMA Therapy: Novel Approaches to Treating Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: November 13, Los Angeles, CA
Come learn about our new study investigating the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of social anxiety in adults on the autism spectrum. The goal of this study is to determine if MDMA-assisted therapy can safely and effectively enhance functional skills in autistic adults. Join us for an evening with presentations from the researchers followed by a catered reception with researchers, MAPS founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and MAPS staff. Register online…
15. Psymposia: September 13, Boston, MA
From unique individual stories to informative talks on drug policy and health care reform, the new Psymposia series “People: On Drugs” explores nature’s splendid biodiversity of plants and medicines, and their effective uses in society. The evening will consist of a keynote speech from MAPS founder and executive director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and will continue with short talks, a panel discussion, cocktail mixer, music, art showing, poster defense, and conversation. Learn more…
16. World Ayahuasca Conference: September 25-27, Ibiza, Spain
MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., will moderate a panel on “The Challenges of Globalization: Sustainability” about the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council’s research on the impact of ayahuasca tourism on the sustainability of ayahuasca culture. You can also hel
p Viridis, a new Canadian non-profit organization focused on entheogenic plants, get to AYA2014. Register…
17. Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference & Lobby Day: September 26-29, Arlington, VA
Every other fall, the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) network comes together for three days to celebrate, learn, connect, and advocate at the SSDP Conference and Lobby Days. This year, SSDP2014 will bring more than 400 student members, alumni, and supporters to Arlington, VA (near Washington, DC) for their largest-ever gathering. Register…
18. Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics: October 10-12, New York, NY
Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics is an annual conference about psychedelics held in New York City at Judson Memorial Church. Its goal is to open a fresh dialogue on psychedelics’ role in medicine, culture, history, spirituality, and creativity. This will be the 8th annual Horizons conference. Plus, join MAPS on October 11 for our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy Dinner and Author Reception. Tickets available now… | Also available as Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign Perks
19. Science and Nonduality Conference: The Entanglement of Life: Oct 22-28 2014, San Jose, CA
SAND is a five-day immersive experience where leading scientists, spiritual teachers, philosophers, artists, and a thriving international community gather to explore a new paradigm in spirituality, one that is based on timeless wisdom traditions, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience. MAPS Clinical Research Associate Benjamin Shechet will present a poster on “The Entanglement of Trauma” on Friday, October 24, at 7PM. Learn more…
20. Expanding and Reenchanting the Psyche: Conference Honoring Stan Grof: October 24-25, San Francisco, CA
This fall, the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and its Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program is hosting a unique conference honoring the lifetime achievements of Stanislav Grof in the fields of consciousness research, psychiatry, psychology, psychedelic studies, religious studies, philosophy, and esotericism. Presenters include Stanislav Grof, Rick Doblin, Annie Mithoefer, Michael Mithoefer, Charles Grob, Thomas Roberts, Ralph Metzner, and more. The event is cosponsored by the CIIS Center for the Study of Psychedelic Medicine and MAPS. Continuing Education credits available. Register…
21. Spirit Plant Medicine Conference: October 24-26, Vancouver, Canada
Now in its fourth year, the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference brings strong and clear voices to Vancouver to usher in effective and sustainable engagement with entheogens. Conference takes place at the University of British Columbia. MAPS Canada speakers include Mark Haden and Philipppe Lucas. Register…
22. BOOK LAUNCH: Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond with Beatriz Labate and Clancy Cavnar: October 15, Vancouver, BC and October 16, San Francisco, CA
“This volume consolidates a new and fruitful trend in Amazonian studies; unraveling the complex meanders of intellectual and practical exchanges in a time when Amazonia goes global and the world goes Amazonian.” —Aristoteles Barcelos Neto, University of East Anglia. October 15 (Vancouver) | October 16 (San Francisco)
View our Event Calendar for more upcoming events.
23. Have You or Someone You Know Had a Challenging Experience with Psilocybin?
The Psilocybin Research Team at Johns Hopkins University is conducting an anonymous, web-based survey to characterize difficult or challenging experiences that people sometimes have with psilocybin mushrooms (i.e. “bad trips”), whether the person regards them negatively or positively). You’re invited to take the survey if you’ve ever had such an experience, and to share the link with anyone else who may be interested. Take the survey…
Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out our Student Resources page!