Dear friends and supporters,
From the American Psychiatric Association to Burning Man and everywhere in between, we are reducing the antiquated stigma surrounding psychedelics and marijuana and creating new opportunities for their safe and beneficial uses. Today, I am pleased to bring you the July 2015 edition of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter.
MAPS' Zendo Project provides psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events. Our Indiegogo campaign ends July 23—help us reach our goal!
Our top news this month is the Obama administration's historic decision to eliminate the Public Health Service (PHS) review process for marijuana research. On June 22, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) formally eliminated the redundant review, acknowledging that "HHS is aware that this committee review is perceived to be an obstacle to non-federally funded research...The department expects the action announced will help facilitate further research." Now, researchers with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance can request marijuana directly from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) without the additional PHS review process. Read about our continued efforts below.
Meanwhile, the summer festival season is heating up and the need for psychedelic harm reduction at events is growing. Our Indiegogo campaign to raise $50,000 for the Zendo Project is going strong—now, with just 14 days left in our campaign, we need an extra push to ensure we reach our goal and reduce the need for arrests and hospitalizations at events where people may choose to use psychedelics, and to help transform difficult experiences into opportunities for personal growth.
In this edition of the MAPS Email Newsletter, you'll also learn:
- The first two subjects are treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness in Marin, Calif.
- Our Phase 2 studies continue enrolling and treating subjects as we continue our work to make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy a legal treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by 2021
- Grateful Dead fans show their support for psychedelic research, education, and harm reduction at the 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well concerts in Santa Clara and Chicago
- Tickets are still available for our July 19 book launch and art gallery in San Francisco for Stan Grof's upcoming Modern Consciousness Research and the Understanding of Art, including The Visionary World of H.R. Giger—now available for presale!
From science and medicine to public health and policy, we are making amazing strides. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we rely on your tax-deductible donations to make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines, and to continue creating contexts for their safe and beneficial uses for spirituality, creativity, and personal growth.
We're in this together,
MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing
Medical Marijuana for PTSD
Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated with Life-Threatening Illness
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
Psychedelic Harm Reduction
- Book Launch and Psychedelic Art Gallery: July 19, 2015, San Francisco FEATURED
- Dying to Know: Ram Dass and Timothy Leary Film Screenings: July 10, San Francisco Bay Area
- Breaking Convention: July 10-12, 2015, University of Greenwich, UK
- Telluride Mushroom Festival: August 13-16, 2015, Telluride, CO
- Drogas, Política y Cultura: Perspectivas Brasil-México: October 5-6, 2015, Guadalajara, Mexico
- Psychedelic Science 2017: April 19-24, 2017, Oakland, CA
Help the Zendo Project provide psychedelic harm reduction as a compassionate public health alternative to arrest and hospitalization at events. Learn more and donate at zendoproject.org...
MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR PTSD
On June 22, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it had eliminated the redundant Public Health Service (PHS) review process for federally regulated marijuana research, removing a significant barrier to privately funded medical marijuana research. Since 1999, researchers seeking to study marijuana needed to obtain permission from PHS to purchase marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which maintains a monopoly on the supply of marijuana for research in the U.S. Now, researchers with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance can request marijuana directly from NIDA without the additional PHS review process. MAPS is now working with Prof. Lyle Craker to prepare a new request asking the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for permission to further open doors for medical marijuana research by opening a growing facility at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. "We're hoping the overall political environment has shifted enough where we will actually get permission from the DEA to start this farm and then we won't have to go through NIDA at all," Brad Burge of MAPS told U.S. News and World Report. "It's a great opportunity for the Obama administration to show it's progressive on marijuana issues. We're pretty hopeful." Learn more...
Learn about our Funding Priorities.
TREATING PTSD WITH MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
On June 19, 2015, the 21st subject was treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for subjects with PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, war, natural disasters, or any other cause, taking place in Boulder, Colorado. The 23rd and 24th subjects were enrolled on June 29. This study will enroll a total of 29 subjects to present outcome data from 23 subjects, and will interview subjects 12 months after their final experimental treatment for long-term follow-up data. As of July 6, five subjects have completed their long-term follow-up interviews. We expect that the final subject will be treated in October 2015, and the final results prepared for publication in late 2016. Learn more...
$771,000 est. study cost • $716,000 raised • $55,000 still needed
On June 26 and July 3, 2015, the fifth and sixth subjects were treated in our ongoing Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The sixth subject was enrolled on June 29. Led by Principal Investigator Ingrid Pacey, M.D., in Vancouver, B.C., this Phase 2 study is treating up to 12 subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, military service, or any other cause. Mark Haden, Chair of the Board of Directors of MAPS Canada, reflects on the media attention the study has been receiving: "We had 15 minutes on CBC national radio, a feature article in Maclean's (Canada's most prominent weekly magazine), and CBC's high-profile show "Ideas" is producing two new shows dedicated to psychedelics," Haden writes. "MAPS Canada is not just developing a better treatment for PTSD, but also having an impact on public perception of the vast potential of psychedelic medicine." MAPS Canada | Learn more...
$470,000 est. study cost • $46,000 raised + $69,000 raised by partners • $355,000 still needed
Learn how you can help make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines at maps.org.
On June 24 and 25, 2015, the fifth and sixth subjects were enrolled in our ongoing Israeli study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Led by Principal Investigator Moshe Kotler, M.D., this Phase 2 study will treat up to 10 subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD from any cause. This study is actively seeking Israeli participants. "We are excited about the recent enrollments in our ongoing Israeli study, where we are getting promising results in a population with endemic trauma," reports MAPS Clinical Research Scientist Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D. Learn more...
$509,000 estimated study cost • $87,000 raised • $422,000 still needed
MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR ANXIETY ASSOCIATED WITH LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS
On July 2 and July 6, 2015, the first two subjects were treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness. The fourth subject was enrolled on June 18. Led by Principal Investigator Phil Wolfson, M.D., with co-therapist Julane Andries, LMFT, in Marin, Calif., this study will treat 18 subjects suffering from anxiety related to a life-threatening disease that is either ongoing or in remission with a possibility of recurrence. "We're not just sitting in an office for 50 minutes," Dr. Wolfson told the San Francisco Chronicle in a May 24 cover article. "We go for as long as we need in a warm, friendly atmosphere." Learn more...
$608,000 est. study cost • $192,000 raised • $416,000 still needed
MDMA-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY IN AUTISTIC ADULTS
On July 2, 2015, the study site for our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in 12 autistic adults passed a routine inspection by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Sponsored by MAPS, this is a collaborative study between MAPS, the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and researchers at Stanford University. Seven out of 12 subjects have now been treated in this study, which is exploring whether MDMA combined with therapy can enhance functional skills and quality of life in autistic adults with social anxiety. "The DEA visit was a routine inspection, and the process went quite smoothly," reports Principal Investigator Charles Grob, M.D. "Recruitment is going well, and we are looking forward to conducting several treatment sessions over the next month." Learn more at mdma-autism.org...
$336,000 est. study cost • $1,000 raised + $15,000 raised by partners • $320,000 still needed
PSYCHEDELIC HARM REDUCTION
Since we launched the Zendo Project Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on June 23, our supporters have contributed over $22,741—45% of our $50,000 goal. We are asking for funds so that we can complete construction on a new Zendo structure, provide additional public trainings, and expand our psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide. We can only reach our goal with your help. Our team of volunteers is busily building the new Zendo structure, and we've uploaded several new images of volunteers assembling the new structure from wood and recycled cardboard. With just 14 days left in the campaign—and all gifts being doubled thanks to a generous matching pledge—we need an extra push, so please share the campaign and (if you haven't already) make a gift today. Thank you for helping model a post-prohibition world, and keep people from being incarcerated or hospitalized for using psychedelics at events.
The campaign ends July 23—please give today to expand the Zendo Project.
In June 2015, 350 individuals gave $101,356 to support MAPS' psychedelic research and education projects. Our special thanks goes to Adam Wiggins for his generous annual contribution of $60,000. Our gratitude also goes to the Enabling Potential Fund ($5,000) and Silver Spring Networks ($1,000), both contributions made through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation during the Silicon Valley Gives campaign. Thank you to Candra Docherty who gave $3,000 in general support through her Arising Potential Fund at the Marin Community Foundation, and to Adam Cohen, Managing Partner at Mjardin, for our marijuana research. Thank you to Adam Cohen for his $2,500 gift, and to long-time supporter, doctor, and author Julie Holland for her gift of $1,593—all from recent sales of The Pot Book. We very much appreciate Rupert Runewitsch's first time gift of $1,500, and we thank Daniel McMurtrie, Mark Smith, and the Goldman Sachs Matching Gifts Department, who each gave $1,000. Five donors gave to our fiscally sponsored projects, including Bluelight, the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance, and the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council. Thanks also to all of you who have already given to the Zendo Project through Indiegogo, to which 130 generous supporters gave a total of $12,401 in June.
In addition to direct support in the U.S., three generous Canadians gave a total of $15,125 CAD to our sister charity MAPS Canada, in support of our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD study in Vancouver.
If you're inspired by all this generosity, please visit the Zendo Project on Indiegogo and consider making a gift of any size. Every gift is a generous gift, and every individual who participates is deeply appreciated.
On June 27-28 and July 3-5, 2015, MAPS was proud to be one of 16 charities chosen to take part in Participation Row at all five Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well reunion concerts. In addition to distributing nearly 30,000 commemorative brochures, hundreds of attendees also had the chance to share their story about why they support psychedelic science, education, and harm reduction through photos with MAPS staff and volunteers. We also gave concertgoers the chance to sign our Change.org petition asking President Obama to grant clemency to people serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses and support efforts to reduce barriers to psychedelic harm reduction at events. We extend our special thanks to HeadCount for their outstanding organization and production, and for organizing the charity auction that raised over $776,000 to be divided among MAPS and the other Participation Row non-profits. View our Facebook photo album...
As MAPS' clinical research programs continue to grow, we have decided to partner with Medrio, a leading clinical trial data management service. Medrio has agreed to give us free access in exchange for referrals to university or pharmaceutical industry researchers who might benefit from the software. To learn about this system for yourself and help us cover costs, take a free tour of Medrio and request a free test database to explore. Take the tour...
Learn about including MAPS in your will or trust.
FEATURED PRESS RELEASE: San Francisco Book Launch and Psychedelic Art Gallery Honors Stanislav Grof and H.R. Giger | view
MAPS | July 7, 2015
FEATURED PRESS RELEASE: Zendo Project Launches $50,000 Campaign to Expand Festival Services | view
MAPS | July 1, 2015
FEATURED U.S. News and World Report: Major Pot Research Barrier Goes Up in Smoke | view
Steven Nelson | June 22, 2015
Festival Insights: Zendo Project Launches $50,000 Campaign to Expand Festival Services | view
July 2, 2015
Forbes: Streamlined Regulations May Clear Path for More Marijuana Research | view
Julie Weed | June 28, 2015
Military.com: White House to Let Researchers Study Medical Marijuana for PTSD | view
Bryant Jordan | June 23, 2015
The Huffington Post: White House Takes Huge Step Forward in Fight Over Marijuana Research | view
Ryan Grim | June 22, 2015
Marin Magazine: That Loving Feeling | view
Kasia Pawlowska | June 30, 2015
Mashable: Guitar Signed by Grateful Dead Raises $526,000 for Charity | view
Matt Petronzio | July 7, 2015
HeadCount: Fare Thee Well Interview Series: Rick Doblin | view
Aaron Ghitelman | June 18, 2015
Live Science: Short Trip? More People 'Microdosing' on Psychedelic Drugs | view
Tia Ghose | July 8, 2015
Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
200 pages | Published by MAPS
"Stan Grof, one of the consciousness pioneers of the 20th and 21st century, has been on the forefront of understanding the importance of art in our human evolution toward a more enlightened species. In his unparalleled work, he's created techniques of transforming the shadows into the light, and pointed to art as one the greatest expressions of these alchemical processes."—Martina Hoffmann, visionary artist
$29.95 | Order your copy now
Release Date: July 19, 2015
PLUS: Join us for the official book launch and art gallery with Stanislav Grof and Rick Doblin on July 19 at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.
304 pages | Published by Synergetic Press | 2015
Buddhism and psychedelic exploration share a common concern: the liberation of the mind. The new edition includes an expanded array of stunning art and six new contributions, including original essays by luminaries such as Ralph Metzner and Brad Warner; exciting interviews with James Fadiman, Kokyo Henkel, and Rick Doblin; and a discussion of ayahuasca's unique influence on Zen Buddhism by David Coyote. Art edited by Alex Grey.
$26.95 | Now available
Join MAPS and the Bay Area community in honoring the life and art of Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger (1940-2014), and the vital contributions made by Stanislav Grof to psychedelic psychotherapy and transpersonal psychology. The evening will include presentations from Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., and MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D.; as well as a private reception, book signings, an interactive Q&A session with the presenters, and a psychedelic art gallery curated by Phaneros Gallery with over 22 artists inspired by Giger's work. See the full lineup of contributing artists and buy your tickets now...
Dying to Know is an intimate portrait celebrating two very complex, controversial characters in an epic friendship that shaped a generation. With interviews spanning 50 years, the film invites us into the future encouraging us to ponder questions about life, drugs, and the biggest mystery of all: death. On the opening weekend (July 10-12) there will be special screenings with the filmmakers and members of the psychedelic science community present for Q&A and panel discussions. Tickets now available...
Breaking Convention is a multidisciplinary conference on psychedelic consciousness, featuring more than 130 presenters from around the world. Co-sponsored by MAPS, the 3rd Breaking Convention will be held at the University of Greenwich on July 10-12, 2015. The conference program will include talks from over 130 experts, plus experiential and training workshops, mind-altering installations, art and dance performances, light shows, a comprehensive bookshop, two visionary art exhibitions, evening parties with live bands and DJs, and a psychedelic film festival. Register...
The Telluride Mushroom Festival celebrates all aspects of fungi, focusing equal effort on foraging and the gourmet aspects of mycology, along with cultivation, mycoremediation, and other psychoactives. The theme of this year's Telluride Mushroom Festival is "The Future of Fungi," with workshops, lectures, facilitated group discussions, and panels. The festival is sponsored by the Telluride Institute, an innovative non-profit that fosters the transition to a sustainable world. Tickets available now...
This conference is a joint initiative of the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Guadalajara, the Brazilian Platform for Drug Policy (PBPD), and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on Psychoactive (NEIP) in Brazil. The conference—entirely in Spanish and Portuguese with no translation offered—will focus on traditional and contemporary uses of drugs in indigenous, mestizo, and urban communities in Mexico and Brazil. Includes a keynote address from Brad Burge of MAPS on "Psychedelic Science and Medicine in the 21st Century." Registration is free. Learn more...
Mark your calendars—it's official! Psychedelic Science is coming back to the San Francisco Bay Area. The conference will return to the Oakland Marriott City Center in California from April 19-24, 2017. The conference will feature the latest findings in the psychedelic research community and is expected to sell out early. We are incredibly excited to start coordinating this monumental event. We will announce ticket sales, as well as opportunities to participate, closer to the date. For past conference information, speaker videos, and more from Psychedelic Science 2013, visit psychedelicscience.org.
Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out our Student Resources page!
Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy (VET) has launched a crowdfunding campaign seeking financial support for a planned observational study of ayahuasca as a treatment for PTSD in veterans, to be conducted with support from MAPS. Funding will also be used to help establish VET as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and to organize group retreats with veterans to Peru and other countries where ayahuasca is legal. Learn more...