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MAPS Bulletin - volume i - number 1 - Summer 1988
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Summer 1988: "MDMA Can Become a Legal Medicine"

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MAPS Bulletin Vol i No 1: Summer 1988 - Front Cover Image - Psychedelic Art -  by

From the Newsletter of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
MAPS - Volume I, Number 1. Summer 1988 - Premier Issue

MAPS Newsletter, August 29, 1988

Dear MAPS contributors and other interested people,

The summer is now ending and this is the report I promised on the progress that has been made in the effort to determine if MDMA can become a legal medicine. Though there has been absolutely no change in the attitude of the FDA towards human studies (they refuse to permit research, even in terminal patients for whom the theoretical danger of long term functional consequences of MDMA neurotoxicity seems remote, to say the least), there is a growing body of evidence that may turn this situation around. This evidence is primarily coming from studies in primates, partially funded by donations to MAPS. I would like to thank all of you (there are actually only 75 people who are current supporters of MAPS), for helping to develop sorely needed facts to be used to assess the risk of MDMA neurotoxicity. Many people are supportive of the use of MDMA in psychotherapy, but feel that it is hopeless to work with the FDA, and so they refrain from contributing. Those of you that value this effort are few, and are greatly appreciated and needed.

As I see it now, the FDA will succeed in delaying MDMA research in humans until next summer. The questions that they raise about neurotoxicity, while not really relevant to the single oral administration of MDMA in humans under medical supervision, are not yet resolved completely. Two studies, partially funded by MAPS and conducted by Dr. George Ricaurte at Johns Hopkins, are underway. They address the two fundamental questions about MDMA neurotoxicity. When damage occurs, is it permanent or temporary? When MDMA is given in human relevant doses, does any damage occur at all? Preliminary data indicate that when MDMA does cause neurotoxicity, it is temporary, and that when MDMA is given to primates in a single oral dose of 2.5 mg/kg, there is no neurotoxicity anyway. The studies that MAPS has initiated are going to address these matters, and will be concluded in the spring of 1989. Then, the attempt to open the FDA to human studies will begin again.

One of my talents is in spending all of the money that I have. Yesterday, I sent out checks totalling $12,250, mostly for research and some for a health and regulatory affairs consulting firm to help negotiate with the FDA. If you feel moved to contribute, there are more projects that can be funded. However, the main news is that all the necessary pieces in the neurotoxicity puzzle are under construction, and there is basically nothing to do until the new studies are completed.

Today, I move from my home and begin weaving my way to Cambridge, where I start studying at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for a Masters in Public Policy. They say, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and we all know how often They are right. Anyway, I can now be reached at 23A Shaler Lane, Cambridge, Mass 02138. I hope your summer was as special as mine, and that the winter will be stimulating.


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  1988 Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Inc. (MAPS)

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Bulletin Archive Index

Summer 2014 Vol. 24, No. 2 Research Edition
Spring 2014 Vol. 24, No. 1 Special Edition: Psychedelics and Education
Winter 2013 Vol. 23, No. 3 2013 Annual Report
Summer 2013 Vol. 23, No. 2 Research Edition
Spring 2013 Vol. 23, No. 1 Special Edition: Psychedelics in Psychology and Psychiatry
Winter 2012 Vol. 22, No. 3 2012 Annual Report
Summer 2012 Vol. 22, No. 2 Research Edition
Spring 2012 Vol. 22, No. 1 Special Edition: Psychedelics and the Popular Arts
Winter 2011 Vol. 21, No. 3 2011 Annual Report
Summer 2011 Vol. 21, No. 2 Research Edition
Spring 2011 Vol. 21, No. 1 Special Edition: Psychedelics & the Mind/Body Connection
Winter 2010 Vol. 20, No. 3 2010 Annual Report
Summer 2010 Vol. 20, No. 2 MAPS Research Update
Spring 2010 Vol. 20, No. 1 Special Edition: Psychedelics, Death and Dying
Autumn 2009 Vol. 19, No. 3 MAPS Financial Report: Fiscal Year 2008-09
Summer 2009 Vol. 19, No. 2 Research Edition
Spring 2009 Vol. 19, No. 1 Special Edition: Psychedelics and Ecology
Winter 2008 Vol. 18, No. 3 MAPS Fiscal Report
Summer 2008 Vol. 18, No. 2 Phoenix Rising: A Review of MAPS Research
Spring 2008 Vol. 18, No. 1 Special Edition: Technology and Psychedelics
Winter 2008 Vol. 17, No. 3 MAPS 06-07 Fiscal Issue
Autumn 2007 Vol. 17, No. 2 Special Edition: Psychedelics and Self Discovery
Spring/Summer 2007 Vol. 17, No. 1 The Chrysalis Stage
Winter 2006-7 Vol. 16, No. 3 Low Maintenance, High Performance
Autumn 2006 Vol. 16, No. 2 Technologies of Healing
Spring 2006 Vol. 16, No. 1 MAPS’ 20th Anniversary
Winter 2005 Vol. 15, No. 3 MAPS Final Year as a Teenager
Summer 2005 Vol. 15, No. 2 Israel Conference: MDMA/PTSD Research
Spring 2005 Vol. 15, No. 1 Accelerating Flow of Work and Time
Autumn 2004 Vol. 14, No. 2 Rites of Passage: Kids and Psychedelics
Summer 2004 Vol. 14, No. 1 10 Stamps and $250,000
Winter 2003 Vol. 13, No. 2 Holy Fire
Spring 2003 Vol. 13, No. 1 60th Anniversary of the Discovery of LSD
Autumn 2002 Vol. 12, No. 3 Vision
Summer 2002 Vol. 12, No. 2 From celebration to frustration, and back again
Spring 2002 Vol. 12, No. 1 Sex, Spirit & Psychedelics 2002
Autumn 2001 Vol. 11, No. 2 In the future, it will be called Despair
Spring 2001 Vol. 11, No. 1 A Tidal Wave of Ecstasy!
Autumn 2000 Vol. 10, No. 3 Creativity 2000
Summer 2000 Vol. 10, No. 2 Endings and Beginnings
Spring 2000 Vol. 10, No. 1 Making History in Slow Motion
Winter 1999/00 Vol. 09, No. 4 To the Ends of the Earth for MDMA Research…
Autumn 1999 Vol. 09, No. 3 MAPS’ long-standing efforts to conduct…
Summer 1999 Vol. 09, No. 2 MAPS has come full circle…
Spring 1999 Vol. 09, No. 1 Patience, persistence and passion
Winter 1998/99 Vol. 08, No. 4 One of special pleasures of directing MAPS…
Autumn 1998 Vol. 08, No. 3 The Ayahuasca Issue (with Hofmann interview)
Summer 1998 Vol. 08, No. 2 Emotionally Powerful Anecdotes…
Spring 1998 Vol. 08, No. 1 Death Has a Way of Focusing One’s Attention
Autumn 1997 Vol. 07, No. 4 Celebration is in Order
Summer 1997 Vol. 07, No. 3 Time Horizons
Spring 1997 Vol. 07, No. 2 Synchronicity
Winter 1996/97 Vol. 07, No. 1 Learning to Crawl
Autumn 1996 Vol. 06, No. 4 An Invitation for Dialogue
Summer 1996 Vol. 06, No. 3 Budding Research
New Year 1996 Vol. 06, No. 2 Sending Down Roots
Autumn 1995 Vol. 06, No. 1 Baby Steps
Summer 1995 Vol. 05, No. 4 Opportunity Amidst Obstacles
Winter 1994/95 Vol. 05, No. 3 Clinical Trials and Tribulations
Autumn 1994 Vol. 05, No. 2 Building Towards Clinical Trials
Summer 1994 Vol. 05, No. 1 Politics and Protocols: In Search of a Balance
Spring 1994 Vol. 04, No. 4 Laying the Groundwork
Winter 1993/94 Vol. 04, No. 3 A Time of Tests
Summer 1993 Vol. 04, No. 2 So Close Yet So Far
Spring 1993 Vol. 04, No. 1 Remembrance and Renewal
Winter 1992/93 Vol. 03, No. 4 Forging New Alliances
Summer 1992 Vol. 03, No. 3 Building on Common Ground
Spring 1992 Vol. 03, No. 2 Small Steps, Gradual Progress, New Opportunities
Winter 1991/92 Vol. 03, No. 1 The Rekindling of a Thousand Points of Light
Summer 1991 Vol. 02, No. 2 MDMA Protocol Development with Cancer Patients
Winter 1990/91 Vol. 02, No. 1 MAPS’ Swiss Pharmacologically-Assisted Psychotherapy Conference
Autumn 1990 Vol. 01, No. 3 What and Who is MAPS?
Summer 1989 Vol. 01, No. 2 Switzerland Leads the Way
Summer 1988 Vol. 01, No. 1 MDMA Can Become a Legal Medicine

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