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Media > Newsletter: February 10, 2005



Greetings, MAPS members and friends!

We have progress to report on several fronts:

1. MAPS assembles pro bono legal team for DEA lawsuit
2. Sixth patient treated in MDMA/PTSD study
3. Media flurry surrounds Harvard Medical School MDMA study
4. Albert Hofmann participates in conference call for 99th birthday
5. MAPS hosts scientific conference and tour in Israel, March 20-28, 2005
6. MAPS goes to Sundance
7. Save the date: MAPS benefit auction coming up!

1. MAPS assembles pro bono legal team for DEA lawsuit

A new medical marijuana DEA Administrative Law Judge hearing was formally launched on Monday, February 7. Prof. Lyle Craker, UMass Amherst, filed a request for a hearing about DEA's proposed rejection of his application for a license to establish a MAPS-sponsored facility to produce marijuana exclusively for federally-approved research.

MAPS has arranged for a consortium of lawyers to represent Prof. Craker on a pro bono basis. These lawyers include lead counsel Julie Carpenter of Jenner and Block (DC law firm), Allen Hopper, ACLU Drug Law Reform Project, and Emanuel Jacobowitz of Steptoe & Johnson (DC law firm). The estimated value of this pro-bono support is more than $100,000. MAPS may need to contribute up to $25,000 in expenses so we're seeking donations for that amount.

Within about a week, the DEA Administrative Law Judge office will issue a timetable for the submission of prehearing statements from both sides. Most likely, the hearing take place in DC in late spring/early summer and will take two days.

Our goal is to break the government's monopoly on the supply of marijuana that can be used in FDA-approved research, thereby creating the proper conditions for a $5 million, 5 year drug development effort designed to transform smoked and/or vaporized marijuana into an FDA-approved prescription medicine.

2. Sixth patient treated in MDMA/PTSD study

On February 4, Michael and Ann Mithoefer performed the first experimental (MDMA or placebo) session for the sixth participant enrolled in the study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in people with PTSD. The next experimental session will occur in three to five weeks.

In the last email update, we reported that the FDA approved a number of changes to the study protocol; since then, the study's Institutional Review Board (IRB) has approved the changes as well. The study is now open to subjects with PTSD as a result of war or terrorism within the past five years. Also, we can now offer the placebo subjects the opportunity to enroll in a second phase of the study in which they receive MDMA on an open-label (not double-blind) basis, after they have completed their final follow-up evaluations.

3. Media flurry surrounds Harvard Medical School MDMA study

Since the Harvard Medical School study examining MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for advanced cancer patients was approved by the FDA December 17, theres been a flurry of media attention. The New York Times, the Washington Post, about 220 newspapers around the world, NPR, the Today Show, and CSPAN have all reported on the study. Read more at .

On January 6, MAPS donated $26,616 to McLean Hospital, Harvard University. This represents the first payment in what we expect will total $250,000 for the study. MAPS donated an additional $2000 on January 21.

We're now waiting on DEA to give Dr. John Halpern, the studys primary investigator, his Schedule I license and then the study can begin. We're seeking to raise $250,000 for this study. If anyone has suggestions for potential donors, please contact Rick Doblin at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

4. Albert Hofmann participates in conference call for 99th birthday

Marking Albert Hofmanns 99th birthday on January 11, MAPS arranged a conference call on January 12 between Dr. Hofmann, Rick Doblin, Dr. Charles Grob, Dr. Michael Mithoefer, Dr. John Halpern and Dr. Andrew Sewell. Almost 300 people tuned in to listen to the live call! You can hear it now by looking under Whats New on the MAPS homepage. The researchers shared information about their studies with Dr. Hofmann, listened to his suggestions, and told him about our efforts to restart LSD research before Dr. Hofmanns 100th birthday!

5. MAPS hosts scientific conference and tour in Israel, March 20-28, 2005

MAPS members and friends are invited to join us in Israel for a week-long tour, including a one-day MAPS-sponsored conference intended to lay the final groundwork for a MAPS-sponsored pilot study in Israel into the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is subjects with war and terrorism-related PTSD. We are sponsoring the conference in association with the Israeli Ministry of Health, the Israeli Anti-Drug Authority, and the Israeli Society of Addiction Medicine. Speakers at the conference include Dr. Michael Mithoefer (MDMA/PTSD), June May Ruse, Ph.D., (MDMA/PTSD treatment manual), Jose Carlos Bouso (Spain-MDMA/PTSD), Raphael Mechoulam, Ph.D. (Israel-marijuana/PTSD), Dr. John Halpern (MDMA/cancer anxiety), Dr. Udi Bastiaans (ibogaine outcome-internet survey), as well as MAPS staffer Valerie Mojeiko (ibogaine outcome study) and Rick Doblin, Ph.D. (strategic overview).

We will be renting a bus with a driver and guide to take us around Israel for the week, visiting spots around Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Dead Sea. Costs are still not exact, but will run about $1100 for hotels (double occupancy), some food, transportation and guide (not including airfare). You could join us for all or part of the week. If you would like more information, please contact Valerie Mojeiko at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The tentative itinerary:
Depart Sunday, March 20, arrive Tel Aviv Monday, March 21.
Monday night- Stay at Tel Aviv hotel near the beach, dinner with Israeli drug policy reformers
Tuesday morning, meetings with researchers in Tel Aviv, drive to Jerusalem after lunch for tours and night in hotel near Old City, dinner together
Wednesday- tours of Jerusalem, some of us have meetings during the day with Ministry of Health/ Anti-Drug Authority officials, dinner on your own
Thursday-conference near Tel Aviv, drive back to Jerusalem after dinner
Friday- meetings for some, more tours of Jerusalem, dinner together for Sabbath
Saturday- drive to Qumron (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found), climb Masada, night in hotel on Dead Sea.
Sunday- lounge around Dead Sea, explore Negev, return to Tel Aviv about midnight for return flight home.
Monday, March 28- arrive home.

6.MAPS goes to Sundance

MAPS staff Rick Doblin and Valerie Mojeiko, joined by researchers Dr. John Halpern and Dr. Charles Grob and artist Alex Grey, gave talks at a Sundance Film Festival party celebrating the opening of the trailer for Rod Manns documentary Entheogen. Hundreds of festivalgoers attended the party, held January 26. View the trailer at .

7. Save the date: MAPS benefit auction coming up!

MAPS will host an online benefit auction March 14-21 to raise money for our operational expenses. Thanks to the generosity of MAPS supporters, we are offering a wide range of items, from the affordable to the expensive, from the artistic to the quirky, from the psychedelic to the...well, most of its pretty psychedelic. To see whats up for auction, go to . Once the bidding begins, youll be able to view all items at .

That's it- thanks for your continuing support, and as always, email us with address changes, comments, questions, or unsubscribe requests.

Best wishes,
Brandy -- Brandy Doyle
MAPS Projects and Communications Director

p 941.924.6277
f 941.924.6265
e .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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