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Media > Newsletter: June 14, 2007



MAPS Members, Supporters & Friends,

Incredibly, over the last several years, MAPS' research agenda has transformed the distant dream of developing psychedelics into government-approved prescription medicines into a possibility to take seriously.

All the while, MAPS is the only organization that is working to put marijuana through FDA clinical trials to develop it into a legal, prescription medicine.

If you have the means to contribute to MAPS, we are in need of your support. At the MAPS Web Store, you can make a donation, join MAPS, or purchase books, art and other MAPS merchandise.

This month we have a special addition to the MAPS Web Store two rare original Pablo Amaringo paintings, with half of the proceeds going to MAPS (see Item #12 for more information).

The headlines for this June:

1. MAPS Receives $50,000 Grant from Libra Foundation

2. Want to be Published in the MAPS Bulletin? Articles Still Needed for "Psychedelics and Self-Discovery"

3. Help MAPS Urge Congress to Pressure DEA to Accept Judge's Recommendation

4. MAPS to Provide Technical Support for a Medical Marijuana Production Facility in Israel

5. Third Subject Completes Protocol in Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study

6. MAPS MDMA/PTSD Researchers Present at European Traumatic Stress Conference

7. MAPS Critiques Third NeXT Prospective Study of Ecstasy Users and Memory

8. MAPS-Sponsored MDMA/PTSD Research from Spain to be Published in Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

9. Psychedelic Therapy and Research Pioneer Stan Grof Wins Prestigious Havel Award

10. Alternate 101 Cover Story: Psychedelic Prescriptions: Mapping a New Frontier"

11. Documentary Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within Released

12. Original Pablo Amaringo Paintings Available Proceeds to Benefit MAPS!

***For MAPS memberships, special donations, merchandise, books, artwork, and more, visit the MAPS Online Store.***

1. MAPS Receives $50,000 Grant from Libra Foundation

Earlier this week, MAPS received a $50,000 grant from the Libra Foundation. Half of the grant is for MAPS' operational expenses and the other half is restricted for Dr. Michael and Annie Mithoefer's MAPS-sponsored study examining MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We are deeply grateful to the Libra Foundation for their critical support of MAPS' effort to conduct long-suppressed research evaluating the therapeutic and medicinal potential of psychedelics and marijuana.

2. Want to be Published in the MAPS Bulletin? Articles Still Needed for "Psychedelics and Self-Discovery"

Have psychedelics played an important role in your personal development? Wed like to hear what you have to say.

Please share your stories with us for the upcoming special edition of the MAPS Bulletin, "Psychedelics & Self-Discovery."

We are looking for articles that are between 400-1500 words. Articles may be submitted anonymously if that makes you more comfortable (although, all things being equal, we do prefer for people to write under their real names when possible). If possible, send a high-quality photo of yourself to go with the article. Please send your submission to Sarah Hufford (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) by June 30.

3. Help MAPS Urge US House of Representatives to Pressure DEA to Accept Judge's Recommendation in Support of Prof. Craker

US Reps. John Olver (D-MA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) are co-sponsoring a Congressional Sign-On Letter urging the DEA to accept DEA Administrative Law Judge Bittner's Recommended Ruling to license Prof. Lyle Craker's proposed MAPS-sponsored medical marijuana production facility. If you haven't contacted your Congressional Representative yet, we need you to help by contacting your Representative -- here's how.

On May 15, DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner transmitted the case files to DEA, officially putting the ball in DEA's court to decide whether to accept or reject the Judge's non-binding Recommended Ruling. Unfortunately, there is no time limit for the DEA to issue its final decision, so we are anticipating a wait of anywhere between three and 16 months, based on previous cases. DEA may even decide not to respond at all before the November 2008 elections, providing yet more evidence of the need for state-level marijuana policy reforms.

On the morning of Wednesday, May 23, MAPS President Rick Doblin, PhD, Prof. Lyle Craker, medical marijuana patient Angel Raich, and former FDA offical and medical marijuana researcher Dr. Denis Petro held a press conference on the sidewalk outside of DEA headquarters in northern Virginia, followed by a national teleconference. This generated a substantial amount of media, including articles in the Boston Globe and Washington Post, a strongly supportive editorial in the LA Times, and a new op-ed by Kenneth Wolski, MD, in Monday's Times of Trenton.

For complete background on the case, see the MAPS DEA Lawsuit page.

4. MAPS to Provide Technical Support for a Small Medical Marijuana Production Facility in Israel

An anonymous donor has pledged $10,000 to MAPS to enable MAPS to provide technical assistance to a small, legal medical marijuana production facility in Israel. The facility will be directed by an Israeli medical marijuana advocate, and has been authorized by the Israeli Ministry of Health to provide marijuana only to medical marijuana patients formally approved by the Ministry. MAPS is working to provide technical assistance to create an organic, hydroponic, standardized production facility, which will start small and give marijuana away for the next several months. Once a successful track record has been established, the Ministry will determine whether to permit the facility to produce medical marijuana on a commercial basis.

MAPS is bringing Canadian medical marijuana researcher and activist Philippe Lucas, founder of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, to Israel in August to consult on the project. Mr. Lucas is currently a Center for Addictions Research of British Columbia graduate research fellow at the University of Victoria, and is currently involved in a number of research projects related to medical cannabis access and use. His experience as both a federally-licensed medical cannabis user and cultivator should prove useful to this new national program.

5. Third Subject Completes Protocol in Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study

Dr. Peter Oehen's ongoing MAPS-sponsored pilot study evaluating MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for subjects with treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) completed treatment of the study's third subject earlier this month. Last month, we learned that the data being generated from the Swiss and Israeli studies will be accepted by the US FDA. Although these protocols do not need to be approved by the FDA to be conducted in their home countries (they have already been approved by their home country's regulatory agency equivalent to FDA and by local ethics committees), FDA review and approval enables us to submit to FDA the data from these two studies as part of MAPS' Investigational New Drug (IND) application for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of PTSD.

To learn more about the MAPS-sponsored MDMA/PTSD study in Switzerland, the protocol is also posted on the MAPS Web site.

6. MAPS MDMA/PTSD Researchers Present at European Traumatic Stress Conference

On June 3, MAPS-sponsored researchers Michael Mithoefer, MD, Annie Mithoefer, RN, Peter Oehen, MD, and Verena Widmer, RN, presented on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research at the European Conference on Traumatic Stress in Croatia. Also present at the conference was Swiss researcher Dr. Franz Vollenweider, who is conducting a physiological study of the subjects in the Swiss MDMA/PTSD study, measuring markers for PTSD before and after treatment. MAPS' MDMA/PTSD research now has preliminary data to share with PTSD researchers around the world.

7. MAPS Reports on Third NeXT Prospective Study of Ecstasy Users

The Netherlands XTC Toxicity (NeXT) research team has published in the Archives of General Psychiatry yet one more prospective report on the effect of Ecstasy on memory. In contrast to their earlier efforts which found no effect on memory, this report on attention and memory claims to have found differences between the two groups, with non-users performing better than users on verbal memory tests. This report has received worldwide publicity.

MAPS Research Associate Ilsa Jerome, PhD critiques the study in a special report that examines the numerous problems with both the analysis and interpretation of the data.

8. MAPS-Sponsored MDMA/PTSD Research from Spain to be Published in Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

A paper on the MAPS-sponsored MDMA/PTSD study conducted in Spain by Jos Carlos Bouso, PhD, has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

This study was the world's first government-approved MDMA psychotherapy study, with six patients treated in 2001-02. However, in 2002, in response to positive reports about the study that appeared in the Spanish media, the Madrid Anti-Drug Authority pressured the hospital into withdrawing permission. Even though the study was not completed, the data from the first 6 subjects will be published and indexed in Medline, which is available to scientists and therapists worldwide. This is the first paper ever published of a double-blind, placebo controlled study of the therapeutic potential of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

The conclusion of the paper states, low doses of MDMA administered as an adjunct to psychotherapy were found to be safe for the six subjects with chronic PTSD treated in this clinical trial and there were promising signs of efficacy and reduced PTSD symptomatology. Further studies with a larger sample size and with the administration of higher doses of MDMA are clearly needed in order to clarify both the safety and the efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in patient populations."

9. Psychedelic Therapy and Research Pioneer Stan Grof Wins Prestigious Havel Award

The Board of Consultants of the Foundation of Dagmar and Vaclav Havel in Prague, Czech Republic, has decided to grant its prestigious award, Vision 97 for the year 2006 to psychiatrist, consciousness researcher, and psychedelic therapy pioneer Stanislav Grof, M.D.

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel and his wife Dagmar launched their Foundation ten years ago. Besides distributing money for cultural and social purposes, this Foundation focuses on long-term support and organization of projects and programs that aim for the future, have pioneering features, attempt to break down conventions, and strengthen those avenues of science and culture, which at present do not enjoy support of the majority of people or are not comprehensible to them, but which with their consequences can inspire or otherwise meaningfully influence the future." Former recipients of the award include the author Umberto Eco, former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and psychologist Phillip G. Zimbardo. There will be a public ceremony in Prague in October, 2007.

Last Fall, MAPS published Grof's latest book, The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness and the Mystery of Death.

10. Alternate 101 Cover Story: Psychedelic Prescriptions: Mapping a New Frontier"

The San Jose-based weekly magazine Alternate 101 (circulation 27,000) ran an in-depth feature cover story about MAPS entitled Psychedelic Prescriptions: Mapping a New Frontier". The writer, Greg Schwartz, visited the MAPS Love Creek office and paints a relatively comprehensive picture of MAPS' current projects and overall mission.

11. Documentary Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within Released

After years of hard work, MAPS member Rod Mann has finally completed the feature length documentary Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within. The documentary includes interviews with MAPS President Rick Doblin, Charlie Grob, Michael Mithoefer, Stan Grof, Marilyn Schlitz, Ralph Metzner, Alex Grey, Terence McKenna, John Markoff, Daniel Pinchbeck, Kat Harrison and others.

12. Original Pablo Amaringo Paintings Available Proceeds to Benefit MAPS!

Pablo Amaringo is an acclaimed Peruvian artist, renowned for his intricate, colorful depictions of his experiences drinking the psychedelic plant brew, ayahuasca.

For a limited time only, two of Pablo's rare original paintings are available from MAPS, with fifty percent of the proceeds going to MAPS. Click here to learn how you can support MAPS by purchasing one of these two mind-blowing pieces of original art.

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Now that our applications to conduct psychedelic research are finally being granted, the biggest thing limiting progress is no longer the government. It is our ability to fund the research and the work that goes into it.

The future is in our hands. Throw your weight behind MAPS' work today.

Thank you for your support.

Best Wishes,
Jag

Jag Davies
Director of Communications
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
MAPS :: 10424 Love Creek Road :: Ben Lomond, CA 95005

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