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MAPS Bulletin Spring 2014: Special Edition: Psychedelics and Education
 
Media > Newsletter: June 23, 2005



Greetings MAPS Members and Friends,

Here is the latest news from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. There's lots going on...

  1. MAPS grant application submitted to NIMH for MDMA/ PTSD treatment manual
  2. US MDMA/PTSD study data monitoring site visit completed
  3. Israeli MDMA/PTSD study protocol review process moving along
  4. Quicktime files of talks at MAPS' Israeli Conference now posted
  5. Classic MDMA media articles posted to MAPS website
  6. Mindstates Conference: May 27-29, 2005
  7. Dates Set for Prof. Lyle Craker's lawsuit v. DEA about UMass Amherst facility
  8. New York Times Op-Ed on June 9, by Dr. Sally Satel, mentions UMass Amherst
  9. Dr. Abrams' FDA-approved vaporizer research completed
  10. MAPS and CaNORML laboratory vaporizer research still blocked
  11. New political ad published June 20 about federal obstruction of marijuana research
  12. Dr. Evgeny Krupitsky visits MAPS President Rick Doblin in Boston; Ketamine psychotherapy paper submitted for publication
  13. MAPS Board of Directors Meeting: 2005
  14. Upcoming psychedelics conferences: From the Amazon to the Caribbean to the Rhine: An eclectic collection
  15. Hofmann-signed Portrait by Dean Chamberlain: Only a few left!
  16. MAPS Website Visits Increasing
  17. Request help in finding Chinese Translator for LSD: My Problem Child
  18. New Documentary Series Focuses on Transpersonal Psychology and the Human Consciousness Movement
  19. Grants obtained by MAPS
  20. Psychedelic Trivia--DNA Double-helix discovered with the help of LSD


  1. MAPS grant application submitted to NIMH for MDMA/ PTSD treatment manual

    On June 1, 2005, MAPS submitted an RO3, small research grant application to the National Institute of Mental Health seeking $50,000 a year for two years for the development of a treatment manual to standardize our form of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The treatment manual will be needed when we start training new therapeutic teams to conduct MAPS' eventual multi-site studies. Even though our chances are small of obtaining an NIMH grant, at least from our first application, we hope eventually to see NIMH returning to fund psychedelic psychotherapy research, which it hasn't done since the late 1960s. Regardless of the outcome of the grant application, we've already learned enough about how to develop our treatment manual to justify the time and expense of preparing and submitting the application.

  2. US MDMA/PTSD study data monitoring site visit completed

    Yet another exciting data monitoring site visit was completed by MAPS staffer Valerie Mojeiko this past weekend in Charleston, South Carolina, site of MAPS-sponsored pioneering MDMA-psychotherapy project conducted by Dr. Michael Mithoefer. Data is piling up--and magically falling into binders with tabs and flags-with the effectiveness of an ecstasy-assisted therapy session. Seven subjects have now completed the study, nine have been enrolled, and the first previously-placebo subject has completed stage II of the study, where he or she was administered MDMA open-label.

  3. Israeli MDMA/PTSD study protocol review process moving along

    On June 6, 2005, the local ethics committee (IRB) at the Beer Yaakov Mental Health Center approved the proposed MAPS-sponsored MDMA/PTSD psychotherapy pilot study protocol to be directed by Dr. Moshe Kotler, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Tel Aviv University, Sackler School of Medicine, and former chief psychiatrist of the Israeli Defense Forces. The protocol has now been forwarded to the Israeli national ethics committee for review. This process is expected to take a couple of months. Then it will go for review at the Ministry of Health which should take another couple of months. If everything goes as hoped, by the end of this year Dr. Kotler will be able to start this study exploring the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat subjects suffering from war- and terrorism-related PTSD.

  4. Quicktime files of talks at MAPS' Israeli Conference now posted

    Quicktime files of all the scientific talks at MAPS' March 24, 2005 Israeli Conference have now been posted on the MAPS website. Speakers include Rick Doblin, Ph.D., MAPS President; Michael Mithoefer, M.D., primary investigator for the U.S. MAPS-sponsored MDMA/PTSD study; Raphael Mechoulam, Ph.D., Israeli cannabis researcher who discovered THC and the endocannabinoid system; Jose Carlos Bouso, Ph.D. Candidate, primary investigator for the proposed MAPS-sponsored MDMA/PTSD study in Spain; June May Ruse, Ph.D., director of the MDMA/PTSD Treatment Manual project; Valerie Mojeiko, MAPS Clinical Research Associate coordinating the outcome study on ibogaine for substance abuse; Udi Bastiaans, M.D., Israeli doctor researching ibogaine treatment; John Halpern, M.D., primary investigator for the MAPS-sponsored study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety in cancer patients, to be conducted at Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital; Jordi Riba, Ph.D., Spanish pharmacologist researching ayahuasca ; Torsten Passie, M.D. German researcher who has conducted psilocybin research.

  5. Classic MDMA media articles posted to MAPS website

    Rick Doblin's comprehensive collection of the earliest media articles about MDMA, starting in 1985 and documenting how MDMA/Ecstasy entered public consciousness, have now been scanned and posted to the MAPS website. We would like to thank MAPS supporter Bryan Bazilauskas, who volunteered his time to scan these documents.

  6. Mindstates Conference: May 27-29, 2005

    Rick Doblin's May 29, 2005 talk at the Mindstates Conference is now posted on the MAPS website. This is Rick's best received talk that he has ever given.

  7. Dates Set for Prof. Lyle Craker's lawsuit v. DEA about UMass Amherst facility

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has met with lawyers for the DEA and for Prof. Lyle Craker and has set aside the week of August 22-26, 2005 for the start of testimony. The issues to be argued are whether there is a public interest in having DEA license a privately-funded production facility (DEA says no and we disagree), and whether US International treaty obligations prevent DEA from issuing a license to Prof. Craker (DEA says yes but we disagree, citing the existence of GW Pharmaceuticals in England as clear evidence that another signatory nation has found a way to license private production facilities and still be in compliance with the Single Convention). For more information, see MAPS' UMass Amherst page.

  8. New York Times Op-Ed on June 9, by Dr. Sally Satel, mentions UMass Amherst

    Dr. Sally Satel, a psychiatrist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote an excellent op ed about federal obstruction of medical marijuana research, mentioning Prof. Craker's three year delay in obtaining a license for his proposed UMass Amherst facility. DEA and ONDCP's ability to block research in a way that virtually nobody notices is now being challenged.

  9. Dr. Abrams' FDA-approved vaporizer research completed

    Dr. Donald Abrams has completed clinical trials in humans comparing cannabinoid blood levels, carbon monoxide levels and subjective effects in subjects who smoke and at other tines vaporize marijuana (with the Volcano vaporizer). The results are currently being analyzed. This study is an example of MAPS' leveraging its funds in that MAPS and CaNORML have spent about $100,000 on the laboratory vaporizer research. This data was given to Dr. Abrams to use to support his protocol application to FDA, with his clinical study funded by a grant of about $136,000 from California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR).

  10. MAPS and CaNORML laboratory vaporizer research still blocked

    MAPS and CaNORML would like to sponsor additional laboratory vaporizer research at Chemic Labs, further analyzing the contents of vaporized cannabis. This research is on hold, pending obtaining a necessary supply of research marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Chemic Labs has been blocked for almost two years from purchasing these 10 grams of marijuana from NIDA, or importing them from the Dutch Office of Medicinal Cannabis. This unreasonable delay is an excellent example of how the federal government takes advantage of its monopoly on the supply of marijuana that can legally be used in research in order to obstruct privately-funded research.

    MAPS sued NIDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing "unreasonable delay" but in December 2004 the Court dismissed that argument without prejudice, meaning that we could sue again later if the delay continued. We're now considering another lawsuit, though we expect NIDA will provide the marijuana prior to the August 22, 2005 DEA Administrative Law Judge hearing about Prof. Craker's license for a marijuana production facility at UMass Amherst.

  11. New political ad published June 20 about federal obstruction of marijuana research

    Common Sense for Drug Policy has published a new medical marijuana ad about federal obstruction of privately-funded medical marijuana research. The ad cites MAPS and directs readers to the MAPS website for additional information. This is another example of the government failing to keep its obstruction of research a dastardly deed done in the dark.

  12. Dr. Evgeny Krupitsky visits MAPS President Rick Doblin in Boston; Ketamine psychotherapy paper submitted for publication

    Russian psychedelic researcher Evgeny Krupitsky M.D. visited Rick Doblin in Boston on June 14. MAPS had recently helped Dr. Krupitsky in editing and submitting to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs his scientific paper on his MAPS and Heffter-funded study of single v. multiple ketamine-assisted psychotherapy sessions in the treatment of heroin addiction. Dr. Krupitsky's research showed that multiple sessions were more effective than a single session in helping subjects remain abstinent. On June 20, we learned that the Journal had conducted its preliminary review and had decided to send Dr. Krupitsky's paper out for the formal peer-review process.

    Russia currently has very strict laws about so-called narcotics and will not allow any research with Schedule I drugs, which now includes ketamine. Dr. Krupitsky, however, is not giving up his effort and is hoping to begin research with ketamine in the treatment of alcoholics in Russia within the next year or two.

  13. MAPS Board of Directors Meeting: 2005

    MAPS annual board meeting took place on May 30 after the Mindstates conference in psychedelic San Francisco at the home of MAPS Board Member John Gilmore. Board members Gilmore and Doblin were present and Board member Marybeth Home participated by phone. The meeting was opened to a handful of other interested people: Rob Kampia, Marijuana Policy Project; Stephen Trichter, Explore Spirit; Sandra Karpetas and Leah Martin, Iboga Therapy House; Wrye Sententia, Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics; MAPS patron member Shawn Hailey and his son; Richard Wolfe, Heffter and NORML Board member; and MAPS staffers Brandy Doyle, Julia Onnie-Hay, and Valerie Mojeiko. An excitingly fruitful year was reviewed, as well as the need for even more support in the coming years in order to carry out several ambitious projects as MAPS finally begins its first psychedelic therapy research projects, and makes plans to go international with this research. Our goal is to raise $250,000 this year for MDMA research, and $450,000 the following year. Thanks for all of your help in getting us this far!

  14. Upcoming psychedelics conferences: From the Amazon to the Caribbean to the Rhine: An eclectic collection

    • From July 16-22, join MAPS staffer Julia Onnie-Hay at the International Amazonian Shamanism Conference in Iquitos, Peru. The conference is sponsored by the Church Soga del Alma and speakers will include Dr. Dennis McKenna, Luis Eduardo Luna, Peter Gorman and Alan Shoemaker.

    • From August 17-25, you can find me, MAPS staffer Valerie Mojeiko, at
      Jamaica's Hedonism III and Breezes Runaway Bay resorts at Psytopia, a 7-day all-inclusive psychedelic festival of the mind that is a charity event for MAPS, NORML, The Drug Policy Alliance, The Albert Hofmann Foundation and the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. There will be speakers, musicians from around the globe, and a variety of wacky events (laser shows, snorkeling, and circus school to name a few) organized by Alex Pearlstein and the Coalition for Cosmic Consciousness. Come surround yourself with like-minded individuals who have come to learn, share and experience an amazing array of the possibilities this world has to offer.
    • From January 13-15, 2006, last but far from least, we are pleased to announce: LSD Problem Child and Wonder Drug An International Symposium on the Occasion of the 100th Birthday of Albert Hofmann. Presented by the Gaia Media Foundation, this will be a symposium to honor the best known and most controversial discovery of this outstanding scientist. Experts will present an in-depth review of all aspects of this unique phenomenon of LSD, the three letters that changed the world: informing and discussing history, experiences, implications, risks and potentials of this potent psychoactive substance. MAPS will be represented by Rick Doblin, Valerie Mojeiko. Dr. John Halpern, Dr. Andrew Sewell, Dr. Charles Grob, and Dr. Michael and Annie Mithoefer, most of whom are also speakers. This is a conference not to be missed.

    • Hofmann-signed Portrait by Dean Chamberlain: Only a few left!

      Dean Chamberlain's light painting portraits signed by Albert Hofmann are selling fast. We have already sold 40 of the series of 50, which means there are only 10 left, priced at $2000 each. We've already raised more than $20,000 for MAPS' LSD/psilocybin cluster headache study project (more on this project next month). To view the portrait, go to the MAPS webstore. You can order your light painting portrait on the MAPS online bookstore or by calling the MAPS office at 941-924-6277.

  15. MAPS Website Visits Increasing

    In the past month the MAPS website served over a third of a million pages to over 80,000 unique visitors. Medical marijuana and related subjects continue to be the areas of most interest among web visitors, leading MDMA by about 3-1.

  16. Request help in finding Chinese Translator for LSD: My Problem Child

    MAPS is exploring the idea of having Albert Hofmann's LSD: My Problem Child translated into Chinese. Albert requested that this book, which contains a clear expression of his philosophy, be translated into Russian and Chinese. A Russian translation has recently been sent to MAPS by Vladimir Maykov from Moscow and now we just need a Chinese translation. Due to vague laws in Russia against promoting drug use, it's not legally safe to actually publish a Russian edition of LSD My Problem Child in book form for distribution inside Russia. Unfortunately, we're not doing much better in the US. As a side note, Google initially refused to let MAPS purchase ads linked to the keywords MDMA and Ecstasy because Google claimed that the MAPS website promoted drug use, which is not permitted by their ad policies. We argued that MAPS is about legal research and Google finally accepted our ads, but Google reiterated its policy that no sites that promote drug use can purchase ads. If we're not careful, before long sites that promote evolution and oppose the War in Iraq will not be permitted to advertise on Google.

    Does anyone know a translator who could do a very good job, either donated time or for a partial or full fee? The book has about 50,000 words. English and Russian versions can be found at MAPS' Free Digital Books.

    We'd probably not actually publish the book on paper but just post the Chinese translation in multiple locations on the internet. MAPS is going to republish a paperback edition of LSD: My Problem Child, in English, in time for Albert's 100th birthday on January 11, 2006.

  17. New Documentary Series Focuses on Transpersonal Psychology and the Human Consciousness Movement

    Transpersonal Media (Dallas, TX) recently announced the global release of a major new DVD series focusing on the field of Transpersonal Psychology and the Human Consciousness Movement. Transpersonal Conversations is a six-part series of cinema-quality documentary interviews with the founders and leaders of transpersonal psychology, the field of psychology that scientifically studies human spirituality and consciousness. The series includes never before seen interview footage with Dr. Stanislav Grof, Charles T. Tart, Ph. D., Frances Vaughan, Ph. D., Ralph Metzner, Ph. D., James Fadiman, Ph. D., and Christina Grof The six-hour series was shot on high-definition video and is available now on DVD and video cassette.

  18. Grants obtained by MAPS

    In last month's email update, we mistakenly reported that the Robert T. Keeler Foundation donated $20,000 to Dr. Mithoefer's US MDMA/PTSD study. The Robert T. Keeler Foundation actually donated $25,000!

    MAPS has received a pledge of a $50,000 donation for Dr. Halpern's US MDMA/cancer anxiety study from an anonymous Foundation.

    MAPS has received a grant of $10,000 for operational expenses from the Libra Foundation, established by Nick and Susan Pritzker. Joby Pritzker has pledged an additional $10,000, also for operational expenses.

    If anyone has suggestions for potential donors, please contact the MAPS office and we will discuss how best to reach out to them.

  19. Psychedelic Trivia--Double-helix Discovered with the Help of LSD

    On a closing note, here is an interesting historical item that was recently circulated around the internet: Francis Crick, Nobel-prize winning father of modern genetics, reportedly made one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 20th century--the double-helix--while high on LSD. Crick, who died last year at age 88, was a devotee of author Aldous Huxley and often used low doses of LSD to boost his powers of thought. One day, MAPS hopes to expand on our current research of using psychedelics to alleviate suffering, and begin research into other uses of psychedelics such as the stimulation of creativity.

That concludes this email update. Until next time!

--Valerie--

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