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Media > Newsletter: December 4, 2003



Current News in Psychedelic and Medical Marijuana Research

Greetings, MAPS members!

In this issue, we have a number of research news items as well as some notes from the MAPS staff:

About research:

1. Great 12/2/03 NY Times article on Ricaurte's MDMA research exaggerations and retraction
2. MDMA/PTSD study progress report: Team prepares for study, awaits DEA approval
3. MAPS awarded $30,000 marijuana research grant
4. Dr. Donald Abrams receives FDA approval for first human vaporizer research

And from the MAPS office:

5. Latest MAPS bulletin at printers
6. New MAPS promotional items for sale
7. Upcoming retreat and seminar in Brazil

Please reply to this message if you'd like to be taken off our list or if you have an address change.

Thanks for your continued support!

From still-sunny Sarasota,
Brandy
--
Brandy Doyle
Director of Special Projects
MAPS
(941) 924-6277

1. Great 12/2/03 NY Times article on Ricaurte's MDMA research exaggerations and retraction

On December 2, in the Science Times section, the New York Times published a thorough article on the exaggerations of the risks of MDMA by NIDA-funded researchers Drs. George Ricaurte and Una McCann. You can read the article, Rick Doblin's corrections to the article, the Drug Policy Alliance press release, and Professor Mark Kleiman's weblog about Ricaurte's research in the December 2 entry at: http://www.maps.org/mdma/studyresponse.html

2. MDMA/PTSD study progress report: Team prepares for study, awaits DEA approval

On the weekend of November 14, 2003, the members of the MDMA/PTSD research team met in Charleston, South Carolina to further prepare to conduct the study. People traveled from California and New England to meet with the team members in Charleston. The team primarily worked on crafting source record and case report forms that will be used for collecting and maintaining data. Our forms will meet standards FDA applies to research conducted by pharmaceutical companies, owing to the hard and persistent work of two data monitors who have graciously volunteered time toward this project.

We also formed a randomization plan, essential for any randomized, double-blind study, and met with a pharmacist who will prepare the MDMA and placebo capsules, and with the Data Safety Monitoring Board that will periodically review data while the study is in process. We discussed how best to further develop the treatment manual, and Dr. Michael Mithoefer and Rick Doblin met with a potential donor. We are now just about ready to begin when Dr. Mithoefer obtains his license for handling Schedule I drugs from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The South Carolina-based DEA agents who visited Dr. Mithoefer's office on October 28 recommended that the DEA grant him his Schedule I license, and he has also already received his state R1 license for research with Schedule I drugs from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The DEA Schedule I license is the last hurdle before the study can begin.

3. MAPS awarded $30,000 grant for medical marijuana research

The Marijuana Policy Projected recently awarded MAPS $30,000 to further our work with medical marijuana research. The money will go towards the UMass Amherst medical marijuana production facility project, the vaporizer research, and MAPS staff time on these projects.

4. Dr. Donald Abrams receives FDA approval for first human vaporizer research

FDA has approved Dr. Donald Abrams' study comparing cannabinoid blood levels, carbon monoxide levels, and subjective effects in human subjects who smoke marijuana and (at a different time) inhale vapors from the same amount of marijuana in the Volcano vaporizer (http://www.vapormed.de). This historic study will begin in early 2004.

The only remaining milestone that is required before it makes financial and political sense to initiate a major medical marijuana drug development effort is for MAPS to break NIDA's monopoly on the supply of marijuana that can be used in FDA-approved research. We plan to do this either by obtaining a DEA license for the UMass Amherst project (most desirable) or by obtaining a DEA permit to import marijuana from the Dutch Office of Medicinal Cannabis (less desirable). DEA is still leisurely reviewing applications for both of these sources of supply.

5. Latest MAPS bulletin at the printers

The latest MAPS bulletin is at the printers, and should go to the mailing house as soon as next week. We expect it to reach members in late December or early January. The past few months, the MAPS staff has been busy responding to all the project developments as well as unusually high media attention, so unfortunately this is the first issue since the spring edition with Albert Hofmann on the cover. This is an especially nice edition, however, with lots of info, features, and another beautiful color cover. In an effort to recruit new members, we're sending current members two copies each, so you can share one with a friend. Please give your extra copy to someone who may be interested in psychedelic and/or medical marijuana research, and help MAPS grow!

6. New MAPS promotional items for sale

In the next few months, we plan to offer MAPS promotional items with memberships and online. For now, we've started with MAPS water bottles ($7 including shipping) and coffee mugs ($10 including shipping). These are not yet on the website, but you can order by calling us at (941) 924-6277 or responding to this message. Both items have purple text reading "MAPS" and listing our website address. The coffee mug reads "Replacing Fear with Facts" and the water bottle reads "Supporting Psychedelic and Medical Marijuana Research Since 1986."

7. Upcoming ayahuasca healing retreat in Brazil

Though we don't ordinarily advertise non-MAPS events, we're including this announcement about a healing retreat in Brazil because interested MAPS members won't get the flyers (included with the bulletin) in time to make plans to attend.

Ayahuasca Healing Retreat
January 11-20, 2004
Manaus, Brazil

There will be four ceremonies with ayahuasca and two with salvia divinorum (ska pastora), lectures by top people in the field of visionary and healing plant teachers, as well as workshops in the shamanic use of neuro-technology devices, Lucid Dreaming, group sharing, transpersonal exercises and local excursions.

Staff:
* Robert Venosa, visionary artist
* Martinna Hoffmann, visionary artist
* Zoe Seven, consciousness researcher and author
* Silvia Polivoy, psychologist

Find more information as well as an application form at our web site: http://www.ayahuasca-healing.net or contact Silvia at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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