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Media > Newsletter: September 21, 2011



MAPS' mission is to treat conditions for which conventional medicines provide limited relief, such as PTSD & anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses, by developing psychedelics & marijuana into prescription medicines.
MAPS Takes DEA to Federal Court
for Blocking Medical Marijuana Research:
MAPS Email Newsletter
September 21, 2011

Dear MAPS Members and Friends,

Welcome to the September 2011 MAPS Email Newsletter. I'm especially excited to bring you this latest edition, since gathering all this news from MAPS members, researchers, and associates has reminded me of the incredible immensity, urgency, and momentum that the psychedelic research community has created over the past 25 years.

First and foremost, thank you for your continued support.

On August 15, the Drug Enforcement Administration upheld the federal monopoly on marijuana for medical research by rejecting a judge's 2007 recommendation that Prof. Lyle Craker be granted a license to grow marijuana for privately funded, government-reviewed medical research. MAPS and Prof. Craker will continue to take legal action against the DEA, and a leading Washington, D.C. law firm has agreed to represent MAPS and Prof. Craker for free.

Times may be tough for medical marijuana, but our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research is flying forward. On September 14, the DEA approved our license to store and administer MDMA for our newest study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for individuals with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD.

The Summer 2011 MAPS Bulletin is now available online. This edition features:

  • a special message from Rick Doblin, Ph.D., MAPS' Founder and Executive Director
  • thorough summaries of all our major research projects around the world
  • exciting news about the launch of MAPS Canada and other international affiliates
  • a review of MAPS in the Media
  • a complete calendar of past and upcoming events in celebration of our 25th anniversary
  • and more.
One last thing: Have you heard about Cartographie Psychedelica? The first 400 All-Access Passes sold will include a morning cruise on the San Francisco Bay. The deadline for early bird discount registration is September 30, so get your tickets today and join us for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Science, compassion, community.

Sincerely,

Brad Burge, M.A.
MAPS Director of Communications

    Research News:

  1. DEA Approves US MDMA/PTSD Relapse Study Protocol; Study Initiation Scheduled
  2. DEA Upholds Federal Marijuana Monopoly; Onward to First Circuit Court of Appeals
  3. MAPS Volunteer Makes Tremendous Contribution to Online Psychedelic Bibliography
  4. MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Results Receive Further Praise from Expert Reviewers
  5. Upcoming MAPS Events:

  6. Cartographie Psychedelica: December 8-12, Oakland, CA
  7. 25th Anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica Tour: September 21, Seattle, WA
  8. 25th Anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica Tour: October 15, New York City
  9. More Events:

  10. Horizons Psychedelics Conference: October 14-16, NYC
  11. Special MAPS Discount for Science & Nonduality Conference: October 19-23, San Rafael, CA
  12. International Drug Policy Reform Conference: November 2-5, Los Angeles, CA
  13. Spirituality & Psychology Conference: February 17-19, 2012, Atherton, CA
  14. Media:

  15. Pioneering Transpersonal Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof Interviewed at Esalen Institute
  16. Review of New Book on Pharmacology of LSD Published in British Journal of Psychiatry
  17. More News:

  18. Support Psychedelic Science: Donate an Item to The Kaleidoscope Vault
  19. Fascinating New Documentary on Psychedelic Medicine Under Production
  20. Safer Festival Provides Psychedelic Emergency Services at European Events
  21. Institute for Transpersonal Psychology Offers Psychedelic Research Course This Fall

Research News

1. DEA Approves US MDMA/PTSD Relapse Study Protocol; Study Initiation Scheduled

On September 14, 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) notified MAPS that it had approved the Schedule 1 licenses required to transport, store, and administer the MDMA for our new "relapse study" of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the protocol on May 24 and an Institutional Review Board on June 9. Now that we have received all necessary clearances, we will schedule the study initiation and begin enrolling subjects.

This study, which will take place in Charleston, SC, is limited to up to three subjects whose PTSD symptoms returned years after participating in our flagship Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. This relapse study will attempt to determine whether a single additional open-label MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session along with several non-drug psychotherapy sessions can be effective for once again enabling these subjects to be free of a diagnosis of PTSD.

2. DEA Upholds Federal Marijuana Monopoly; Onward to First Circuit Court of Appeals

On August 15, 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued its final order rejecting DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner's 2007 recommendation that it would be in the public interest to grant University of Massachusetts, Amherst Prof. Lyle Craker a license to grow marijuana for federally regulated research.

The rejection preserves the monopoly held by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on the supply of marijuana for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research. The final order is the DEA's latest attack on privately funded medical marijuana research, despite the Obama administration's promises to prioritize science over politics when it came to medical marijuana. Even if our appeal is successful, the process will likely delay our efforts to obtain the license for our production facility, a necessary prerequisite to launching a realistic medical marijuana drug development effort (which could cost an estimated $10 million).

ALJ Bittner issued her recommendation to license Prof. Craker on February 12, 2007, after extensive hearings. On January 14, 2009, almost two years later and six days before President Obama's inauguration, DEA Acting Administrator Michelle Leonhart rejected the ALJ recommendation. In response, Prof. Craker's lawyers filed a series of objections, which were denied in the August 15 final order. Prof. Craker's only recourse is to appeal the DEA final ruling in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

MAPS has received a generous offer for pro-bono legal representation from the Washington, DC law firm Covington & Burling LLP, one of the foremost law firms representing the pharmaceutical industry. Pursuing this case in the First Circuit Court of Appeals would otherwise have cost MAPS an estimated $175,000 in legal fees, which we may or may not have been able to raise.

See MAPS' official press release and Medical Marijuana Research page for more information about MAPS' efforts to conduct privately-funded, FDA-reviewed medical marijuana research.

3. MAPS Volunteer Makes Tremendous Contribution to Online Psychedelic Bibliography

Did you know that MAPS maintains the world's most comprehensive electronic database of published scientific literature on psychedelic substances? MAPS' World Wide Web Psychedelic Bibliography contains numerous resources for researchers, students, and anyone else interested in the safety and pharmacological and therapeutic effects of MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, marijuana, and many other substances. It even includes MAPS' MDMA Literature Review, which is the world's most complete summary of the peer-reviewed literature on MDMA. The ultimate goal is to have both abstracts and full text versions of every published article about psychedelics freely available for download, in order to encourage the growth of psychedelic and medical marijuana research worldwide.

MAPS volunteer J.B. Porter recently completed over 1,000 hours updating the World Wide Web Psychedelic Bibliography, during which he located and uploaded nearly 1,500 full-text articles (almost 60 gigabytes of data) and added more than 1,000 article summaries to the database. A lot of work remains, but MAPS and psychedelic researchers around the world owe this dedicated volunteer their gratitude for his extensive work which will benefit many people—researchers, students, and patients—for many years to come.

4. MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Results Receive Further Praise from Expert Reviewers

The paper announcing the results of our flagship Phase 1 pilot study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD has received additional praise from peer reviewers, reminding us once again of the impact of MAPS' innovative research on mainstream science and medicine. The Faculty of 1000, a multidisciplinary association of expert scientists and clinical reviewers that conducts post-publication peer review of scientific articles, has reviewed and recommended our 2010 paper. According to the Faculty of 1000, this review places our paper in the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine. This paper was also the Journal of Psychopharmacology's most downloaded article in 2010.

Upcoming MAPS Events

5. Cartographie Psychedelica: December 8-12, Oakland, CA

CARTOGRAPHY
noun
: the science or art of making maps

Join MAPS for an entire weekend of education and entertainment,
plus optional day-long Friday and Monday workshops.

TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW
Early-bird discount deadline September 30

MAPS members are eligible for 10% off their registration.
If you haven't already, visit the MAPS Store to sign up for a membership and receive your discount code.
If you're already a member and have not received your discount code, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call us at 831-429-6362.

Featuring:

Two days of
LECTURES
with leading figures in psychedelic and medical marijuana research
Pre- and post-conference
ALL-DAY WORKSHOPS
on psychedelic therapy, visionary art, neuroscience, and more

The LUMENARIUM
Tribute Dinner for Stanislav & Christina Grof

The KALEIDOSCOPE VAULT
Adventure Auction

The MEDICINE BALL
Late-Night Celebration

The FLOATING WORLD
Morning Cruise on the San Francisco Bay

All proceeds from Cartographie Psychedelica will support MAPS' psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.

Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided for select programming by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC).

6. 25th Anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica Tour: September 21, Seattle, WA

25th Anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica Tour-Seattle

September 21, 2011
Doors at 6 (VIP), 6:30 (Supporter), & 7 PM (Attendee)
Auction at 9 PM

EM Fine Art Gallery
410 Dexter Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

(map)

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR

7. 25th Anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica Tour: October 15, New York City

25th Anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica Tour-NYC

We continue our 25th Anniversary tour with a benefit dinner for our friends, allies, and local supporters in the heart of New York City. It will be an intimate evening of discussions and research updates with MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Director of Field Development Brian Wallace, and Lead Clinical Research Associate Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D.

The event coincides with the annual Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference for a full weekend of entertainment, community, and psychedelic education.

More information coming soon.

More Events

8. Horizons Psychedelics Conference: October 14-16, NYC

9. Special MAPS Discount for Science & Nonduality Conference: October 19-23, San Rafael, CA

Special offer for MAPS supporters:
Receive $45 off registration by entering coupon code MAPS when ordering your tickets.

10. International Drug Policy Reform Conference: November 2-5, Los Angeles, CA

11. Spirituality & Psychology Conference: February 17-19, 2012, Atherton, CA

Media

12. Pioneering Transpersonal Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof Interviewed at Esalen Institute

An intriguing and personal seven-part interview with Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., about his pioneering work in transpersonal psychology and Holotropic Breathwork is now available on YouTube. The interviews were conducted by Richard Tarnas, Ph.D., author and Professor of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute for Integral Studies, at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. The interviews include comments by transpersonal psychologist and Holotropic Breathwork co-creator Christina Grof, Ph.D.

The videos are available in seven parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Join MAPS staff, speakers, and icons of the psychedelic research community on December 10, 2011, for The Lumenarium, a tribute dinner celebrating the life and work of Stan and Christina Grof. The Lumenarium is just one of the many exciting events happening from December 8-12 in the San Francisco Bay Area as part of Cartographie Psychedelica, MAPS' 25th anniversary conference and celebration. Prof. Tarnas will also be speaking at The Lumenarium, making these videos a fitting preview of this momentous celebration.

13. Review of New Book on Pharmacology of LSD Published in British Journal of Psychiatry

The September issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry has published a strong review of Annelie Hintzen and Torsten Passie's new book The Pharmacology of LSD: A Critical Review. The review, by UK psychiatrist Ben Sessa, M.D., summarizes the book's thorough discussion of the over 1000 pharmacological studies of LSD conducted in the past 60 years. The publication of the review in so prominent a journal, not to mention the publication of the book itself, highlights how quickly psychedelics are reemerging into mainstream medicine. The Pharmacology of LSD: A Critical Review is published by Oxford University Press and The Beckley Foundation. Link to full text of review (subscription required).

More News

14. Support Psychedelic Science: Donate an Item to The Kaleidoscope Vault

What treasures do you have hidden in your own secret vault? The Kaleidoscope Vault will take place on December 9 as part of Cartographie Psychedelica, our 25th anniversary benefit conference and celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are making an official call for in-kind donations of vacation and timeshare rentals, rare psychedelic memorabilia and collector's items, gift certificates for local services, and anything else our networks can offer in support. If you have something that you'd like to offer MAPS to auction off to our supporters, please fill out the auction item donation form. If you have questions, please contact MAPS Store Manager Brian Brown.

15. Fascinating New Documentary on Psychedelic Medicine Under Production

Only two days left to help this important film see the light of day! From Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines is an in-progress feature documentary which has already shot interviews with some of the world's foremost researchers, writers, and pioneers in psychedelic psychotherapy. These radical healers and dissenters are using everything from ancient concoctions to newly created designer molecules to the once-demonized psychedelic drugs of the 1960s as essential medicines, and firmly believe that they should be available for therapeutic use. From Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines includes a vibrant spectrum of characters and many MAPS researchers and associates. Noted contributors include Rick Doblin, Stanislav Grof, Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, Peter Oehen, David Healy, Ralph Metzner, Amanda Feilding, Michael Mithoefer, Andrew Feldmar, Dennis McKenna, Soi Bari, Gabor Maté, Wade Davis, Jeremy Narby, David Nichols, Julie Holland, Charles Grob, and more. With your help the 120-minute film will be completed by mid-2012, to include both festival and broadcast versions plus an interactive e-book. This project is funded entirely by individual contributors like you. Please contact filmmaker Oliver Hockenhull with questions about the film.

16. Safer Festival Provides Psychedelic Emergency Services at European Events

From August 25-29, 2011, non-profit harm reduction organization Safer Festival provided a successful psychedelic emergency service area at the Sol Fest in Spain where psychological support and counseling was available for individuals having difficult psychedelic experiences. The team was composed of 12 volunteers from Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, UK, Portugal, Spain, and Argentina. The area was composed of a seven-meter tipi and a nine-meter dome, and was available 24 hours a day during the entire festival for festival attendees. Safer Festival plans to provide a harm reduction team for the Boom Festival in Portugal, where there is a strong need for such services and where other harm reduction services have operated in the past. If you are interested in being part of this project for the next Boom Festival (from July 28-August 4, 2012), please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) before October 15. Learn more about how you can support emergency services at festivals.

17. Institute for Transpersonal Psychology Offers Psychedelic Research Course This Fall

Join the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA for "Psychedelics: Theory, Research, & Clinical Applications," an innovative course covering the rich but marginalized literature of psychedelic healing traditions and scientific research. This course, taught by Alicia Danforth, M.A., David Lukoff, Ph.D., and James Fadiman, Ph.D. (ITP co-founder and author of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, available in the MAPS store) will explore therapeutic issues involving the use of psychedelic substances. It covers clinical research on psychedelic drugs as adjuncts to psychotherapy for the treatment of addiction, PTSD, and existential distress at the end of life, as well as how to address psychedelic experiences that clients bring into psychotherapy. Ancient, shamanic, and modern uses of psychedelics will be examined to provide broad cultural perspectives. Classes start September 27, and will meet on Tuesdays from 3-5 PM during ITP's Fall Quarter. The course is open to ITP students from all programs and ITP alums. Non-ITP students can also register but must pay tuition. Contact Brian Lieske at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to register.

Prof. Fadiman, together with Thomas Roberts, Ph.D., will also be leading a pre-conference workshop on the clinical applications of psychedelics at Cartographie Psychedelica on Friday, December 9.

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