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Media > Newsletter: June 14, 2012



MAPS Receives $5 Million Gift
for MDMA Research from Estate of
Software Pioneer Ashawna Hailey
June 14, 2012

Dear MAPS Members and Friends,

Board Member Ashawna Hailey
leaves $5 million for MDMA research

As summer approaches, I'm filled with both a profound sense of gratitude and a renewed sense of purpose.

MAPS has received a tremendous gift—approximately $5 million—from the estate of software pioneer and MAPS Board Member Ashawna Hailey, who passed away in October 2011 (press release).

Ashawna's gift brings us significantly closer to the $15 million needed to complete Phase 3 trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and make it a legally available treatment, but we still have a long way to go.

The bequest is both a huge leap forward for our MDMA research program and a challenge to us to see that program completed: gratitude and purpose.

In this edition of the MAPS Newsletter, you'll discover:

Please enjoy this edition of the MAPS Newsletter, and don't forget to share it with friends, family, and colleagues.


With purpose and gratitude,

Brad Burge
MAPS Director of Communications

    MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Research:

  1. MAPS Receives $5 Million Bequest from Estate of Board Member Ashawna Hailey for MDMA Research
  2. U.S. Veterans Study: Eighth Subject Starts Treatment, Subject Drops Out After Single Successful Session with Benefits Sustained One Year Later
  3. U.S. Intern Study: DEA Approves MDMA/PTSD Protocol, Reviews License
  4. Australia: MAPS and PRISM Researchers Respond to Ethics Committee Concerns
  5. Israel: MDMA/PTSD Site Team Prepares for Subject Screening
  6. MAPS Shares Research Results with Doctors and Therapists at Veterans Administration and UCSF Medical Center
  7. Medical Marijuana Research:

  8. U.S. First Circuit Court Hears Oral Arguments in Lyle Craker v. Drug Enforcement Administration
  9. Arizona Medical Association Challenges NIDA Blockade of Medical Marijuana Research
  10. Media:

  11. Video: Why MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD? Interviews with Researchers
  12. Care2: Medical Marijuana Is Now Legal In Connecticut
  13. The Free Weekly: The Secret Truth About Psychedelic Medicines
  14. The Philly Post: Psychedelics are the New Pot
  15. Love Unbroken, A Memoir of Ayahuasca and Addiction Recovery
  16. Support MAPS:

  17. Timothy Leary's Floatation Tank Sold, Proceeds Benefit MAPS Research and Education
  18. Events:

  19. High Times Medical Cannabis Cup: June 23-24, San Francisco, CA
  20. Psychedemia: September 27-30, Philadelphia, PA
  21. More News:

  22. Seeking Volunteers for Psychedelic Harm Reduction Services at Burning Man 2012
  23. Call for Papers: Humboldt Journal of Social Relations Special Issue on Marijuana and Society
  24. Seeking Research Participants: People on the Autism Spectrum Currently Using or Interested in Using Cannabis as a Medication

MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Research

Visit www.mdmaptsd.org to learn more about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a possible solution for PTSD.


MAPS Board Member Ashawna Hailey
1946-2011

1. MAPS Receives $5 Million Bequest from Estate of Board Member Ashawna Hailey for MDMA Research

A remarkably generous bequest of approximately $5 million from the estate of software pioneer Ashawna (Shawn) Hailey (press release) will be the largest gift in MAPS' 26-year history. $200,000 of Ashawna's gift will be used for a new pilot study of MDMA for adults with Asperger's syndrome, and the rest reserved for Phase 3 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Ashawna's bequest makes a compelling case for donations of the remaining funds for our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD Phase 2 studies (about $2 million) and Phase 3 studies (about $10 million). Learn more...

2. U.S. Veterans Study: Eighth Subject Starts Treatment, Subject Drops Out After Single Successful Session with Benefits Sustained One Year Later

On May 23, 2012, the eighth of 24 subjects received their first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session in our ongoing study in U.S. veterans, firefighters, or police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. Two subjects have now completed the 12-month long-term follow up in the study. On May 16, the first subject enrolled in the study completed the study after their 12-month long-term follow-up interview. We are still seeking the additional $650,000 needed to complete this study. Learn more...

On May 13, the third subject enrolled in the study completed their long-term follow-up evaluations. This subject was a veteran suffering from chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD as a result of military service, who after one MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session felt so improved that he needed no further treatments with MDMA or any other drug. Learn more...

3. U.S. Intern Study: DEA Approves MDMA/PTSD Protocol, Reviews License

On May 15, 2012, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration approved the protocol for our upcoming study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, to take place in Boulder, Colorado, with Marcela Ot'alora as lead investigator. This study will begin recruiting and enrolling subjects once the DEA grants the Schedule 1 license to the study physician and the necessary site preparations are complete. Learn more...

4. Australia: MAPS and PRISM Researchers Respond to Ethics Committee Concerns

MAPS is working with an Australian non-profit organization, Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM), to obtain approval for a new Australian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. On May 31, 2012, MAPS and PRISM responded to the Australian Ethics Committee's concerns about the study protocol. Learn more...

5. Israel: MDMA/PTSD Site Team Prepares for Subject Screening

On June 7, 2012, Mimi Peleg, the new Clinical Research Associate for MAPS' upcoming Israeli study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD completed a site visit report to help the study investigators in their final preparations for starting the study and screening subjects. In the last couple of months, Mimi has been working closely with the new Study Coordinator, Edo Elan, to complete all the steps necessary to conduct a high-quality clinical trial. Learn more...

6. MAPS Shares Research Results with Doctors and Therapists at Veterans Administration and UCSF Medical Center

On May 31 and June 1, 2012, psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer, M.D., presented information about our initial studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and our ongoing study in veterans with Veterans Administration staff in Palo Alto and San Francisco. On the evening of May 31, MAPS hosted a tremendously successful free lecture and discussion at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Learn more...

Medical Marijuana Research


MAPS is making the case for medical marijuana.

7. U.S. First Circuit Court Hears Oral Arguments in Lyle Craker v. Drug Enforcement Administration

On May 11, 2012, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, Mass., heard oral arguments in the case of Lyle E. Craker v. Drug Enforcement Administration. The arguments are the culmination of 11 years of administrative and legal proceedings in response to the DEA's denial of a license to Prof. Craker to start a production facility under contract to MAPS to grow marijuana exclusively for privately funded, federally regulated medical research. Learn more...

8. Arizona Medical Association Challenges NIDA Blockade of Medical Marijuana Research

On June 2, 2012, the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) House of Delegates unanimously adopted a resolution (pdf) challenging the National Institute on Drug Abuse's blockade of medical marijuana research. ArMA's resolution is yet another pressure point on the federal government's obstruction of medical marijuana research. Learn more...

Media

Check out MAPS in the Media for the latest psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.

9. Video: Why MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD? Interviews with Researchers

Psychologist Andrew Feldmar, Ph.D., talks about the importance of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research for PTSD. Dr. Feldmar is working with MAPS and Health Canada to start a new study in Vancouver.

More interviews online:

Video: Rick Doblin, Ph.D., founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), talks about how research into MDMA and other psychedelics as treatments for PTSD and other illnesses is helping pave the way from banned drugs to legal medicines.

Video: Psychiatrist Ingrid Pacey, M.D., talks about the importance of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research for PTSD. Dr. Pacey is working with MAPS and Health Canada to start a new study in Vancouver.

These interviews were recorded as part of the upcoming documentary From Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines, to be released in late 2012.


image: The Free Weekly

10. Care2: Medical Marijuana Is Now Legal In Connecticut

Care2 explores how Connecticut's new medical marijuana law is at odds with the federal government's continued unwillingness to allow research into its safety and effectiveness. (June 3, 2012)

11. The Free Weekly: The Secret Truth About Psychedelic Medicines

The cover article in Northwest Arkansas' alternative magazine The Free Weekly looks at the history of psychedelics in science, medicine, technology innovation, and spiritual practice. (May 24, 2012)

12. The Philly Post: Psychedelics are the New Pot

The Philly Post reveals how psychedelics have recently become more embraced by science and popular culture, from Oprah's magazine and "Mad Men" to comedians talking about psychedelic-assisted therapy during their sets. (May 18, 2012)

13. Love Unbroken, A Memoir of Ayahuasca and Addiction Recovery

Love Unbroken: From Addiction to Redemption is a mother-daughter memoir by Susan and Pamela Thesenga about Pam's extreme drug addiction and the healing role that ayahuasca (through the Santo Daime church) played in her life. Early exposure to the Santo Daime helped give her faith during the darkest days of her life as a homeless street addict and offered her hope for her recovery. Visit www.loveunbroken.org to learn more.

Support MAPS

14. Timothy Leary's Floatation Tank Sold, Proceeds Benefit MAPS Research and Education

The Samadhi Floatation Tank gifted from John C. Lilly to Timothy Leary has been sold in our eBay auction for $6,700 with proceeds benefiting MAPS research and education projects. The winner, Daniel Chase Powell, is a passionate supporter of psychedelic research and MAPS volunteer who seeks to share the float experience with the greater community by offering usage of the tank to those visiting Olympia, Washington. Those interested may contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Thank you, Daniel, for an outstanding contribution to psychedelic research and education and for continuing to offer access to this historic artifact and its unique lineage.

Events

See our Event Calendar for more events at the intersection of science, art, and medicine.

15. High Times Medical Cannabis Cup: June 23-24, San Francisco, CA


16. Psychedemia: September 27-30, Philadelphia, PA

More News

17. Seeking Volunteers for Psychedelic Harm Reduction Services at Burning Man 2012

MAPS is currently seeking volunteers—especially doctors, residents, nurses, and emergency medical technicians—to provide support for a possible psychedelic harm reductions services space hosted by the Fractal Nation theme camp at Burning Man 2012. MAPS has the opportunity to work with the Fractal Nation organizers to coordinate harm reduction services for people having difficult experiences with psychedelic substances, provided we can find enough staff with medical training. If you are a qualified medical professional and/or have relevant experience, are considering attending Burning Man 2012 (and ideally already have a ticket), and are interested in volunteering for psychedelic harm reduction services at Fractal Nation, please fill out the Fractal Nation 2012 Psychedelic Harm Reduction Interest Form to apply.

Fractal Nation is also raising funds to help them return to Burning Man in 2012 after an incredibly successful (yet expensive) first year in 2011. Fractal Nation 2012 (a collaboration between Android Jones, Charles Shaw/Exile Nation, and many more artists and organizers) will include the Envision Festival soundstage; the Tribe 13 Visionary Art Gallery; live painting by Alex and Allyson Grey and Andrew Jones; art installations; tea houses; and much more. MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and MAPS Director of Communications Brad Burge will be presenting as part of the Fractal Nation Speaker and Workshop Series, hosted by former MAPS staff member Brian Wallace. Learn more.

Learn more about Psychedelic Harm Reduction.

18. Call for Papers: Humboldt Journal of Social Relations Special Issue on Marijuana and Society

The Humboldt Journal of Social Relations is welcoming paper submissions for its upcoming special issue on "Current Perspectives on Marijuana and Society." This special issue of the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations (HJSR) features current research into marijuana production, control, and use. The issue welcomes university affiliated submissions as well as submissions from those associated with marijuana policy. Submissions are due on September 15, 2012 and invited in the following areas:

  • Marijuana Policy Options – Critical examination of legalization, decriminalization, harm reduction, depenalization, taxation/regulation, and land use
  • Marijuana Production and Use – Environmental/ecological and economic impacts, as well as mental health issues and social norms and attitudes
  • Marijuana Control – Local, state, and federal interdiction/regulation initiatives
  • Open Submissions – Current perspectives on marijuana and society
Download the Call for Papers (pdf) for additional guidelines and submission instructions.

19. Seeking Research Participants: People on the Autism Spectrum Currently Using or Interested in Using Cannabis as a Medication

The Unconventional Foundation for Autism is conducting a survey study (not sponsored by MAPS) intended to gather information about new treatments and pave the way for future clinical trials. Information collected in the survey will be used to guide families, new patients, doctors and lawmakers in making informed decisions for themselves and our community. Click here to learn more or participate, or contact Nicole at the Unconventional Foundation for Autism at (714) 293-1588.

Give Our Veterans Hope
1 in 7 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD, in many cases leading to suicide. We owe it to our veterans to stop this epidemic.

Tell the Pentagon to fund MAPS' groundbreaking work to treat PTSD.