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:
The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in Lyle Craker's federal lawsuit against the DEA for denying him a license to grow marijuana for research
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy researcher Michael Mithoefer, M.D., presents research results to Veterans Administration staff and researchers, and gives a free lecture to a packed crowd at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Check out MAPS in the Media for the latest psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
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.
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)
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.
See our Event Calendar for more events at the intersection of science, art, and medicine.
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.
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.
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.