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MAPS Bulletin Summer 2014: Research Edition
Media > Newsletter: June 15, 2014

MAPS Email Newsletter:
Making the Most of the
Time We Have Together
June 15, 2014

Dear friends and supporters,

Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, Ph.D.
(June 17, 1925-June 2, 2014)
Image: Jon Hanna/Erowid

Even as we celebrate our astonishing successes, the constant play of life and death gives us pause. In the last two weeks, the psychedelic research community bid farewell to two great leaders whose work and dedication have inspired us all.

On Monday, June 2, at the age of 88, pioneering psychedelic researcher Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin died surrounded by friends and family at his home in Lafayette, California. In addition to discovering hundreds of novel psychedelic compounds, Sasha was best known for introducing the world to the therapeutic use of MDMA. Sasha lived to see a worldwide renewal of psychedelic science and medicine, and our gratitude for his life and work is limitless.

Watch the Ann and Sasha Shulgin Tribute at Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century (April 2010).

Last week, on Friday, June 13, prominent MAPS supporter Dr. Richard Rockefeller died when the plane he was piloting crashed in Westchester County, NY. He was 65. "Richard's political wisdom and generosity in making personal connections have helped us eliminate barriers to research that we had been unable to overcome for over 20 years," reflected MAPS Founder Rick Doblin. "Now everything is different because of Richard."

Watch Treating Trauma: Dr. Richard Rockefeller at the Commonwealth Club of California (December 2013).

Learn how we're carrying the momentum forward in the June 2014 edition of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter:

Richard Rockefeller, M.D.
(Jan. 20, 1949-June 13, 2014)
Image: Wireimage
Get the latest news and research updates by joining us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

May the minds and spirits of those who came before inspire and guide us in our continued work to make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines, and give us strength to make the most of the time we have together.

Forever upward,

Brad Burge
MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing

    Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

  1. Boulder: Three More Subjects Enrolled; Study Size Increased to 23 Subjects
  2. U.S. Veterans: 18th Subject Enrolled and Treated
  3. Israel: Fourth Subject Enrolled
  4. LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy Research

  5. LSD Annual Report Submitted to FDA
  6. Medical Marijuana Research

  7. REPORT: The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science
  8. Psychedelic Harm Reduction

  9. Applications due June 20 for Zendo Project at Burning Man 2014
  10. Support MAPS

  11. Thank You for Your Gifts in the Month of May
  12. Media

  13. NPR, Washington Post, London Real, Reset.me, and more...
  14. MAPS Store

  15. Signed Editions of PiHKAL and TiHKAL by Sasha and Ann Shulgin
  16. Dirty Pictures Documentary DVD
  17. Events

  18. Evolver Webinar: What Plants Can Teach You with Dennis McKenna: Begins June 17
  19. World Ayahuasca Conference: September 25-27, Ibiza, Spain
  20. More News

  21. New Edition of Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer by Dr. John C. Lilly
  22. Weed the People Documentary to Explore Cannabis for Children with Cancer

Rachel Hope talks to Amber Lyon of Reset.me about how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy helped her overcome PTSD. "It was something like getting acquainted with my very, very best self." Watch now...


1. Boulder: Three More Subjects Enrolled; Study Size Increased to 23 Subjects

On May 27, 2014, the sixth, seventh, and eighth subjects were enrolled in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, Colorado. One subject voluntarily withdrew from the study following their first experimental session on May 2. Two subjects have now dropped out of this study. (Note: We are now subtracting dropouts from the total enrolled to more accurately reflect study progress.) On May 15, the Institutional Review Board approved our amendment to increase the size of the study from 17 to 23 subjects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration 30-day review period passed on June 1, enabling us to go forward with the amendment. We will also need approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration for the additional MDMA needed. This study is investigating the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD resulting from sexual assault, violent crime, war, or any other cause. This study is also testing the use of interns as one half of our male/female co-therapist teams. Download the study protocol | Learn more...
$711,000 estimated study cost • $213,000 raised • $498,000 still needed

The cover of the MAPS Bulletin Spring 2014 Special Edition: "Dr. Alexander 'Sasha' Shulgin's Home Laboratory" by Geneva Shanti.

2. U.S. Veterans: 18th Subject Enrolled and Treated

On May 23, 2014, the 18th subject was treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 24 U.S. veterans, firefighters, and police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. This subject was enrolled on May 16. On May 7, the 11th subject completed their one-year follow-up evaluation. This study is led by Principal Investigator Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and co-therapist Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., in Charleston, South Carolina. Learn more...
$1,376,000 estimated study cost • $1,274,000 raised • $102,000 still needed

3. Israel: Fourth Subject Enrolled

On May 13, 2014, the fourth subject was enrolled in our ongoing Israeli study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for 10 subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. The subject prematurely reported last month as the fourth enrollment was not formally enrolled after the investigators determined the subject would not be appropriate for the study. This study is being conducted at the Beer Yaakov Mental Hospital in Israel and led by Principal Investigator Moshe Kotler, M.D. Learn more...
$493,000 estimated study cost • $83,000 raised • $410,000 still needed

Learn more about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on or at mdmaptsd.org.


4. LSD Annual Report Submitted to FDA

On May 16, 2014, the annual report for LSD-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with advanced-stage illness was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The required report provides an overview of the clinical and study methodology issues related to our Swiss LSD-assisted psychotherapy research from February 2013 through February 2014. Our completed study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy was published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease on March 4, 2014, and reported in The New York Times and other international media. View the LSD annual report | Learn more...

Report: The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science (MAPS/DPA). Image: Sonya Yruel/DPA


REPORT: The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science

On June 9, 2014, MAPS and the Drug Policy Alliance released a collaborative report illustrating the Drug Enforcement Administration's refusal to exercise its responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner or to act in accord with the scientific evidence. The report's case studies reveal a number of DEA practices that maintain the existing, scientifically unsupported drug scheduling system and obstruct research that might alter current drug schedules. In addition to marijuana, the report also examines the DEA's speed in moving to ban MDMA, synthetic cannabinoids, and synthetic stimulants. A teleconference was held on June 10 to highlight the report with commentary from Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), DPA Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann, MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Columbia University Associate Professor Carl Hart, and Iraq War veteran Sean Azzariti. Listen to the recorded teleconference | Learn more....


Applications for the Zendo Project at Burning Man 2014 due June 20

6. Applications due June 20 for Zendo Project at Burning Man 2014

Zendo Project volunteers will provide compassionate support for anyone undergoing a difficult psychedelic experience during Burning Man 2014 in Black Rock City, Nevada, from August 25-September 1. If you are interested in applying and you have a ticket to Burning Man, please fill out an application by June 20. The Zendo will be hosted at FauxMirage Village, near 2:00&G. Application responses will be sent by the end of June along with camp information for FauxMirage Village. Note: To be considered, you must have your own Burning Man ticket; we are not able to assist in securing tickets. Zendo Project Volunteer Application | Donate...

Learn about our current Funding Priorities.


7. Thank You for Your Gifts in the Month of May

View our GuideStar non-profit report for mission objectives, financials, and more.

In May 2014, 175 donors gave $117,292 to support MAPS research and education programs. Special thanks to Board Member David Bronner for a gift of $100,000 for general support—may we all use Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps with enthusiasm! We also give thanks for unrestricted gifts of $1,000 from the San Francisco Bicycle Day Parade, Santa Cruz Mountain Naturals, and William Harrison. Thanks to Evergreen State College for a $5,000 speaker and travel fee, and to Northeastern University for a $1,000 speaker fee—and thanks to Executive Director Rick Doblin for always donating his speakers fees to MAPS! In addition, our gratitude goes out to the 165 donors who gave between $5 and $500, and to the four donors who gave a total of $545 to our fiscal sponsor projects: the Ayahuasca Association, the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council, and Bluelight. Thanks to all who supported MAPS last month!

Help us make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines—donate today!


8. NPR, Washington Post, London Real, Reset.me, and more

PRESS RELEASE: Report Highlights DEA's Obstruction of Science | view
MAPS, Drug Policy Alliance | June 10, 2014

FEATURED Reset.me: Mother of Four Cures PTSD With MDMA | watch
Amber Lyon with Rachel Hope | June 4, 2014

FEATURED London Real: Rick Doblin on MDMA Therapy | watch
Brian Rose | May 18, 2014

Santa Cruz Sentinel: A New Way To Heal | view
Jason Hoppin | May 28, 2014

The New York Times: Ayahuasca: A Strong Cup of Tea | view
Bob Morris | June 13, 2014

NPR: How A Scientist Of Psychedelics Became The 'Godfather Of Ecstasy' | view
Audie Cornish | June 4, 2014

Washington Post: Chemist Alexander Shulgin, Popularizer of the Drug Ecstasy, Dies at 88 | view
Brian Vastag | June 3, 2014

Southern California Public Radio: Psychedelic Science: The Surge In Psychiatric Research Using Hallucinogens | view
Stephanie O'Neill | May 19, 2014

Associated Press: Arizona Judge Rules Pot Can Be Used for PTSD | view
Terry Tang | June 7, 2014

Boston Globe: Lawmakers Slam Dea For Targeting Mass. Doctors | view
Kay Lazar, Shelley Murphy | June 11, 2014

Huffington Post: New Report Blasts DEA For Spending 4 Decades Obstructing Marijuana Science | view
Matt Ferner | June 11, 2014

Reason TV: In Praise of Psychedelics: Rick Doblin and the MAPS Project | watch
Alex Manning, Paul Feine | June 4, 2014

Al Jazeera America: DEA Obstructs Research into Medical Marijuana: Report | view
Renee Lewis | June 11, 2014

Midwest Real: Do Psychedelics Have a Place in the Future of Medicine? | listen
Michael Phillip | June 6, 2014

Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.


9. Signed Editions of PiHKAL and TiHKAL by Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin and Ann Shulgin

PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story (signed)

Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin and Ann Shulgin

978 pages | Published 1991

"Some day in the future, when it may again be acceptable to use chemical tools to study the mind, this book will be a treasure-house, a sort of sorcerer's book of spells, to delight and enchant the psychiatrist/shaman of tomorrow."

—David Nichols, Ph.D.

$500 | Now available

TiHKAL: The Continuation (signed)

Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin and Ann Shulgin

804 pages | Published 1997

"This book not only reveals how psychoactives can be synthesized, but also how they can be extracted from so many ordinary plants that the means for psychedelic exploration can never be controlled again. The genie is out of the bottle and all the king's horses and all the king's men cannot put it back again."

—Nicholas Saunders

$500 | Now available

10. Dirty Pictures Documentary DVD

Dirty Pictures Documentary DVD

90 Minutes | Released 2011

Dirty Pictures is a documentary about Dr. Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, the chemist who discovered the effects of MDMA and over 200 other psychoactive drugs. Shulgin's work earned him the title "The Godfather of Psychedelics," and a reputation as one of the great chemists of the 20th century.

$25.00 | Now Available

All purchases from the MAPS Store support our research and education projects.


11. Evolver Webinar: What Plants Can Teach You with Dennis McKenna: Begins June 17

Over five sessions, pioneering ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna and his guests will explore how a new paradigm in plant science is revolutionizing our fundamental sense of what it means to be human. Learn more...

12. World Ayahuasca Conference: September 25-27, Ibiza, Spain

The World Ayahuasca Conference 2014, organized by the ICEERS Foundation, aims to be a multidisciplinary event that brings together leading scientists, legal experts, practitioners. environmentalists and other experts involved in the ayahuasca field, facilitating the interchange of experience and knowledge, and the birth of new synergies and collaborations through the formal presentations and round tables, workshops and debates, as well as the informal events of the conference. Register...

View our Event Calendar for more upcoming events.


13. New Edition of Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer by Dr. John C. Lilly

In Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer, originally published in 1968, Dr. John C. Lilly discusses his invention of float tanks, early communication with dolphins, and investigations into the use of LSD for personal and cultural development. This historic work has been reprinted in its entirety for the first time in 25 years. Includes a new afterword by MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D. Learn more...

14. Weed the People to Explore Cannabis for Children with Cancer

Weed the People is an upcoming documentary about the medical usage of cannabis to treat children with cancer. The film will take an unflinching look at the underground world of herbal medicine, where patients become experts on their own conditions and spend thousands of dollars on federally illegal medicines that are concocted in suburban kitchens. The film is now raising funds through Indiegogo. Learn more...

Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out our Student Resources page!

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