Dear MAPS Members and Friends,
In the past month, voters, patients, and expert committees alike have spoken out in favor of medical marijuana research.
Eighteen states (plus the District of Columbia) now allow medical marijuana. Numerous medical associations (such as California and Arizona) now encourage further research into marijuana's health benefits. And on October 25, 2012, an Instititional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Arizona joined the Food and Drug Administration in approving our planned study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in U.S. veterans.
Will the National Institute on Drug Abuse continue refusing to sell researchers the marijuana they need to conduct the study? Or will the increased support for medical marijuana in the U.S. and around the world prompt them to change their tune?
In the November 2012 edition of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter, you'll learn all about our medical marijuana research efforts as well as some exciting new developments in our international research program into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy—and much more.
Here are just a few highlights from the past month at MAPS:
Early Bird ticket prices are still available for Psychedelic Science 2013, coming up this April 18-23, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. With three tracks of conference programming, full-day science and art workshops, a sunset cruise, dinner and performance, and the largest gathering of ayahuasca researchers in history, this event is not to be missed.
Over 31,000 people rely on our Facebook page for up-to-date information about psychedelic and medical marijuana research, so we're sad that (as of today) our page was experiencing technical difficulties. [Update: We're back online!] We'll get it up and running as soon as possible—in the meantime you can still stay connected to MAPS on Twitter and Google+!
Finally, thank you to everyone who contributed in the past month—you make our work possible.
Building momentum (always),
MAPS Director of Communications
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Research
Learn more about treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on or at mdmaptsd.org.
1. U.S. Boulder Study: Business License Issued for Study Site
On October 25, 2012, the zoning office for the City of Boulder, Colorado, issued the business license for the site for our upcoming study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. This license was required before the Drug Enforcement Administration would grant a Schedule I license to the study physician. The safe where the MDMA will be stored has been relocated to comply with local zoning regulations. The DEA will now schedule a final inspection and hopefully grant the Schedule I license. View the timeline...
$497,000 estimated study cost / $372,000 still needed
2. U.S. Veterans Study: Eleventh Subject Treated; Third Long-Term Follow-Up Completed
On October 26, 2012, the 11th subject received their first of two MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment sessions in our ongoing study for veterans, firefighters, and police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. This study will enroll 24 subjects, all of whom suffer from PTSD a result of service. On November 2, the third long-term follow-up visit was completed. As of that date, 278 people had joined the waiting list to be screened for participation in this study. Learn more...
$1,260,000 estimated study cost / $626,000 still needed
3. Canada: Health Canada Conducts Fourth Pharmacy Inspection
On October 30, 2012, Health Canada conducted its fourth inspection of the pharmacy where the MDMA will be stored for our planned Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. We are now required to implement one additional upgrade to the pharmacy alarm system. The fifth and (we hope) final inspection is scheduled for November 8. Learn more...
$511,000 estimated study cost / $496,000 still needed
Will NIDA sell researchers the marijuana needed
to conduct our study for veterans with PTSD?
Medical Marijuana Research
4. Marijuana for PTSD: Institutional Review Board Approves Study Protocol
On October 25, 2012, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Arizona notified Principal Investigator Sue Sisley, M.D., that they had approved the protocol for our planned study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in 50 U.S. veterans. The third and final IRB review took place on October 23. The Food and Drug Administration approved the protocol in April 2011, though the study has been blocked by the National Institute on Drug Abuse since September 2011. We are now preparing to resubmit the protocol and study documents, hoping that approval from both the IRB and the FDA will persuade NIDA to sell us the marijuana needed for the study. Learn More...
$20,000 needed for protocol development and approval / $10,000 still needed
Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out our Student Resources page!
5. It Takes the World to Change the World
In October 2012, 211 individuals gave a total of $146,571 to support MAPS' research and educational programs. These gifts came from 32 states, and from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, South Africa, Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Finland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Canada, and Australia. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a world to change consciousness. Thank you, děkuji, tak, kittos, danke, dank u, takk, спасибо, and tack! We especially wish to thank Peter Lewis who contributed $100,000, and David Bronner who donated $25,000.
6. Now Accepting Vendor Applications for Psychedelic Science 2013
Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
7. The Huffington Post: What About Free and Open Scientific Inquiry for Medical Marijuana?
Dr. John Schwarz writes for The Huffington Post Blog about how medical marijuana is still excluded from research despite President Obama's memorandum that science would guide federal policy decisions. November 1, 2012
8. Alternet: Media Ignored Expert's Shocking Findings that Marijuana Doesn't Cause Cancer
Alternet reports on how the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) commissioned Dr. Donald Tashkin to prove that marijuana causes lung cancer. To NIDA's surprise, results showed that marijuana does not cause lung cancer—but the press wasn't listening. October 24, 2012
Psychedelic Drug Research: A Comprehensive Review,
the new eBook from author David Jay Brown
9. Reality Sandwich: Modern Psychedelic Research
Highlighting studies from MAPS, the Beckley Foundation, and various academic institutions, Reality Sandwich takes a comprehensive look into the current state of psychedelic research. October 23, 2012
10. New eBook: Psychedelic Drug Research: A Comprehensive Review by David Jay Brown
A new book by author David Jay Brown summarizes 22 years of clinical research into the medical potential of psychedelics. Drugs such as LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, ayahuasca, and more have been shown to have medical benefits. Psychedelic Drug Research is a detailed resource for these substances and their capability to heal.
11. Video: Phadroid Live at MAPS 25th Anniversary Conference
Filmed live at Cartographie Psychedelica, MAPS' 25th Anniversary Conference, on December 10, 2011. Special thanks to Android Jones (visuals), Phaedrana Jones (dance), The Human Experience (music), Illa Goldberg (live violin), Charles Shaw (photography), Andrew J. O'Keefe II (editing), and all who joined us in celebrating 25 years of cutting-edge science, education, and art. Watch the video...
12. PSYCHEDELIC SCIENCE 2013: April 18-23, 2013, Oakland, CA
Psychedelic Science 2013 presents the world's leading psychedelic research in a three-track conference and multiple workshops over five days. More than 70 speakers from at least 12 countries will share their latest research. The three-day conference will explore results and findings in three concurrent tracks: Clinical/Scientific, Interdisciplinary, and Ayahuasca. There will be nine full day workshops for deeper explorations into psychedelic psychotherapy, neuroscience, harm reduction, visionary art, medical marijuana, and ayahuasca. In addition to the conference and workshops, Psychedelic Science 2013 will provide ample opportunities to connect with others interested in this promising medical and scientific field. Early Bird prices end December 21!
13. U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress: November 8-11, San Diego, CA
Michael Mithoefer, M.D., will share the latest results from our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for U.S. veterans with PTSD, and MAPS will host an exhibit booth with additional information about our research program.
14. Regeneration Festival: November 17-18, London, UK
Psychedelic Science 2013 presenters Robin Carhart-Harris, Ph.D., and Ben Sessa, M.D., will present on psychedelic research at Regeneration Festival 2012.
Help MAPS make psychedelics and medical marijuana legally available medicines—check out our current volunteer opportunities!
15. MAPS First Friday Art Tour: December 7, Santa Cruz, CA
Join MAPS staff and members of the Santa Cruz community for an evening of art, education and volunteer appreciation in downtown Santa Cruz. Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Lead Clinical Research Associate, will present the exciting findings from our long-term follow-up study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, and Kynthia Brunette, Operations Associate, will host a volunteer awards ceremony. Dinner tickets may be purchased in advance.
16. A Tribute to Ibogaine Provider Chris Bava
Dean Metzger has written a moving personal tribute to ibogaine treatment provider Chris Bava, who passed away on October 21, 2012, as the result of an automobile accident. Metzger writes of Chris and his wife, who also lost her life in the accident: "They spent nearly every hour of close to everyday not only counseling others about addiction, arranging often free treatments, providing both financial and spiritual support with no expectations of anything in return. But more important than that was they both genuinely cared about each and every one of the addicts to the extent of giving them shelter either in their home or renting a place for them, furnishing it, getting everything they need to help make their recovery successful if at all possible." Read the full tribute to Chris...