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MAPS Bulletin Summer 2014: Research Edition
Media > Recent and Archival
June 24, 2012

$10-Million Bequest Shared by Groups Including Association for Psychedelic Studies

By: Caroline Bermudez

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The Chronicle of Philanthropy details the $5 million bequest given to MAPS from software pioneer Ashawna Hailey. The bequest will go primarily towards research on using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD. Hailey was a board member of MAPS and cared deeply about drug policy reform, so she also left $1.25-million each to the American Civil Liberties Union, Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Originally appearing here.

How much: $10-million bequest

Who gave it: Ashawna Hailey, co-founder of Meta-Software Corporation, which was sold to Avanti Corporation in 1996. Ms. Hailey died in October.

Who got it: The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies received $5-million; the American Civil Liberties Union, Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, and Second Harvest Food Bank each received about $1.25-million.

What the gifts will be used for: The psychedelic-studies association will conduct research trials using the drug MDMA to treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Marijuana Policy Project will put some of the money in a reserve fund and use the rest to promote passage in the November elections of a measure in Colorado that would allow marijuana to be regulated like alcohol.

Donor’s connections to the beneficiaries: Ashawna Hailey was a board member of the psychedelic-studies association. Ron Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said he first met Ms. Hailey in 2002 at a drug-policy conference, when she still lived as a man (Ms. Hailey was born as Shawn). They had a long discussion and at the end of it, Mr. Kampia was given a check on the spot for $20,000.

Why she gave: “Seeing the carnage of the government’s war on its own citizens and finally being rich enough to do something about it,” Mr. Kampia says.

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