MAPS Annual Report: Fiscal Year 1997-98
MAPS IRS Form 990 for 1998 in PDF format
Fiscal Year June 1, 1997 -- May 31, 1998 (FY 97-98) was a strong year for MAPS with a
combination of important accomplishments and, not unexpectedly, some difficult struggles
and set-backs. Financially, MAPS' budget grew 15% from FY 96-97, permitting it to
support a wide variety of projects. Income was substantial but was less than half of what it
was in FY 96-97, when MAPS received an extraordinary one-time donation of $329,000
from the estate of Eric Bass. After subtracting the value of Eric Bass' donation from FY 96-
97 income, income from FY 97-98 was almost exactly the same as in FY 96-97. Eric Bass'
generosity has greatly expanded the capabilities of MAPS as an organization and will
enable MAPS to be a catalyst of psychedelic and marijuana research for years to come.
MAPS membership has also continued to grow gradually. The increased workload from
projects and membership required the addition of a third full-time staff member, Carla
Higdon, who had previously been working part-time. MAPS is quite fortunate to have
someone of Carla's skills and dedication join the organization.
As in previous years, MAPS' statement of income and expenses is published in the
Bulletin with a detailed explanation of individual items. In this way, MAPS members can
review exactly how their donations were allocated and what expenses were incurred. This
report is an invitation for dialogue; MAPS members are encouraged to review this report
and share with the staff any comments, suggestions or questions that they would like to
offer. MAPS will continue to flourish only to the extent that the expenditures it makes
correspond closely to the priorities of its members. As a result, we publish this detailed
accounting and seek your input.
Marijuana Research Overview
MAPS' major accomplishment in FY 97-98 was the initiation, finally, of Dr. Donald
Abrams' historic research project exploring the use of smoked marijuana, oral THC
capsules, and placebo in AIDS patients. Getting this study underway took almost six years
of work beginning in July 1992, when the initial communication occurred between MAPS
and Dr. Abrams, and ending in May 1998, when the first subject was treated in the UC San
Francisco Hospital AIDS ward. Considering the fact that this is the first study of the
medical use of marijuana in a patient population in fifteen years, six years of struggle to
obtain permission isn't all that long. The project will take two years to complete. It is
being funded by a $978,000 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. MAPS thus
leveraged total expenditures of $10,000 -- and substantial amounts of staff time -- to
support Dr. Abrams' protocol design and approval efforts, into a roughly $1 million
government grant. Dr. Abrams has published an article about the struggle to obtain
permission for his study. [Abrams D (1998), Medical Marijuana- Tribulations and Trials.
J. of Psychoac. Drugs. 30 (2):1 pp 63-170.]
NIDA is also contributing a small amount of its supply of FDA-approved marijuana. NIDA
remains the sole monopolistic supplier of marijuana approved by the FDA for human
clinical research. NIDA takes advantage of its monopoly position to impose exceedingly
difficult hurdles for any additional research projects. NIDA explicitly rejects FDA-
approved studies unless they have also been approved by the National Institutes of Health
(NIH), thus hindering privately funded and state funded projects from being conducted.
In a frustrating counterpoint to Dr. Abrams' approved study, the MAPS-supported NIH
grant request submitted by Dr. Ethan Russo, U. of Montana for a proposed study of smoked
marijuana in the treatment of migraine patients, has been rejected a second time. As far as
we know, Dr. Russo is the only physician currently seeking NIH approval for a study of the
medical use of smoked marijuana in a patient population.
In non-clinical medical marijuana research, MAPS and California NORML began a study of
the potency of marijuana used in medical marijuana dispensaries (Buyers' Clubs and Co-
ops) around the country. MAPS also provided a small amount of support to Valerie Corral
for a study of the medical marijuana patients she assists through the Women's Alliance for
Medical Marijuana. In addition, MAPS supported data analysis on the respondents to the
Cannabis Patient Registry.
MAPS continues to support Charles Grob, M.D, and Russell Poland, Ph.D.'s efforts to
obtain FDA permission for the first protocol seeking to study the use of MDMA in a
patient population. The third draft of this protocol is currently being reviewed by the
FDA. We are hopeful, though not yet certain, that it will eventually be approved. The
current design focuses on studying basic safety parameters in breast cancer patients in a
dose-response protocol design. MAPS has previously obtained a grant of $58,000 for this
study, contingent upon approval by all regulatory agencies.
MAPS has also initiated efforts to catalyze a study of the use of MDMA in the treatment of
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to take place under the direction of Dr. Moshe
Kotler, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. A donation of $12,500 for protocol design
work was made directly to Ben-Gurion University by supporters of MAPS (my parents!).
This donation took place shortly after the close of FY 97-98.
MAPS supported the second year of Dr. Evgeny Krupitsky's three-year study into the use
of ketamine in the treatment of heroin addiction, the first such study ever conducted.
MAPS also supported the 40-year follow-up to Dr. Janiger's pioneering LSD research, the
longest follow-up study ever conducted into the use of a psychedelic drug. MAPS lent
assistance to Benny Shanon, Ph.D. in his study of the cognitive effects of ayahuasca, and to
Marcus Lumby for his study of the relationship between ayahuasca experiences and near-
death experiences. MAPS supported the development of protocols by Drs. Yensen and
Dryer for their proposed LSD research in cancer patients, and by John McClusky for his
proposed research into the use of peyote for the treatment of alcoholism and drug
addiction. MAPS made a small grant to Roger Marsden for work on his Ph.D. dissertation
documenting psychological changes in a group of long-term participants in a psychedelic
In the area of education, MAPS published its first book, The Secret Chief: Conversations
with a Pioneer of the Underground Psychedelic Therapy Movement, by Myron Stolaroff. The
MAPS Bulletin continued to be both an aesthetic and informational success, with an
excellent group of authors. MAPS supported the educational efforts of Chris Conrad and
Mikki Norris, who completed two books with support from MAPS. MAPS also helped
support efforts to publicize a study by Joel Brown, Ph.D. on drug abuse prevention efforts
in adolescents. The collaborative MAPS, Heffter Research Institute (HRI) and Albert
Hofmann Foundation project of an on-line psychedelic bibliography continued to be
developed. The goal of posting on-line the complete collection of papers gathered by
Sandoz Pharmaceuticals on psilocybin and LSD is now within sight. MAPS paid for the
Swiss psychedelic researchers Franz Vollenweider, M.D. and Alex Gamma, Ph.D. candidate,
to attend a scientific conference on the study of consciousness. Dr. Vollenweider was one
of only two presenters at the conference to speak about psychedelic research as a tool for
the understanding of consciousness. MAPS also made a contribution toward the expenses
of a major, invitational conference gathering together pioneers of psychedelic research for
reflections on the import and consequence of their own use of psychedelics on their
personal emotional and spiritual development.
The major organizational disappointment of the year was the very low response to a direct
mail membership drive that MAPS and HRI jointly conducted. This will be discussed in
more detail below.
MAPS' expenditures in FY 97-98 amounted to $288,548. This compares to expenditures of
$255,746 in FY 96-97, $185,797 in FY 95-96, and $133,153 in FY 94-95.
MAPS' income in FY 97-98 was $227,637. This compares to the astonishing amount of
income in FY 96-97 of $558,683, to $200,182 in FY 95-96 and $107,184 in FY 94-95. The
decrease in income in FY 97-98 as compared to FY 96-97 was due to the receipt in FY 96-
97 of the final disbursement of Eric Bass' estate, in the amount of $329,583. The increase
in income in FY 95-96 as compared to FY 94-95 was also largely due to preliminary
disbursements from the estate of Eric Bass, in the amount to $63,203.
MAPS has yet to call on a pledge of $58,000 from a family foundation for Dr. Charles
Grob's proposed research project evaluating the safety of the use of MDMA in breast
cancer patients. This grant will be allocated only after all the required regulatory
approvals have been obtained, hopefully by the spring of 1999.
At the close of FY 97-98, MAPS had assets of $333,440. In addition, MAPS owned
computer and office equipment worth $5,000. In FY 96-97, MAPS had assets of $370,494
plus computer equipment valued at $5,000. This compares to assets at the end of FY 95-96
of $67,367 plus computer equipment worth $2,000, and assets of $29,981 at the end of FY
94-95 plus computer equipment worth $1,500.
MAPS' financial picture in FY 97-98 remains strong. While net worth declined, it is
important to realize that MAPS is not a profit-making company with the goal of increasing
net worth. Rather, MAPS is a non-profit organization with the goal of using its resources
strategically to advance its chartered mission. As a result, MAPS will spend its resources
when opportunities present themselves. Compared to the costs of clinical trials into the
risks and benefits of psychedelic drugs and marijuana, MAPS resources are insufficient.
As a result, we focus on supporting pilot studies that, if promising results are generated,
can be used to generate larger donations for full-scale trials. In other words, MAPS
provides initial risk capital for projects in the early stages of development. Some of these
projects will succeed in producing promising results and some will not, as is the case for
all research projects. The key to maximizing the value of the donations MAPS receives
from members is for MAPS to make sure that valuable lessons are gathered from the
projects that do not succeed, and to work as hard as possible to secure additional support
for projects that do warrant continued investigation. In the effort to support larger scale
trials, MAPS will continue to develop a working relationship with the Heffter Research
Institute, which is also committed to supporting scientifically rigorous research projects.
MAPS will also reach out to larger, more established foundations and government funding
sources when opportunities for possible support seem within the realm of possibility,
however slight. MAPS can itself fund major clinical trials only if it receives donations on
a scale which it has yet to obtain.
Detailed Income Report
MAPS' income in FY 97-98 [June 1, 1997 to May 31, 1998] was $227,637. Of this amount,
$36,000 came from Foundation grants (Zimmer Foundation -- $26,000; Heffter Research
Institute -- $7,000, Albert Hofmann Foundation -- $3,000), $17,523 came from
investment income (dividends, interest and realized capital gains) and $174,114 came
from donations. Donations from the 12 individual donors who contributed $1,000 or more
amounted to $65,971. MAPS' 1600 other members contributed a total of $108,143 for an
average donation of $68, as compared to an average donation of $60 in FY 96-97.
Of the largest donations of $1,000 or more, Tim Butcher gave $24,310, distributed to
Evgeny Krupitksy's ketamine research project, the Janiger follow-up study, the Elders
Gathering, the Tucson III Conference, and John McClusky's peyote protocol development.
Robert Barnhart donated $12,500 for the Israeli MDMA/PTSD study. John Gilmore gave
$10,000 in unrestricted funds, while Andrew Stone donated $4861, also in unrestricted
funds. Ami Shinitzky donated $3,000, $2,000 for MDMA research and the remainder
The funds from the Zimmer Family Foundation ($26,000) were for the writing projects of
Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris. The funds from the Heffter Research Institute were for the
joint direct mail campaign ($5,000) and the Sandoz bibliography project ($2,000). The
$3,000 from the Albert Hofmann Foundation was for the follow-up study to Dr. Oscar
Janiger's pioneering LSD research.
From an organizational development standpoint, the donations of less than $1,000 from
MAPS' approximately 1600 members form the core recurring resource. In FY 97-98, these
donations amounted to a total of $108,143 for an average donation of $68. In FY 96-97,
these donations amounted to $82,871 from 1400 members, for an average of $60 each. In
FY 95-96, MAPS received $57,127 in donations of less than $1,000 from its 1000
members, with an average of $57 per member.
In order to increase the stability of MAPS as an organization, it is necessary to increase
the number of members who contribute regular membership donations. MAPS added 200
members in this last fiscal year. In FY 97-98, MAPS embarked upon a combined
membership/fund-raising drive in association with HRI, in hopes of increasing
membership by an additional 500-1000 members. This effort was disappointing,
generating only 165 members. MAPS has revised its direct mail brochure and is moving
forward in FY 98-99 with an independent direct mail campaign. The failure of the initial
direct mail campaign suggests once again the value of word of mouth as a tool for
organizational development, and leads me to urge any MAPS readers who are reviewing this
document in detail to consider mentioning MAPS to a friend or two.
Detailed Expenditure Report
Total expenditures for FY 97-98 amounted to $288,548. This compares to expenditures of
$255,746 in FY 96-97, $185,797 in FY 95-96, and $133,153 in FY 94-95. The
expenditures have been divided into four categories; research, education, staff and office.
In FY 97-98, MAPS allocated $54,209 to research, $119,982 to education, $100,224 to
staff and $14,132 to office.
By way of comparison, MAPS allocated $90,660 to research in FY 96-97, $84,169 in FY
95-96, and $48,680 in FY 94-95. MAPS allocated $77,914 to education in FY 96-97,
$46,144 in FY 95-96, and $35,212 in FY 94-95. MAPS allocated $73,629 to staff in FY 96-
97, $48,490 in FY 95-96, and $42,199 in FY 94-95. MAPS allocated $13,541 to office in
FY 96-97, $6,993 in FY 95-96, and $7,060 in FY 94-95.
Funding research with psychedelics and marijuana is the top priority for MAPS. The
rationale for this priority is that research is the most accepted and direct route towards
the creation of legal contexts for the medical, therapeutic use of these drugs.
In FY 97-98, MAPS spent $54,209 on research. The bulk of this money, $24,863, went to
the Janiger LSD research follow-up study. The primary reason that this project received
more donations than any other research project was that we were actually able to conduct
this study rather than just seek to obtain permission to do so. The project was based on
interviews and did not involve the administration of a controlled substance. As a result,
this study could be conducted without first obtaining approval from government
regulatory agencies. The one project MAPS funded that involved active administration of a
psychedelic to patients is Dr. Krupitsky's study of the use of ketamine in the treatment of
heroin addiction, conducted in St. Petersburg, Russia. MAPS donated $9,226 to this
project, while the Heffter Research Institute donated an additional $5,000. Due to the
almost total collapse of the Russian economy, it is possible to conduct a large-scale
clinical trial with over 60 subjects for relatively modest sums.
MAPS other research projects that will eventually require larger sums of money have not
yet been approved. MAPS donated a total of $20,120 to protocol development expenses for
projects involving MDMA, LSD, and peyote, and supported two small interview studies
involving ayahuasca and one small interview study involving multiple psychedelics.
MDMA Cancer Patient Study
Charles Grob, M.D. and Russell Poland, Ph.D., Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, are the co-
principle investigators for a proposed dose-response safety study into the use of MDMA in
the treatment of psychological distress in breast cancer patients. MAPS donated $5,500 to
Dr. Russell Poland, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, for his work in the protocol development
and approval process. MAPS has also obtained a pledge of $58,000 for this study from a
family foundation, contingent upon obtaining all the necessary approvals.
Drs. Grob and Poland and the FDA have been engaged for almost a year in an informal
protocol review process. The protocol will soon go into its fourth draft. The major changes
to it so far have been to re-focus the study primarily toward safety issues rather than
both safety and efficacy, to work with patients who are not in the end-stages of their
disease but are in earlier stages (thereby reducing issues related to the simultaneous
administration of narcotic pain control drugs), to use a homogenous patient population of
only breast cancer patients, and to increase the number of subjects at each dose level.
A time-frame for completion of the protocol approval process is difficult to estimate. In
addition to the FDA, the protocol must be approved by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center's
Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the California Research Advisory Panel, which must
approve all research with Schedule 1 drugs in California. Hopefully, it will be possible to
begin this study before the beginning of the new millennium.
MDMA/PTSD Study -- Israel
In FY 97-98, MAPS began the process of trying to catalyze an MDMA/PTSD study in
Israel, in association with Dr. Moshe Kotler, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry,
Beersheva Mental Health Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. MAPS has always
adopted an international strategy seeking to catalyze research in a variety of countries.
Though the regulatory environment in the United States has been opening up since 1990, it
is always possible that political developments could cause a retreat in the willingness of
the FDA to approve human clinical research into the benefits of psychedelic drugs. A
diversified international portfolio of projects should help to protect this field of research
from sudden political shifts in any one country. Conducting research in several countries
also makes it easier for regulators in any one country to approve of research projects,
knowing that their actions are supported by regulators in other countries. Furthermore,
conducting research in multiple countries permits international collaborative efforts that
bring to bear the expertise of a wider range of talents on issues of research design,
therapeutic technique, and measurement instruments.
MAPS incurred minimal expenses of only $130 in FY 97-98 in the effort to initiate MDMA
research in Israel. I visited with Dr. Kotler during a visit to my relatives in Israel and
only needed reimbursement for one night of lodging and transportation to and from
Beersheva. As a result of this meeting, Kotler and MAPS signed an agreement for a $50,000
pilot study into the use of MDMA in the treatment of PTSD. The agreement calls for
$25,000 in expenses related to the protocol design and approval process, and another
$25,000 in expenses for the study itself, if approved. A donation to cover the initial
protocol design process of $12,500 has already been made, though in FY 98-99, by MAPS
members (my supportive parents) who routed the donation directly to Ben-Gurion
Dr. Kotler is also involved in an effort to study the use of ibogaine in the treatment of
addiction. Dr. Kotler's first protocol was placed on hold by the Israeli Health authorities,
who expressed concern about safety-related issues. In an effort to facilitate ibogaine
research and also to assist Dr. Kotler to create a precedent in Israel supportive of
psychedelic research, MAPS helped arrange a data-sharing agreement between Bob Sisko of
Humatech Ltd., the sponsor of Dr. Kotler's ibogaine study, and Deborah Mash, Ph.D., U. of
Miami, a recipient of a previous donation of $25,000 from MAPS for her Phase 1 ibogaine
safety study. Dr. Mash went to Israel in September 1998 to present her preclinical and
clinical data to the Israeli Health authorities, data which convincingly demonstrates that
ibogaine can be safely administered within a controlled medical research environment. By
all accounts, Dr. Mash's presentation was well received and may mark the turning point in
Dr. Kotler and Bob Sisko's efforts to start ibogaine research in Israel.
In FY 98-99, MAPS paid for Dr. Kotler and his research associate, Dr. Darnell -- as well
as Dr.s Grob and Greer -- to attend a December 1998 conference in London on the risks of
Ketamine Heroin Addiction Study -- Russia
In FY 97-98, MAPS donated $9,226 to Dr. Evgeny Krupitsky for the second year of a
three-year study of the use of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of heroin
addiction. MAPS has committed an additional $8,000 per year for the third and final year
of the study. The study is taking place in Russia at the Leningrad Regional Center for the
Treatment of Addiction. MAPS also assisted Dr. Krupitsky in the protocol design process.
The study has entered full-scale implementation and 68 subjects have been treated to
date. In September 1997, HRI pledged $5,000 a year for three years to Dr. Krupitsky for
this study, to be used primarily for expenses involved in a more extensive and prolonged
follow-up of the subjects than originally proposed. The gathering of this additional data
will help generate information on treatment outcome that goes beyond the normal time
frame collected in drug abuse treatment research of six months post-treatment. The joint
sponsorship of Dr. Krupitsky's study by HRI and MAPS is an example of the increasingly
collaborative nature of the relationship between these two organizations, both of which are
working to support psychedelic research.
Orenda Institute LSD Research
Richard Yensen, Ph.D. and Donna Dryer, M.D., have been working for many years to obtain
FDA permission to administer LSD to humans within a therapeutic context. Drs. Yensen
and Dryer are now engaged in the process of redesigning a protocol for the use of LSD in
the treatment of cancer patients. MAPS donated $850 in FY 97-98 to Drs. Yensen and
Dryer to enable them to participate in a national conference on psychological approaches
to the treatment of cancer. MAPS has pledged an additional $9,150 in direct expenses once
the study is finally approved. These $10,000 were raised through sales of the limited
signed edition of 100 copies of The Secret Chief, signed by Myron Stolaroff, Albert
Hofmann, Ann Shulgin, Stan Grof, and Sasha Shulgin. At the time of this writing, only 30
copies of the limited edition are still available, at $250 each. Proceeds from the sale of the
signed edition are earmarked for psychedelic psychotherapy research.
Peyote Alcoholism Study -- Arizona
John McClusky, as part of his dissertation at Arizona State University, is seeking to
conduct a study of the use of peyote for the treatment of alcoholism in the context of
Native American Church services. MAPS donated $2,000 towards John McClusky's protocol
design process. This project is still in the early development stage. A neuropsychological
study with members of the Native American Church is being conducted by Dr. John
Halpern, Harvard Medical School, a colleague of McClusky. Dr. Halpern's study is being
funded by HRI, NIDA and Harvard Medical School.
Ayahuasca -- Cognitive Psychology
MAPS disbursed $3,550 in FY 97-98 to complete payment on its pledge or $5,000 to Prof.
Benny Shanon, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, for the writing of a paper for publication
analyzing the effect of ayahuasca on cognitive processing. Prof. Shanon is a tenured
professor in the Psychology Department at Hebrew University with many publications in
the field of cognitive psychology. Prof. Shanon analyzed the reports he gathered from 30
subjects describing their own experiences with ayahuasca as well as his own self-reports
from 75 experiences he had with ayahuasca in Peru and Brazil over the last several years.
A preliminary report on his findings appeared in the Summer 1997 MAPS Bulletin, Vol
VII(3), pp. 13-15.
The funding from MAPS has been used by Prof. Shanon to support the work of research
assistants to categorize and analyze his data, to purchase books and journals on ayahuasca,
psychedelic research, transpersonal psychology and altered states of consciousness for
the Hebrew University library, and for a computer for his office.
Janiger LSD Research Follow-Up
MAPS spent $24,863 in FY 97-98 for an important follow-up study to early LSD research
that was conducted from 1954-1962 by Dr. Oscar Janiger. The follow-up interviews were
conducted by Kate Chapman, who, along with the assistance of a private detective, helped
to locate and interview over 40 of the original subjects. The interviews have been
transcribed by Maureen Alioto, a professional transcriber and researcher with experience
in qualitative research involving issues related to drug use. A detailed report on the
findings of this study will be the feature article in the next MAPS Bulletin.
Dr. Janiger's original research was a naturalistic study of the effects of LSD in healthy
volunteers. People like Cary Grant, Anaïs Nin and Jack Nicholson, as well as many artists,
doctors, housewives, etc., were subjects. At least 800 people were administered LSD in an
attempt to determine its acute effects as people described them. Dr. Janiger's files contain
session reports from one third of these subjects as well as information about all the
subjects' names, birth dates, occupation, religion and race.
A popular article about Janiger's original research and MAPS' follow-up study appeared
in the LA Weekly (at www.laweekly.com, check back issues for July 3, 1998), and was
reprinted in alternative papers in at least five cities around the country. An edited
version of the article appeared in the December 1998 issue of Utne Reader, which has a
subscription base of 181,000.
Marijuana Migraine Study
MAPS donated $2,500 in FY 97-98 to Dr. Ethan Russo, U. of Montana, to support the
efforts and expenses required of him and his associates to prepare their second NIH grant
application for funding and a legal supply of marijuana for their proposed experiment into
the use of smoked marijuana and oral THC capsules in the treatment of people suffering
from migraine headaches. MAPS donated $3,500 in FY 96-97 for Dr. Russo's initial NIH
application, which was rejected. Details of the protocol and NIH reviews are available on
the MAPS web site at www.maps.org/mmj.
Unfortunately, Dr. Russo's second grant application was also rejected. NIH rules permit a
researcher to submit a study protocol a maximum of three times. Dr. Russo and MAPS are
now discussing the merits of a third and final attempt to secure permission for this study.
Dr. Russo did succeed in publishing an important article about the use of marijuana in the
treatment of migraine in the journal, Pain. [Russo E (1998), Cannabis for migraine
treatment: the once and future prescription?, Pain, Vol 76, pp 3-8.] As far as we know, no
other researcher in the U.S. has requested NIH permission to administer smoked marijuana
to a patient population. It is possible that there are indeed other such hopeful
researchers, willing to undertake the difficult struggle to obtain permission for their
research, but we have not yet been in contact with them if they do exist.
Cannabis Patient Registry
MAPS allocated $458 in FY 97-98 to the Cannabis Patient Registry, a project conceived
and directed by Sylvia Thyssen of MAPS. This money supported a final data analysis of the
respondents to the Registry.
WAMM Medical Marijuana Survey
MAPS donated $500 to support Valerie Corral's efforts to analyze survey data she
gathered via the Women's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, California. She
gathered information about symptoms both before and after patients self-administered
marijuana. The purpose of this survey was to quantify anecdotal accounts of patient
benefit. An article about this project will be included in an upcoming Bulletin.
Marijuana Analysis Project
MAPS and California NORML co-sponsored a study into the potency of various samples of
marijuana sold at medical marijuana dispensaries around the country. The data support
the contention that the potency and quality of the marijuana supplied by NIDA to FDA-
approved research protocols is significantly inferior to the marijuana preferred by
patients. A detailed discussion of the results of this study will be published in an
upcoming issue of the Bulletin. MAPS donated $1500 to this study.
Medical Marijuana Research
MAPS spent $431 to pay for transportation expenses involved in bringing Joanna McKee,
medical marijuana patient, advocate and founder of Seattle's Green Gross Buyers Club, to
Washington, D.C. in February 1998, for a meeting of the Institute of Medicine (IOM)
focused on the medical use of marijuana. Joanna's presence at the meeting was valuable
since she was able to put a human face on the medical marijuana issue. The IOM study was
funded by Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
(aka the Drug Czar's office). On the one hand, the use of $1 million of taxpayer money to
support yet another review of the scientific literature seems of questionable value,
especially since scientific research has been politically blocked. However, the IOM has a
reputation for fairness and a report suggesting that the medical use of marijuana deserves
to be explored scientifically could provide important political cover for the Clinton
Administration, if it decides to prioritize free scientific inquiry over political
expediency. The success of state medical marijuana initiatives in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada,
Oregon and Washington should also help catalyze the removal of political blocks to
medical marijuana research.
Ayahuasca and NDEs Project
MAPS donated $1,000 to Marcus Lumby for expenses related to travel to Peru for research
on his dissertation about exploring the linkages between ayahuasca experiences and near-
death experiences. An article about this project appeared in the previous MAPS Bulletin
[Autumn 1998, Vol VIII (3), p. 16]. This donation is part of MAPS' effort to support a new
generation of researchers. Though the donation was small, MAPS hopes to be of some
assistance to future researchers even when their proposed studies are not controlled
clinical trials that could be used to argue for expanded legal access to psychedelics.
Study of Group Psychedelic Psychotherapy
MAPS also donated $1,000 to Roger Marsden for his qualitative interview study of
participants in a long-running psychedelic psychotherapy group. This study forms part of
Roger Marsden's dissertation. A report on his findings will appear in a future issue of the
MAPS Bulletin. The subjects in this experiment participated in contexts that are similar
to those described in The Secret Chief. Marsden received an additional grant of $6,000
from a family foundation.
MAPS allocated $119,982 to educational efforts in FY 97-98. By comparison, MAPS
allocated $77,914 to education in FY 96-97, $46,144 in FY 95-96, and $35,212 in FY 94-
In FY 97-98, educational projects represented the largest category of expenditure. This is
due in part to the lengthy process of securing permission for clinical research. It is also
due to our growing recognition that MAPS' educational functions are an important adjunct
to research, and that permission for research depends upon public support. The
educational functions of MAPS thus act as a necessary component of a complete strategy
that recognizes the need for the dissemination of accurate information in support of
The educational component of MAPS' activity includes the printing and mailing of the
MAPS Bulletin, printing and marketing of The Secret Chief, copies, phones, internet
connection, postage, advertisements, books and tapes, membership drive, advertisements,
subscriptions, and several educational projects. These projects include the writing of
books on the health aspects of marijuana and on the human side of the Drug War, an
electronic bibliography of scientific papers on psychedelics for the MAPS web site, a
workshop on psychedelic research at the Tucson III Conference, a Psychedelic Elders
Gathering, and efforts to publicize the findings of a study on adolescent drug abuse
The MAPS Bulletin is the major educational project of MAPS. MAPS spent $20,335 on
printing the Bulletin and the envelopes used to mail it. The mailing of the Bulletin also
consumed a substantial fraction of the $8,987 spent on postage. The Bulletin continues to
take a great deal of staff time as well as the donated time and talent of a graphic designer
who inspires us with his eye for elegance and his gracious spirit. The quality of the
Bulletin continues to develop. We feel comfortable with our current pattern alternating a
longer, color cover issue, sent to members as well as newsstands around the country, with
a shorter plain paper cover sent just to members. We would appreciate feedback from
members as to their thoughts on this pattern for the Bulletin.
The Secret Chief
MAPS spent $6,747 in FY 97-98 printing 4000 paperback copies of The Secret Chief and
200 hardcover copies, 100 of which were bound into the special, limited edition of 100
signed copies. MAPS also spent $3,812.80 promoting the book. The promotion budget was
relatively small and has been added to somewhat in FY 98-99. MAPS staff member Carla
Higdon worked on the promotional efforts, organized events in both New York City and
Seattle, and saw to it that the book was reviewed or mentioned in a number of publications.
We are proud to say that the reviews were all positive. Sales of the signed edition have
raised $10,000 for LSD research and several additional thousands of dollars for other
psychedelic psychotherapy research. This project took more staff time than expected, with
the promotional efforts being more difficult than expected. Fortunately, the content of the
book was worth the effort, and working with Myron Stolaroff was a pleasure. If you haven't
already purchased a copy, you can do so through the MAPS website, by calling the MAPS
office or by ordering through your local book store. The publication of The Secret Chief
was made possible by a $10,000 grant from Bob Wallace. Additionally, As of October
1998, the income generated from the book has exceeded the total cost of producing it.
Conrad/Norris Book Projects
MAPS donated $26,000 to Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris for their work in researching
and writing Hemp for Health: The Facts on Medical Marijuana (by Conrad), on the medical
use of marijuana and Shattered Lives: Portraits From America's Drug War (by Norris,
Conrad and Virginia Resner). MAPS received a restricted grant of $26,000 from the
Zimmer Family Foundation for these projects. These books can be ordered through a local
MAPS Moderated Electronic Forum
MAPS spent a total of $1,950 on the Forum in FY 97-98. MAPS' free on-line discussion
group (send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "subscribe maps_forum Your Name
youremailaddress" in the message field) is moderated by Jon Frederick, a neurosciences
Ph.D. candidate at the U. of Tennessee in Knoxville. Jon has done an excellent job and has
built participation to 1,085 people. Jon earns a token $250 a month for his services, and
MAPS pays for his internet connection. The Forum is an excellent method for MAPS to
communicate with both the members and non-members who are its participants. MAPS
continues to believe that it is best to give out on-line information at no cost to the user.
We hope that many members and potential members will benefit from this and that as a
result more people will learn about MAPS and more will become members to help cover the
costs of this service.
MAPS Website -- www.maps.org
MAPS spent $2,768 on all internet functions including connection fees for staff and
access costs of the MAPS Forum and web site, including a secure server and credit card
processing software. The MAPS website has been an important educational tool and a
source of contacts from new members, major funders and researchers.
It has had over 58,000 hits in the past year. The site is supervised and modified by Sylvia
Thyssen with administrative assis-tance from Eric Katt and Nolan Sanders.
It is undergoing remodeling in FY 98-99.
Psychedelic Bibliography Project
The on-line psychedelic bibliography is a shared project between MAPS, HRI and the
Albert Hofmann Foundation. A total of $2,324 has been spent in FY 97-98 on the project,
the goal of which is to put into electronic form the Sandoz bibliography of all scientific
papers published about LSD and psilocybin from their initial synthesis up to 1980, when
Sandoz stopped collecting research papers. About $10,000 remains to be spent in FY 98-
99. When this project is complete, the on-line psychedelic bibliography will be a powerful
tool for students and researchers. The primary person currently working on this project is
Kate Chapman. She is in the process of transferring reference information and abstracts
from thousands of papers into the format required by the data base search engine. Kate is
also categorizing each paper into 20 categories, some originally established by Sandoz but
only applied to 540 of the papers and others that are new. This categorization will permit
electronic searching of the data base by category as well as keyword.
In a related project just beginning at the end 1998 (FY 98-99), Matt Baggott will gather,
post in the searchable data base, and comment on all new papers about the use of
psychedelics in humans that are published in scientific journals, along with results of the
most important animal studies. In addition, he will also report on clinical studies with
marijuana. When time permits, he will also start working backwards to post all the papers
published between the start of his project and the last papers included in the Sandoz
Tucson III Conference
MAPS sponsored the expenses of Dr. Franz Vollenweider and Alex Gamma, Ph.D.
candidate, both of the U. of Zürich, Switzerland, incurred in travelling to the Tucson
III Conference: Towards a Science of Consciousness.
Dr. Vollenweider was able to present the results of his research using PET scans to
determine which areas of the brain are most activated by MDMA, psilocybin or ketamine
(see MAPS Bulletin Vol. VIII No. 1, 1998). By ensuring that there was at least some
discussion of the use of psychedelics for the study of consciousness, we hope to plant the
seeds for the eventual expansion of the use of psychedelics as research tools, a direction
for research separate than the psychotherapeutic use of psychedelics but complimentary
to it. When established researchers start to see the scientific value of psychedelic
research, the momentum in support of renewed clinical trials will be even stronger.
Gathering of Elders
MAPS allocated $5,642.11 to the Gathering of Elders in FY 97-98. MAPS has also spent
$3,000 in FY 98-98 for expenses involved in bringing Albert Hofmann and Juraj and Sonja
Styk, Swiss psychiatrists involved with psychedelic research and treatment in
Switzerland. One purpose of the gathering was for a group of psychedelic elders to engage
in careful reflection about the meaning of their own psychedelic experiences for their
personal emotional and spiritual development. Another purpose was to introduce the field
of psychedelic therapy and research in the most persuasive way possible, through
personal meetings with the pioneers of psychedelic research, to potential funders of
future research protocols who were also be in attendance. It's about time that larger
organizations and foundations got involved with supporting psychedelic research. This
conference has the potential to bring that about. A book may also emerge from this
Drug Education Research
MAPS donated $1,000 to help publicize research conducted by Joel Brown, Ph.D. into the
effectiveness of drug abuse prevention education efforts. Brown's data demonstrated that
some drug abuse prevention education efforts, particularly those that rely on exaggerated
scare tactics, have a counter-productive effect. Disseminating this research is important
for MAPS' long-term goal of creating legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics.
One criticism of such uses is that they would "send the wrong message" that drug use isn't
always abuse and that some illegal drugs actually have beneficial uses when used
appropriately. Brown's data suggests that the "wrong message" is actually the simplistic
statement that illegal drugs are all bad, something that kids learn is exaggerated
misinformation and thereupon turn away from all messages, accurate or not. In the long-
run, drug abuse prevention messages will need to coexist with messages that are more
nuanced and accurate about potential beneficial uses.
In order for organizational expenses (salaries, Bulletins, phone, rent, etc.) to be met by
membership fees alone and not also by special donations, MAPS needs to increase its
membership to 2,500. The standard methods to build membership are by bulk mail
solicitation or advertising. MAPS, in collaboration with HRI, spent $26,802 on a direct
mail campaign that was a dismal failure. Fifty-five thousand letters were sent out to a
variety of professional and subscription lists.
The most likely reason for the failure of the direct mail campaign is the controversial
nature of psychedelic and medical marijuana research. In addition, the brochure may have
been too cerebral and complicated, coming from both MAPS and Heffter. In addition, the
brochure didn't emphasize the quality of the MAPS Bulletin and other benefits that new
members receive in return for assisting in the development of the field of psychedelic and
marijuana research. Finally, we are living in paranoid times and people may be too
reluctant to identify themselves as being interested in such a controversial topic. MAPS
has sent out a test fund-raising appeal to 10,000 names in FY 97-98 with a revised
brochure and cover letter, coming just from MAPS.
Our difficulties in obtaining new members also means that current MAPS members are a
rare and unusual group! We need to do our best to ensure that a high proportion of current
members decide to renew each year. MAPS also requests that each MAPS member consider
asking just one friend to also join MAPS. If you have any comments or suggestions that you
would be willing to share with us about any aspect of MAPS, we would deeply appreciate
hearing from you.
MAPS allocated $110,224 to staff in FY 97-98, $73,629 to staff in FY 96-97, $48,490 in
FY 95-96, and $42,199 in FY 94-95. Of this amount, $86,796 went for salaries, taxes and
health care benefits, while $9,541 went for travel, $2,285 for conference fees and $1,600
for professional fees for accounting. The primary reason for the increase was the
increasing work load for both membership services and for managing an increasing
number of projects.
As a result, we increased the staff by hiring Carla Higdon as a third full-time staff
member and offered a salary increase to Sylvia. The increase in staff expenses was made
possible due to the receipt of the remaining portion of Eric Bass' bequest. In FY 97-98,
Rick Doblin's salary remained at $30,000 a year with no health care benefits, Sylvia
Thyssen has received a raise to slightly over $30,000 a year with health care benefits, and
Carla Higdon become a full-time employee at a weekly salary of $360 with health care
benefits. These salaries are under market value for jobs in the private sector with similar
responsibilities and required skills. For FY 98-99, salaries remain the same for Rick
Doblin and Sylvia Thyssen, while Carla Higdon received a raise to $440 a week.
MAPS allocated $14,132 to office expenses in FY 97-98, compared to $13,541 to office
expenditures in FY 96-97, $6,993 in FY 95-96, and $7,060 in FY 94-95. Of the total,
$3,927 went for new computer equipment. There was also an increase in rent expenses to
$6,575, from $5,588 in FY 96-97, as a result of a need for a slightly larger office in a
commercial office building.
FY 97-98 was a year of gradual growth in membership and the start of exciting new
projects, particularly the initiation of Dr. Abrams' study of the effects of marijuana in
AIDS patients, and the opening of an effort to conduct MDMA research in Israel. Dr.
Krupitsky's ketamine/heroin addiction study also continued to move forward and generate
promising results. It was also a frustrating year since the MDMA/cancer patient study was
still not approved by the FDA and MAPS' other medical marijuana project, by Dr. Ethan
Russo, was rejected for the second time by the National Institutes of Health. MAPS'
workload increased as did its staff. Educational efforts received more attention than ever
before, and MAPS published its first book, The Secret Chief. Valuable lessons were
learned from the failure of the direct mail membership campaign and another effort to
increase membership is in process. All told, its was a satisfying year that has laid the
groundwork for what we hope will be a new year of dramatic progress.
Comments or questions from MAPS members concerning this annual report are invited. In
the midst of an ever-escalating drug war, there are nevertheless a slowly increasing
number of psychedelic and medical marijuana research projects around the world. As
always, MAPS is deeply grateful for the past generosity of its members, and we will do our
best to be worthy of your continued support. Only in our ongoing partnership with you can
MAPS build in FY 98-99 on the efforts of FY 97-98.