From the Bulletin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
MAPS - Volume 9 Number 4 Winter 1999/2000 - pp/ 35-43

MAPS Annual Report

Fiscal Year 98-99, June 1, 1998 - May 31, 1999
MAPS IRS Form 990 for 1999 in PDF format

Rick Doblin

To sustain itself in its current form for more than several years, MAPS needs to try to raise an endowment of $600,000. An increase in membership from 1,850 to 2,500 would also help to raise additional funds for organizational expenses. This Annual Report is an invitation for dialogue; MAPS members are encouraged to review it and share with the staff any comments, suggestions or questions that they would like to offer. We will do our best to be worthy of your renewed support.
In partnership with its members, MAPS continues in its efforts to develop socially sanctioned contexts for the time-honored potential of psychedelics and marijuana to facilitate healing, inspiration, creativity and spiritual growth. Current MAPS members are an unusual group of people willing to support efforts to make this vision of the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana into a reality. MAPS is deeply grateful for the past generosity of its members.

Fiscal Year June 1, 1998 - May 31, 1999 (FY 98-99) was another year of significant accomplishments. More than twice as much money was devoted to educational projects than to research projects, due in part to continued struggles to obtain permission for research. Staff time was more evenly divided between educational and research efforts, primarily because working to resolve and overcome bureaucratic obstacles to research requires more time and effort than money.

MAPS' efforts on behalf of research bore fruit this summer - after the close of MAPS' FY 98-99 - with three FDA decisions which we reported in the last Bulletin (Vol. IX No. 3). First, the FDA approved MAPS' application to have marijuana designated an Orphan Drug for AIDS wasting. Second, the FDA approved Dr. Ethan Russo's MAPS-supported marijuana/migraine protocol. Finally, the FDA decided to permit Dr. Charles Grob to move forward with a MAPS- supported study of MDMA in cancer patients, with the exact protocol design still to be negotiated.

Financially, total expenditures of $280,194 in MAPS' FY 98-99 were essentially the same as the $288,548 spent in FY 97-98, permitting MAPS to continue to support a wide variety of projects. Income was substantially greater in FY 98-99, rising to $308,743 from $227,637, primarily due to an increase in large grants restricted to specific projects. MAPS' membership still continues to grow gradually and reached 1850 with our target of 2500 members still to be obtained.

MAPS' net assets were $351,701 as of May 31, 1999. Of this amount, $80,000 is restricted to specific research and educational projects. These sums need to be subtracted from net assets when considering MAPS' unrestricted funds available for new projects or organizational expenses. MAPS' goal as a non-profit organization is not to increase its net assets, but to advance its mission. Nevetheless, having some net assets gives MAPS the ability to commit to support high- priority projects and gives a measure of stability in the face of fluctuating contributions from its membership.

As in previous years, MAPS' statement of income and expenses is published in the Bulletin along with a detailed explanation of the individual expense 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 it 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.


Psychedelic Research

MAPS supports the efforts of researchers around the world to study the beneficial uses, mechanisms of action and risk profiles of psychedelic drugs. In FY 98-99, MAPS allocated funds to support protocol design for two MDMA psychotherapy projects, one in the United States and another in Israel. MAPS also supported expenses involved in conducting an MDMA safety study in Switzerland, two follow-up studies to pioneering LSD research, an LSD psychotherapy protocol design effort in the United States, a project to study the effect of the non-medical use of psychedelics within a family context, a ketamine psychotherapy project in heroin addicts conducted in Russia, and a study of meditation combined with Salvia divinorum, conducted in Canada.

MAPS staff spent substantial time, but no money, in preliminary development of various research protocols, some of which will be supported by MAPS if and when they become approved. The highest priority of these studies in development is the MDMA/PTSD study being developed by Ph.D. student, Jose Carlos Bouso, in Madrid, Spain.

Marijuana research

MAPS allocated funds to a marijuana analysis project in the United States investigating the potency of marijuana used in medical marijuana buyers clubs (MAPS Bulletin Vol IX No. 3). MAPS also devoted a great deal of staff time, but no funding, to its successful effort to have FDA designate marijuana an Orphan Drug for AIDS wasting syndrome, and to Dr. Ethan Russo's effort to obtain FDA permission for a marijuana/migraine study. Dr. Donald Abrams' study of the effects of marijuana in HIV patients taking protease inhibitors - for which MAPS and Dr. Abrams worked for five and a half years to obtain final permission and funding - treated 46 subjects out of a total of 64 (page 40, this issue).

Educational Efforts

MAPS devoted substantial resources to the publication of the quarterly MAPS Bulletin. MAPS continued to market and started to pay royalties on The Secret Chief, the first book MAPS has published. MAPS made a donation in support of the re-publication of Shivitti: A Vision by a concentration camp survivor on his experiences undergoing LSD psychotherapy. MAPS also helped support the writing of three new books, on DMT research, on medical marijuana, and on the penalties imposed on non-medical users of psychedelics and other drugs. MAPS worked to disseminate information on MAPS' Internet web site. MAPS focused resources on the cataloguing and posting of a searchable version of the Sandoz bibliography of scientific papers on LSD and psilocybin, started a project creating an electronic annotated bibliography of current scientific papers published in peer-review journals, and supported the MAPS Forum, a moderated e- mail discussion group. MAPS allocated funds to two conferences, a Psychedelic Elders conference that took place in the United States and a MAPS-sponsored conference on clinical research with MDMA and MDE that took place in Israel. MAPS also undertook a membership drive that involved the mailing of over 50,000 brochures about MAPS and psychedelic research. MAPS staff spent significant time but no money responding to numerous media requests for information, and replying to members' questions.


MAPS' expenditures in FY 98-99 amounted to $280,194. This compares to $288,548 in FY 97-98, $255,746 in FY 96-97, $185,797 in FY 95-96, and $133,153 in FY 94-95.

MAPS' income in FY 98-99 was $308,743. This compares to $227,637 in FY 97-98, an astonishing $558,683 in FY 96-97 (due primarily to the bequest from Eric Bass, which enabled MAPS to substantially enlarge its range of projects), $200,182 in FY 95-96 and $107,184 in FY 94-95.

At the close of FY 98-99, MAPS had assets of $351,701, $80,000 of which were restricted to specific projects.

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 use of MDMA in terminal cancer patients. This grant will be allocated only after all the required regulatory approvals have been obtained, hopefully by the spring of 2000.

MAPS' financial picture in FY 98-99 is solid, though some long-term issues need to be addressed if MAPS can continue into the future as an organization providing the current mix of services and project support. The fundamental issue is that MAPS' organizational expenses exceed unrestricted income. This is sustainable for the next several years since MAPS has a cushion in the form of assets, primarily the remaining portion of Eric Bass' bequest. To sustain itself in its current form for more than several years, MAPS needs to try to raise an endowment of $600,000. An increase in membership from 1,850 to 2,500 would also help to raise additional funds for organizational expenses. I expect that continued success in obtaining permission for research into beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, as well as growth in the quality, range and reach of MAPS' educational projects, will generate increased enthusiasm and support for MAPS work. I hope and trust that this enthusiasm and support will translate both into new members and donations for a permanent endowment.

Compared to the costs of clinical trials into the risks and benefits of psychedelic drugs and marijuana, MAPS resources are insufficient. As a result, MAPS focuses 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 scientific research. 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 (HRI) 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.


MAPS' income in FY 98-99 was $308,743. Of this amount, $70,371 came from Foundation grants, with these foundations being primarily family foundations. Donations from individuals amounted to $197,675. Of this amount, donations from the 9 individual donors who contributed $2,000 or more amounted to $90,862. MAPS' approximately 1800 other members contributed a total of $106,813 for an average donation of $59, as compared to an average donation of $68 in FY 98-99. Investment income (dividends, interest and capital gains) was $24,194. Sales of the Bulletin and books generated $16,502.

The foundation grants came from the following sources: Promind Foundation established by Bob Wallace - $39,371; S. Family Foundation - $10,000, Institute of Noetic Sciences - $6,500; Tarcher Family Foundation - $5,000; PLACE Foundation - $5,000; Zimmer Foundation - $2,500; Heffter Research Institute - $2,000, Odyssey Foundation - $2,000.

The largest donations of $2,000 or more given by individuals were from the following people: Tim Butcher - $21,500, Ami Shinitzky - $18,500, Robert Barnhart - $12,000, John Gilmore - $10,351, Melisa Richardson - $10,000, Andrew Stone - $9,511, Anonymous - $5,000, Anonymous - $2,000.

From an organizational development standpoint, the donations of less than $2,000 from MAPS' approximately 1800 members form the core recurring resource. In FY 98-99, these donations totalled $106,813. 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 250 members in this last fiscal year. MAPS conducted a test of a new bulk mail appeal but the appeal was of limited success. This 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 mention MAPS to their friends.


Total expenditures for FY 98-99 amounted to $280.194. The expenditures have been divided into four categories; research, education, staff and office. In FY 98-99, MAPS allocated $42,318 to research, $107,119 to education, $116,459 to staff and $14,298 to office. By way of comparison, in FY 97-98 MAPS allocated $54,209 to research, $119,982 to education, $100,224 to staff and $14,132 to office. MAPS' individual expense items are discussed below in more detail.


MDMA Cancer Patient Study -United States

Charles Grob, M.D. is the lead investigator for the proposed study into the use of MDMA in the treatment of psychological distress in terminal cancer patients. MAPS allocated $4,460 to this project. Of that sum, $1,250 went for expenses involved in reviewing the scientific literature for submission to FDA. A neurotoxicity review was started by Matt Baggott and a review of the effect of MDMA on kidney function was started by John Podraza. The remaining funds were allocated to protocol development work, which included expenses involved in assisting Dr. Grob to obtain the latest data on MDMA neurotoxicity at scientific conferences in London and Washington, D.C. After working to support efforts to initiate MDMA psychotherapy research in cancer patients since MAPS was founded in 1986, I think we will finally see FDA approval of such a study before I will be writing next year's annual report.

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. In FY 98-99, MAPS allocated $6,726 to this project. These costs primarily involved informing Dr. Kotler and his co- investigator, Dr. Adam Darnell, about MDMA neurotoxicity by bringing them to scientific conferences. Both attended a conference about MDMA neurotoxicity in London, at which Drs. Grob and Greer and I joined them. Dr. Darnell (and myself and Dr. Grob) attended a neurotoxicity conference in Washington, D.C. I felt it was essential that Drs. Kotler and Darnell be exposed to the entire range of scientific information about the risks of MDMA. In that way, they would be in the best position to make a fully informed decision about how to proceed with MAPS' proposed study. Fortunately, after hearing the latest information about MDMA neurotoxicity, they felt that the risk/benefit ratio was such that proceeding with the study was still an appropriate course of action.

As reported below in the educational section, expenditures involved in bringing MDMA researchers to Israel to present their data to Israeli health authorities have been allocated to the Israel MDMA conference. As I reported last year, a donation of $12,500 to cover the initial protocol design process of the MDMA/PTSD study was made by MAPS members (my supportive parents) but was routed not through MAPS but given directly to Ben-Gurion University for restricted use for the study.

MDMA Neurotoxicity PET Study - Switzerland

MAPS donated $6,000 to lend partial support to a crucial study conducted by Dr. Franz Vollenweider, University of Zuerich, designed to use PET scans to determine whether a single dose of MDMA administered to MDMA-naive subjects would result in any detectable evidence of long-term reductions in serotonin transporter reupdate sites. Dr. Vollenweider and his research team, and Drs. George Ricaurte and Una McCann and their team at Johns Hopkins University, are the only scientists in the world using PET scans to measure serotonin reuptake sites in MDMA users. The primary difference between the approaches of the two teams is that Dr. Vollenweider tests the effect of a single standard-size dose in MDMA-naive subjects, producing data that is directly relevant for determining the risk to subjects from participating in clinical research. Drs. Ricaurte and McCann test polydrug users with a history of hundreds of exposures to large doses of MDMA, among a wide range of other drugs, and compares their results to a supposedly matched control group, generating data that may bear on the risk of heavy recreational use of MDMA.

Preliminary data from Dr. Vollenweider's study suggests that a single dose of 1.5 mg/kg may not produce any measurable reductions in serotonin transporter reuptake sites. This data still needs to be confirmed in larger numbers of subjects and then submitted for publication and subjected to the peer-review process. The results of this study, if they hold up after additional subjects and higher doses are evaluated, can play an important role in reassuring regulatory and review bodies that MDMA research can be conducted without undue risk of neurotoxicity to subjects.

Ketamine Heroin Addiction Study - Russia

In FY 98-99, MAPS donated $8,857 to Dr. Evgeny Krupitsky for the third year of a three- year study of the use of a single session of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of heroin addiction. The study is taking place in Russia at the Leningrad Regional Center for the Treatment of Addiction. MAPS' support for the project was provided by a restricted grant from Tim Butcher.

In addition, MAPS assisted Dr. Krupitsky in the protocol design process. HRI has also donated $5,000 a year for three years to Dr. Krupitsky for this study. 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.

All subjects have been tested and the results at the six-month follow-up period have been analyzed and published in this issue of the Bulletin (pp. 21). Additional follow-ups at longer intervals will be conducted and submitted for publication to peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Krupitsky's study has yielded promising and provocative results. Dr. Krupitsky and MAPS have begun discussions about the design and funding of additional studies evaluating whether multiple sessions with ketamine-assisted psychotherapy will increase rates of abstinence and/or reduction of drug use patterns beyond that achieved from a single session.

Follow-Up to Dr. Janiger's LSD Research

MAPS spent $11,276 in FY 98-99 for the historic follow-up study to LSD research that was conducted from 1954-1962 by Dr. Oscar Janiger. Follow-up interviews with over 40 subjects were conducted by Kate Chapman. A detailed report on the findings of this study appeared in a recent MAPS Bulletin (Vol IX No. 1), and media reports appeared in the Utne Reader, the LA Weekly, and other newspapers around the country. The results of this study provided further evidence that LSD research could be conducted safely and that a significant fraction of subjects in this experiment reported that their LSD experiences had lasting benefits. The Janiger follow-up study may mark the end in a series of long-term follow-ups to early psychedelic research projects that MAPS has sponsored (see pp. 10 this issue). The data gathered from these follow-up studies provide sufficient evidence of safety and efficacy to justify the initiation of new studies in which psychedelics are administered to patients.

Follow-up to Dr. Bastiaans' LSD Therapy - The Netherlands

MAPS pledged $5,000 and in FY 98-99 donated the first $2,500 to a follow-up study of Dr. Bastiaans' patients treated for PTSD with LSD-assisted psychotherapy. Some of these subjects were concentration camp survivors. The results of this study were published in MAPS (Vol IX No. 2). This study provides anecdotal information suggesting that further research into the use of psychedelically-assisted psychotherapy in patients with PTSD should be conducted. MAPS is working on protocol design and has pledged funding for two studies of this sort, one in Israel and one in Spain, both using MDMA in treatment-resistent PTSD patients.

LSD Research United States

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 allocated $57 for the purchase of a book on outcome measures useful in evaluating psychological changes in cancer patients.

Second Generation Study

MAPS donated $540 to Adele Getty for assistance in protocol design for an interview study intended to gather information from families where the use of psychedelics is openly approved of (MAPS Bulletin Vol IX No. 2). This study may shed some light on whether parental acknowledgment of the benefits of the responsible use of psychedelics "sends the wrong message" or acts as a protection against drug abuse in adolescents and young adults.

Salvia Divinorum Meditation Study

MAPS donated $1,500 to a double-blind study examining the use of low doses of Salvia divinorum as an aid to meditation (MAPS Bulletin Vol. IX No. 2). Though MAPS primarily focuses its resources on the medical aspects of psychedelics and marijuana, this study investigates the more traditional use of psychedelics as aids to spiritual practice.

Marijuana Analysis Project

MAPS and CA-NORML cosponsored a study into the potency of various samples of marijuana sold at medical marijuana buyers clubs 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 (MAPS Bulletin Vol. IX, No. 3).


MAPS allocated $107,119 to educational projects in FY 98-99. The educational component of MAPS' activity includes the printing and mailing of the MAPS Bulletin, the writing, publication and marketing of books, the development of information and searchable databases available on the MAPS web site, organizing and supporting conferences, conducting membership drives, and the associated costs for copies, phones, internet connection, postage, advertisements, books and tapes, and informational materials.

In FY 98-99, as in FY 97-98, educational projects represented the largest category of expenditure. This is due in part to the lengthy and difficult process of securing permission for clinical research, a process which I expect will be less problematic in the future. MAPS' focus on educational projects is also due to our growing recognition that MAPS' educational functions are an important adjunct to research, and that approval for research depends upon public support for such research and the minimization of possibly tragic negative experiences in non- medical users of psychedelics. The educational functions of MAPS thus act as a necessary component of a complete strategy that recognizes the need for the dissemination of accurate, balanced information in support of the education and associated harm-reduction in non-medical users of psychedelics, and the education of the general public on research results from psychedelic and marijuana studies.

MAPS Bulletin

The MAPS Bulletin is the major educational project of MAPS. MAPS spent $23,496 printing the Bulletin, the envelopes, and the enclosures we sometimes include in the envelope. The mailing of the Bulletin also consumed a substantial fraction of the $8,760 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 gives the Bulletin its professional look. The annual per-member costs of the Bulletin are quite high, in excess of $10 per member (subtracting for the copies of the Bulletin sold on newstands and sent for free to key scientists, government officials and media). This figure does not count staff time to produce the Bulletin. We feel that this expenditure in communication with our members is well worth the money. Furthermore, the Bulletin is also posted on the MAPS web page and is available to a much larger group of people. We welcome comments from members concerning ways to improve the Bulletin.

Sandoz Psychedelic Bibliography Project

The Sandoz on-line psychedelic bibliography is a shared project between MAPS, HRI and the Albert Hofmann Foundation. MAPS spent a total of $12,696 in FY 98-99 on this project, with funds donated by Bob Wallace through his Promind Foundation. The goal of this project is to digitize 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. The on-line psychedelic bibliography is now a very powerful tool and preserves early LSD and psilocybin research in an easily accessible form for future generations of students and researchers.

On-Line Summary of New Psychedelic Research

In a related project, MAPS spent $1,250 to gather, post in the searchable data base, and comment on all new scientific papers about the use of psychedelics in humans that are published in peer-reviewed journals, all clinical studies in humans with marijuana, and results of the most important psychedelic-related animal studies. MAPS has hired Matt Baggott to implement this project, with funding provided by Bob Wallace's Promind Foundation.

MAPS Moderated Electronic Forum

MAPS spent $3,450 on the Forum in FY 97-98. MAPS' on-line discussion group is moderated by Jon Frederick, a neurosciences Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Jon has done an excellent job and has built participation to over 1500 people. Jon receives a monthly $300 stipend for his services, and MAPS pays for his internet connection. The Forum is an excellent method for MAPS to communicate with participants in the Forum, many of whom are members but many are not, and for participants to communicate with each other. MAPS continues to believe that it is best to give out information for free, hoping that many will benefit and some will become members to help cover the costs of the service. To subscribe, send a message to with subscribe maps_forum youre-mailaddress in the body of the message.

Strassman DMT Book

MAPS is donating $2,000 a month for one year to Dr. Rick Strassman to enable him to have time to write a book on his experiences conducting DMT and psilocybin research. Support for this project comes from a grant from Robert Barnhart. This book will be published by Inner Traditions.

New Edition of Shivitti: A Vision

MAPS donated $1,500 toward the re-publication by Gateways Books of Shivitti- A Vision, by Ka-Tzetnik 135633. This book is about the LSD-assisted psychotherapy that Ka- Tzetnik 135633 underwent to help him deal with the long-term emotional consequences of having been in a Nazi concentration camp. This book is available from MAPS helped underwrite the costs of publicizing this book because it is an excellent personal account of the use of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of PTSD, a use that MAPS is trying to study in the context of MDMA/PTSD research projects in Israel and Spain.

Conrad/Norris Books Projects

MAPS donated $2,500 as a final contribution to Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris for their work in researching Hemp for Health: The Facts on Medical Marijuana (by Conrad) and Shattered Lives: Portraits from America's Drug War (by Norris, Conrad and Virginia Resner). MAPS received a restricted grant of $2,500 from the Zimmer Family Foundation for these projects. This books can be ordered through local bookstores.

The Secret Chief

MAPS spent $2,280 in FY 98-99 marketing The Secret Chief by Myron Stolaroff. The book is a series of interviews with a pioneer of the underground psychedelic psychotherapy movement. MAPS staff member Carla Higdon worked on the promotional efforts. If you haven't already purchased a copy, you can do so through the MAPS web site, by calling the MAPS office or by ordering through your local book store. Only a few copies of the special limited edition of 100 signed copies are still available at $250 each (signed by Albert Hofmann, Stan Grof, Ann and Sasha Shulgin, and Myron Stolaroff). MAPS also had the pleasure of paying Myron $1,914 in royalty payments for writing The Secret Chief . While this is not a large amount of money, at least Myron didn't have to write the book only for love. MAPS' costs for publishing and marketing The Secret Chief were funded by a $10,000 grant from Bob Wallace, through the Promind Foundation (donated prior to FY 98-99).

Israel MDMA Conference

MAPS spent $5,348 on preliminary expenses for the MAPS-sponsored conference on clinical research with MDMA and MDE, which took place in Israel at the Dead Sea on August 30- Sept 1. This conference represents a major component in MAPS' efforts to obtain permission for MDMA psychotherapy research in Israel, Spain, the U.S. and elsewhere. Funds for this conference were donated by Jeremy Tarcher, Robert Barnhart, Tim Butcher and Ami Shinitzky. A report on this conference is in this issue, on page 2.

Psychedelic Elders Conference

MAPS allocated $9,966 to the Elders conference in FY 98-99. This conference succeeded in gathering together many early pioneers of psychedelic research where they could reflect on the insights gained from their research, both personal and as experimental subjects, and could strategize on ways to move forward with psychedelic research. MAPS brought Albert Hofmann and Juraj and Sonja Styk, Swiss psychiatrists involved with psychedelic research and treatment in Switzerland, to the conference, and assisted with additional expenses. Funds for this conference were donated to MAPS by Tim Butcher and the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Direct Mail Membership Drive

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 $3,789 in FY 98-99 as the last installment of a direct mail campaign that was a dismal failure. About 55,000 letters were sent out to a variety of lists we felt would be more inclined to be sympathetic to research. The only list for which we reached the target of a 1% response rate was from the smallest-sized list. As a result of this response, HRI decided to abandon a shared direct mail campaign with MAPS.

MAPS redesigned the direct mail piece with the advice of professional consultants and spent $9,158 on a subsequent campaign seeking membership only in MAPS. This campaign, while more effective than the previous, still did not obtain the level of response required to justify the continuation of this effort. After MAPS succeeds in obtaining FDA permission for psychedelic psychotherapy research in the United States, research which has not taken place for over 25 years, it may prove easier to motivate people to support MAPS and the projects for which it has managed to obtain approval.

Our difficulties in obtaining new members means that current MAPS members are a rare and unusual group! We need to do our best to ensure that a very 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 Website

MAPS spent $1,787 on internet functions including connection fees for staff and costs for the MAPS Forum and web site, with secure credit card processing. The MAPS web site has been a very important educational tool and a source of contacts from new members, major funders and researchers. The site has received over 100,000 hits since November 1998. The server space is donated and administered by Jim Petersen of San Francisco. Content is supervised and updated by Sylvia Thyssen and Andrew Stone. The web site underwent a major remodeling in March 1999 thanks to Andew Stone of Stone Design. If you haven't already checked it out, I think you will probably like what you see, at


MAPS allocated $116,459 to staff in FY 98-99. Of the amount, $100,134 went for salaries, taxes and health care benefits, while $9,855 went for travel, $2,756 for conference fees and $3,712 for professional fees such as accounting. MAPS has three full-time staff members, Rick Doblin, Sylvia Thyssen and Carla Higdon. We would like our compensation policy to enable MAPS to retain its staff for may years to come, especially since, in my opinion, we all become more qualified as time goes by. This is partially a result of the growth and development in our personal contacts with researchers and members, thereby enhancing MAPS' ability to serve as one hub in the psychedelic community. It is also due to our growing understanding of the worldwide range of psychedelic research projects, research design, and the regulatory approval process.

In FY 98-99, Rick Doblin's salary remained at $30,000 a year with no health care benefits, Sylvia Thyssen received $28,600 with full health care benefits and Carla Higdon received $22,880 with full health care benefits. In recognition of the long-term nature of MAPS' mission and the excellent job done by both Sylvia and Carla, MAPS also makes contributions to a retirement fund for them. These salaries and benefits are under market value for jobs in the private sector with similar responsibilities and required skills. For FY 99-2000, Rick Doblin's salary remains the same, Sylvia's salary was raised to $32,600 and Carla's salary was raised to $26,880.


MAPS allocated $14,298 to office expenses in FY 98-99. Of that amount, $3,966 went for rent. MAPS moved its location from Charlotte, North Carolina to Sarasota, Florida, and incurred $2,980 in moving expenses. $3,923 went for the purchase of a car to be used by MAPS staff on MAPS-related errands. The purchase of this car was largely paid for by restricted donations from several members.


Scientifically, FY 98-99 was a year in which several groundbreaking studies were conducted, most notably Dr. Krupitsky's study of the use of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of heroin addicts, and the UC San Francisco study of Dr. Donald Abrams, in which the effects of marijuana in HIV patients is being evaluated. A fascinating study of Salvia divinorum and meditation was started, and a medical marijuana potency study was completed, both at little financial cost. A follow-up study to the LSD research of Dr. Janiger was completed and a follow-up study to the LSD research of Dr. Bastiaans was initiated.

A great deal of energy was spent trying to obtain permission for MDMA research projects around the world, for Dr. Russo's marijuana/migraine study in the United States, and for MAPS' application to have marijuana declared on Orphan Drug for AIDS wasting syndrome. The results of this effort can be seen in the FDA's final approval of Dr. Russo's study, which took place in FY 99-2000, and FDA approval of MAPS' application to have marijuana declared an Orphan Drug for AIDS wasting syndrome, which also took place in FY 99-2000.

MAPS' work on behalf of MDMA research can be measured by whether approvals will be granted in FY 99-2000 for MDMA psychotherapy projects in the United States, Israel and Spain.

Educationally, MAPS reached out to more people than ever through its Bulletin, various web site projects, e-mail discussion group, book publication efforts, and membership drive. MAPS supported the Psychedelic Elders conference and began planning a major international scientific conference on the clinical use of MDMA.

Financially, MAPS raised a substantial amount of money that enabled it to support a wide range of projects. MAPS' net assets were $351,701 as of May 31, 1999. Of these assets, $80,000 are restricted to specific research and educational projects and need to be subtracted from net assets when considering MAPS' unrestricted funds available for new projects or organizational expenses. These restricted sums will probably all be allocated in FY 99-2000.

MAPS' work load and range of projects increased, and with it the need to increase the amount of unrestricted donations that MAPS can use for organizational expenses. The disappointing results of the direct mail membership campaign means that MAPS needs to rely on its current members to remain supportive and to assist MAPS staff in outreach efforts to locate new people who share MAPS' vision and goals and are willing to become formally involved as new MAPS members. Current MAPS members are an unusual group of people willing to support efforts to make this vision of the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana into a reality. After MAPS succeeds in obtaining FDA permission for psychedelic psychotherapy research in the United States, research which has not taken place for over 25 years, it may prove easier to motivate people to support MAPS and the projects for which it has managed to obtain approval.

This past year has been one of significant accomplishments, among the most important being the building of a more mutually satisfactory working relationship with the FDA. I hope and expect that FY 99-2000 will see a continued improvement in MAPS' relationship with regulatory bodies around the world.

Comments or questions from MAPS members concerning this annual report are invited. Only with the continued support of its members can MAPS build in FY 99-2000 on the efforts expended since MAPS was founded in 1986. MAPS is deeply grateful for the past generosity of MAPS' membership. We will do our best to be worthy of your renewed support.