The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
) is a U.S.
-based non-profit organization
that assists scientists to design, fund, obtain approval for and report on studies into the risks and benefits of psychedelic drugs
). MAPS' mission is to develop these drugs into FDA-approved prescription medicines, and to educate the public about their risks and benefits. MAPS has often been at odds with the National Institute on Drug Abuse
(NIDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) in their efforts to research the medicinal purposes of cannabis. MAPS founder Rick Doblin
claims that NIDA is "scared of the research" MAPS is performing. MAPS has a $5 million, 5 year plan to conduct the research necessary to obtain FDA approval for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD). In addition to its research efforts, MAPS has recently published six books, and publishes a quarterly journal, the MAPS Bulletin. The organization was founded by Rick Doblin
Since 1995, MAPS has disbursed over three million dollars to research and educational projects and has:
- Began an FDA-approved study of the psychotherapeutic effects of LSD in cancer patients in Switzerland
- Obtained FDA and IRB approval to study MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Charleston, SC with similar research projects now underway in Switzerland and Israel.
- Sponsored efforts by Prof. Lyle Craker, Medicinal Plant Program, UMass Amherst Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, to obtain a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration for a marijuana production facility.
- Sponsored pioneering analytical research into the effects of the marijuana vaporizer, leading to the first human study of marijuana vaporizers conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams, UC San Francisco.
- Opened an FDA Drug Master File for MDMA. This is required before any drug can be researched in FDA-approved human studies.
- Assisted Dr. Charles Grob to design, obtain approval for and fund the first FDA-approved study in the U.S. to administer MDMA to humans.
- Assisted in the design and is funding the world's first government-approved scientific study of the therapeutic use of MDMA (Spain).
- Sponsored studies to analyze the purity and potency of street samples of "Ecstasy" and medical marijuana.
- Funded the successful efforts of Dr. Donald Abrams to obtain approval for the first human study in 15 years into the therapeutic use of marijuana, along with a $1 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- Obtained Orphan Drug designation from the FDA for smoked marijuana in the treatment of AIDS Wasting Syndrome.
- Funded the synthesis of psilocybin for the first FDA-approved study in twenty-five years to evaluate psilocybin in a patient population.
- Supported long-term follow-up studies of pioneering research with LSD and psilocybin originally conducted in the 1950s and 1960s.
Currently, MAPS has been given a Schedule I license to conduct research with MDMA on veterans and survivors of physical or sexual assault who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, as well as with advanced-stage Cancer patients who are experiencing anxiety associated with this diagnosis, the first licenses the DEA has granted for MDMA psychotherapy research.
A clinical study of these treatment of cluster headaches using low doses of the tryptamine psilocybin (found in psilocybe mushrooms) is being developed by researchers at Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital in conjunction with MAPS.