Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy

Support vital research needed to make psychedelic therapy a legal treatment
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MAPS
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Health
Santa Cruz, California
United States
12 Team Members

Help expand psychedelic harm reduction at festivals and events—support our new campaign to raise $50,000 for the Zendo Project! zendoproject.org

THANK YOU! In 60 days, over 1,674 individual funders and matching gifts from more than 40 countries raised $141,888for psychedelic therapy research (over 2½ times our $50,000 goal).

This includes an additional $11,000 in gifts not processed through Indiegogo.

You can still donate online to help complete this research. For study updates and research news, sign up for our Email Newsletter.

UPDATE: ACID TEST by Tom Shroder is now available on the MAPS Store—order yours today!

Government-approved research is showing that psychedelic therapy can help people suffering from serious mental health conditions, especially those for whom other treatments have failed.

In just 16 days, we reached our $50,000 goal to complete funding for the largest-ever clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), completing our multi-year, $1.38 million fundraising effort for this study. The results will help make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy the first legal psychedelic treatment by 2021.

Join the campaign to help make psychedelic therapy a legal treatment.

All funds contributed above $50,000 will pay for costs associated with our second-largest study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, located in Boulder, Colorado. We still need $498,000 of the total cost of $711,000 to complete this study, which is now treating 23 subjects with PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, war, natural disasters, or any other cause, and is an essential part of our plan to make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy a legal treatment by 2021.

By making a donation and sharing this campaign, you help:

  • Make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy a legal treatment by 2021
  • Complete ongoing research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD from war, sexual assault, violent crime, or any other cause
  • Demonstrate growing public support for psychedelic and medical marijuana research
"Healing Hands" pendants are available as Perks for your gift of $125 or more

Legalizing psychedelic therapy is not the same as legalizing psychedelics for all uses. We are completing the research necessary to develop psychedelic therapy into a legal prescription treatment.

Psychedelic therapy is not a take-home drug. Psychedelic therapy must be conducted in a therapeutic environment with proper support.

Donate today to help make psychedelic therapy a legal treatment.

MAPS' non-profit drug development research needs your support because neither the pharmaceutical industry, the government, nor major foundations have yet been willing to invest in psychedelic therapy research.

Since January 2014, our work has been featured in:


Aired: September 13, 2014


Healing trauma

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combines talk therapy with the use of MDMA, a drug that may enhance the effectiveness of psychotherapy for PTSD.

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic compound that may increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy by strengthening the alliance between therapist and patient, and helping subjects feel more comfortable discussing difficult memories and emotions.

In a recently published study, 83% of subjects receiving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy no longer qualified for PTSD, and everyone who received a placebo and then went on to receive MDMA-assisted psychotherapy experienced significant and lasting improvements. Primarily female survivors of sexual assault and abuse, these subjects had suffered from PTSD for an average of 19 years.


Nicholas Blackston in Ramadi during Operation Iraqi Freedom
Image credit: Charlie Hernandez

The long-term follow-up of subjects receiving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy revealed that on average overall benefits were maintained for 3½ years or more. Our Swiss study published in 2013 also found clinically significant improvements in PTSD symptoms after MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

Your gift will help us replicate these outstanding results for the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD in veterans, police and firefighters. UPDATE: Help us reach our Stretch Goals!

Help make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy a legal, FDA-approved treatment by 2021.

  • By making a gift and sharing this campaign, you're helping make psychedelic therapy a legally available treatment.
  • Every gift—no matter the size—makes a difference.
  • We're offering lots of unique, limited-quantity perks—Tom Shroder's ACID TEST, vinyl stickers, custom pendants, an online webinar, chances to meet the researchers, and more...


$10 and up

Electronic Certificate of Appreciation

$25 and up

Clear Vinyl Sticker +
Art Postcard
by study subject Nicholas Blackston

$50/$100 and up

Now available from MAPS!

Hardcover ACID TEST
by Tom Shroder
Release date: September 9

"[ACID TEST] explores the therapeutic possibilities of LSD and Ecstasy (MDMA), and, more broadly, the potential of the human mind...Shroder both informs readers about the drugs' shadowy pasts and provides insight into the future of mental health."—Publishers Weekly

Make a contribution today.

TIP: When pledging, you may enter an amount larger than listed if you would like to contribute additional support for this research.



What is psychedelic therapy?

Psychedelic therapy is a mode of treatment that uses psychedelic drugs (such as LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, ibogaine, ayahuasca, or others) to enhance the effectiveness of therapy.

Psychedelic therapy is only administered a small number of times, as opposed to traditional drug-based treatments which require patients to take medications every day, sometimes for the rest of their lives. These other treatments often have significant side effects and can result in dependence.

The word "psychedelic" means "mind-manifesting," and refers to a broad class of naturally occurring and synthetic compounds that expand awareness and facilitate personal, interpersonal, and/or spiritual insights when used carefully in the proper settings.


Nicholas Blackston, retired Marine and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study participant, talks about his role in ACID TEST

"ACID TEST reads like a first-rate novel. The book is that much more intriguing and consequential though because the stories are true and the subject matter—the healing of post-traumatic stress—of great currency and importance. We need to know how to treat the trauma that afflicts most of the world or we're in deep trouble." —Dr. Richard Rockefeller, former chairman of the U.S. Advisory Board of Doctors Without Borders

Acid Test

LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal

As one of your Perks, we are excited to feature ACID TEST: LSD, ECSTASY, AND THE POWER TO HEAL, the all-new book by award-winning journalist Tom Shroder, coming out September 9, 2014 from Blue Rider Press. Post-campaign update: ACID TEST is now available in the MAPS Store!

Learn—through the incredible true stories contained in the pages of ACID TEST—how psychedelic therapy research has transformed over the past decades, and how your gift can directly transform the lives of people suffering from PTSD and other conditions.

Anchoring ACID TEST are the stories of three men: Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS, who has been fighting government prohibition of psychedelics for more than thirty years; Dr. Michael Mithoefer, a former emergency-room physician, now a psychiatrist at the forefront of psychedelic therapy research; and study subject Nicholas Blackston, a former Marine who has suffered mental anguish from the effects of brutal combat experiences in Iraq.

ACID TEST author Tom Shroder is an award-winning journalist, writer, and editor. He has previously written two New York Times bestsellers, and is the former editor of the Washington Post Magazine.

"Tom Shroder's ACID TEST is an inspiring and profoundly hopeful book."—Wade Davis, author of The Serpent and the Rainbow
"ACID TEST [is] a book that should start a long-overdue national conversation, and someday may help to end a lot of unnecessary suffering."—Dave Barry, author and columnist

GIFT OF INSPIRATION: Nicholas has generously offered to sign a limited number of high-quality prints in appreciation for your gift of $500 or more. We'll send you one of each of Nicholas' favorite pieces (below).

Prometheus' Fire Sacred Soul
"The images that appeared in my mind's eye during my MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions, and after in my own private meditations, felt like communication with a higher or ancient part of myself. Just by putting it down on paper, I have seen how my right hand can create as opposed to destroy...all by using a different instrument in hand."—Nicholas Blackston

Current psychedelic therapy research

Your donation supports a growing field of research into psychedelic therapy for a variety of conditions.

Studies conducted by MAPS include:

Supporting scientific freedom

In addition to developing psychedelics into prescription medicines, MAPS is also working to develop the marijuana plant into an FDA-approved prescription treatment for symptoms of PTSD.

The public outcry against medical marijuana researcher Dr. Sue Sisley's dismissal from the University of Arizona has reached a national audience.

A petition launched on Change.org by Arizona veteran Ricardo Pereyda has gathered over 100,000 signatures (and counting) in support of MAPS and Dr. Sisley's efforts to start medical marijuana research in Arizona.

MAPS and Dr. Sisley have been working since 2010 to initiate a study of the safety and effectiveness of whole plant marijuana, smoked or vaporized, for symptoms of PTSD in 70 veterans. We are now seeking a new location for the study within Arizona.

Help clear the political haze obstructing research into the beneficial uses of Schedule I drugs—please donate today.


$125 and up

Healing Hands
Limited edition brass pendant

$500 and up

Gift of Inspiration
signed art prints

$1,000 and up

Private Teleconference
with MAPS staff and researchers


Your gift is tax-deductible in the United States.

A new approach to healing

Completing this study is a key part of our strategy to discover the risks and benefits of psychedelic therapy for:

  • PTSD—22 veterans commit suicide every day; many of them have PTSD. Veterans Affairs estimates that as many as 20% of recent veterans have PTSD. One in six Americans suffer from PTSD in their lifetime. PTSD is highly correlated with depression, addiction, and suicide.
  • Depression—9.5% of Americans suffer from depression each year. 20% attempt suicide.
  • Suicide—Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.
  • Addiction—Every day in the US alone about 105 people die from drug overdose, and most of those deaths involve prescription drugs. 9.3% of Americans were treated for drug (mostly opiate) or alcohol abuse in 2009. (Source: CDC, CASAColumbia)
By donating today—whatever you can afford—you play a vital role in completing the research necessary to allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the prescription use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD.

About the study

Download the protocol for this study.

  • Investigators: Dr. Michael Mithoefer and co-therapist Annie Mithoefer, BSN
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina, US
  • Subjects: 24 veterans, firefighters, and police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant, service-related PTSD
  • Protocol: Randomized, triple-blind
  • Treatment Method: Weekly standard psychotherapy sessions and three experimental day-long psychotherapy sessions, scheduled three to five weeks apart. Subjects are randomly assigned to three dose conditions: standard, medium, and low dose (active placebo).
Data from this and other Phase 2 studies will be used to plan the larger Phase 3 studies necessary to demonstrate to the FDA that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is a safe and effective treatment option for PTSD. We estimate that it will take $2.3 million and two years to complete Phase 2, and an additional $15.8 million and five years to complete Phase 3 and establish MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a legally available treatment by 2021.


"Together, we can make psychedelics and marijuana into legally available prescription medicines within our lifetimes."

Rick Doblin, Ph.D., MAPS founder and executive director

You can help legalize psychedelic therapy.

Make a contribution today.

The path to prescription use

Clinical trials test potential treatments in human volunteers to determine whether they should be approved for use in the general population. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires these studies to be completed before a new treatment can be approved for use. Clinical trials are conducted in phases over many years.

MAPS has completed two Phase 2 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, with four currently ongoing. We anticipate starting Phase 3 trials in 2016.

Creating a sustainable psychedelic science

We currently estimate that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will be approved as a prescription treatment in 2021—that's just seven years.

With our goal increasingly in reach, we are exploring how best to leverage the prescription use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and potential income from legal sales of MDMA into a source of support for the continued development of psychedelic science, medicine, and education.

This vision of a sustainable non-profit is what we're working to make possible—to provide a flow of resources for further developing the healing, therapeutic, and spiritual potential of psychedelics and marijuana.

$125 and up

Healing Hands
Limited edition brass pendant

$5,000 and up

Private Dinner and Tea
with MAPS staff and researchers

$10,000 and up

Research Center Tour
(Los Angeles, Colorado, South Carolina, or Vancouver)

By making a gift, you're helping make psychedelic therapy a legally available treatment.

NOTE: When making a donation, you can enter an amount larger than listed to contribute additional support for this research.

About MAPS

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

Since our founding in 1986, MAPS has disbursed over $20 million to psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education. Every dollar has come from visionary donors committed to our mission. For-profit drug companies have not invested because these compounds cannot be patented and are taken only a few times. We're also encouraging government agencies and major public foundations to support our research. For now, the continued expansion of psychedelic research relies on the generosity of individual donors.


How your gift helps

Your contribution pays for the remaining costs of administering MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in our ongoing clinical trial for veterans, firefighters, and police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. UPDATE: Help us reach our Stretch Goals!

These studies are a key part of our international research program to develop MDMA-assisted psychotherapy into a prescription treatment for PTSD.


NEW PERK!

HORIZONS NYC: We're now offering a limited number of passes to two incredible events the weekend of October 10-12, 2014. As a thank you for your $1,500 $1,000 gift, you'll receive two passes for you and a friend to the HORIZONS: PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHEDELICS conference in New York City from October 10-12, 2014. You'll also get two tickets to the Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy DINNER & AUTHOR RECEPTION on October 11 in SoHo, NYC.


Every gift—no matter the size—makes a difference.


Q: How can I become a subject in a study of psychedelic therapy?
Learn more about current opportunities to participate in research.

Q: What is the difference between MDMA and the street drugs known as "Ecstasy" or "molly"?
Over half of the substances sold in unregulated criminal markets under the names "Ecstasy" or "molly" contain no MDMA at all, and often contain far more dangerous adulterants. In laboratory studies, pure MDMA has been shown to be sufficiently safe for human consumption when taken a limited number of times in moderate doses.


Thank you for helping transform medicine!


Donate today.

Find This Campaign On
$130,888USD
raised by 1,674 people in 1 month
262% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$50,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on October 9, 2014
In partnership with
Matched Funds By
Matched: $20,000USD
Funds Have Been Matched!

The Visionaries and The Catalysts matched $20,000 USD of contributions made to this campaign. Matched funds are reflected in the total amount raised.

Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Certificate of Appreciation

    Every gift—no matter the amount—brings us closer to completing this research. We'll send you a personalized electronic certificate of appreciation.

    115 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $25USD
    Art Postcard + Sticker

    Display your support and start conversations with a limited edition transparent vinyl sticker featuring the Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy logo. You'll also receive a limited edition art postcard by study subject Nicholas Blackston. We'll also send you a personalized electronic certificate of appreciation for your gift.

    189 out of 500 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2014
  • $50USD
    Acid Test

    Get the book as a gift for supporting the research that makes these stories possible. We'll send you a brand new hardcover edition of ACID TEST: LSD, ECSTASY, AND THE POWER TO HEAL by award-winning journalist Tom Shroder (see campaign page for reviews). Retail price: $27.95 Hardcover | 432 pgs | Blue Rider Press Release Date: September 9, 2014 We'll also send you a Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, an art postcard, and an electronic certificate of appreciation.

    568 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $75USD
    Psychedelic Therapy Webinar

    Participate in a live, two-hour online discussion with Acid Test author Tom Shroder, former Marine and study subject Nicholas Blackston, MAPS founder Rick Doblin, PhD, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy researcher Dr. Michael Mithoefer. The webinar will take place in December 2014 (date to be announced). If you can't attend the webinar you'll be able to watch it later. We'll also send you a Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, art postcard, and electronic certificate of appreciation.

    24 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2015
  • $100USD
    Acid Test + Webinar

    The perfect educational opportunity—we'll send you a copy of ACID TEST so you can dive in before participating in the Psychedelic Therapy Webinar. We'll also send you a Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, an art postcard, and an electronic certificate of appreciation.

    81 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $125USD
    Healing Hands Pendant

    Proudly display your support for psychedelic therapy research with a limited edition layered yellow brass pendant featuring the MAPS "Hands" logo. These elegant and enduring treasures are handcrafted with love by Earthwing exclusively for this campaign. We'll also send you a Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, an art postcard, and an electronic certificate of appreciation for your gift.

    43 out of 250 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $150USD
    Pendant + Acid Test

    We'll send you a limited edition Healing Hands layered yellow brass pendant AND your own copy of ACID TEST. You'll also receive a Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, an art postcard, and an electronic certificate of appreciation for your gift.

    74 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $250USD
    Care Package

    Get all of the perks above, plus your copy of ACID TEST will be SIGNED by one or more of: -ACID TEST author TOM SHRODER -MAPS founder RICK DOBLIN, PhD -Researcher DR. MICHAEL MITHOEFER -Study subject NICHOLAS BLACKSTON Your Care Package includes a Healing Hands layered brass pendant, an invitation to the Psychedelic Therapy Webinar, a SIGNED hardcover ACID TEST, a Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, an art postcard, and an electronic certificate of appreciation for your gift.

    26 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $500USD
    Gift of Inspiration

    You'll receive two signed, limited edition art prints by Nicholas Blackston, the former Marine who recovered from PTSD after participating in a MAPS-sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trial. Nicholas has generously donated these prints to support psychedelic therapy research. You'll also get a Healing Hands pendant, a Psychedelic Therapy Webinar invitation, SIGNED ACID TEST, Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, art postcard, and electronic certificate of appreciation.

    15 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Therapeutic Alliance

    Connect in a private teleconference with MAPS staff and researchers, including MAPS founder Rick Doblin, PhD, and a study subject. We'll contact you to find a time that works best. You'll also receive two art prints signed by Nicholas Blackston, a Healing Hands pendant, an invitation to the Psychedelic Therapy Webinar, a SIGNED hardcover ACID TEST, a Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, an art postcard, and an electronic certificate of appreciation for your gift.

    5 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2015
  • $1,000USD
    Horizons NYC

    NEW PERK! Receive TWO PASSES for you and a friend to the HORIZONS: PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHEDELICS conference in New York City from October 10-12, 2014 (horizonsnyc.org) PLUS TWO TICKETS for you and a friend to the Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy DINNER & AUTHOR RECEPTION, in an intimate setting in SoHo, NYC on October 12, 2014 (maps.org/nyc) PLUS all Perks in the CARE PACKAGE

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Experimental Method

    Pays for two and a half experimental sessions for subjects in our study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Enjoy a private dinner and tea with members of the MAPS staff and research team. We'll contact you to find a time and place. You'll also receive two art prints signed by Nicholas Blackston, a Healing Hands pendant, a Psychedelic Therapy Webinar invitation, a SIGNED ACID TEST, a Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, art postcard, and electronic certificate of appreciation.

    1 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2015
  • $10,000USD
    Transforming Medicine

    Pays for five experimental sessions for subjects in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Get a private tour of a psychedelic research center, plus a dinner invitation with MAPS staff and/or researchers. You'll also get all the other perks: two art prints SIGNED by Nicholas Blackston, a Healing Hands pendant, Psychedelic Therapy Webinar invitation, SIGNED ACID TEST, Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy sticker, art postcard, and electronic certificate of appreciation.

    1 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2015
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