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Developing Psychedelics and Marijuana into Prescription Medicines: Cutting-Edge Research and Legal Challenges


February 7, 2013 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Room 280A

MDMA has been shown to have medical potential for treating PTSD and end-of-life anxiety, and for enhancing psychotherapy in general. Marijuana has a wide range of potential uses including nausea control for cancer patients, appetite stimulation, multiple sclerosis, pain, and PTSD. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), founded in 1986, is working to develop these substances into prescription medicines—which requires challenging the regulatory, political, social, and financial hurdles that stifle research.

MAPS and the ACLU have teamed together in a 12-year struggle seeking to break the federal monopoly on the production of marijuana for use in FDA-regulated studies. They worked together in a DEA lawsuit and won in Feb 2007. The Administrative Law Judge recommended that it would be in the public interest for the DEA to license Professor Lyle Craker of UMass-Amherst to grow marijuana under contract to MAPS. The recommendation was rejected by the DEA and is now the subject of a First Circuit Court of Appeals lawsuit. Oral arguments took place on May 11, 2012. The Court’s decision is pending.

On Thursday, February 7, the Center for Law and the Biosciences and the Stanford Interdisciplinary Group in Neuroscience and the Law (SIGNAL) will host MAPS’ founder and executive director, Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and ACLU attorney Allen Hopper to discuss the scientific research and legal challenges surrounding this work. Please join us for what is sure to be an engaging discussion.  

This event is open to the public and free of charge, but please register here so that we can ensure adequate space.