I’m writing in my capacity as a board member of MAPS and supporter of the Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative (as well as Decriminalize Denver, Decriminalize Nature DC, DN Seattle, Measures 109, 110 and the Plant Medicine Healing Alliance in Oregon).
Decriminalize Nature (DN) leadership is engaging in the same conspiracy smear campaign against MAPS over personal possession limits in SB519, as they did against IPCI when the National Council of Native American Churches requested that peyote not be decriminalized in SB 519. In both cases, DN is manufacturing lies about supposed plots to create scarcity in peyote and MDMA respectively. Please read MAPS’ new FAQ on its policy page that substantively addresses these issues, and click here to view the webinar that IPCI presented to the movement along with a detailed written Q&A for questions that were not answered in that webinar due to time, following their open letter to the movement.
I’ve already blogged about recent controversy on personal possession limits in SB 519 as well as on peyote, and below is my statement for the record clarifying false information being spread about MAPS.
1. Does MAPS support decriminalization of psychedelics?
MAPS fully supports all drug decriminalization in favor of a treatment not jail approach. With regards to psychedelics and plant medicines, MAPS fully supports people being able to grow, procure and provide medicine for themselves and their colleagues to heal with in ceremony, go to a festival, and so on, in any amount.
2. Why are there personal limits now in CA SB 519?
We were informed by Senator Wiener’s office that “personal use” needed to be defined in the bill or we would face hostile amendments in the Assembly’s Health Committee. In the first place, “personal use” didn’t mean unlimited amounts; however our preference was to leave it undefined for people to make their case with whatever amounts they had. The downside of that approach is the wrong judge could interpret “personal use” in a much more strict way than otherwise. We were told from the beginning there may come a time when we wouldn’t be able to move the bill without defining “personal use” amounts; unfortunately that time came with the health committee in the Assembly. We proposed as high as we thought could fly, with the additional protection that if someone is supplying “supported or facilitated use,” you can aggregate amounts. For example, each person can have a quarter pound of mushrooms or 4 grams of MDMA (32 doses @ 125 mg), and then multiply that by all the people who are supporting each other walking in nature, in healing circles, etc. that someone might be supplying medicine for. There are no limits on home cultivation either. This does not create “scarcity,” as very few people would have a quarter pound of mushrooms or that much MDMA at any one time, and a medicine carrier can multiply that by however many people are engaging in supported use that they supply.
3. Does MAPS only want to approve MDMA through FDA approval process and oppose decriminalization?
MAPS’ project to move MDMA through FDA approval process is not to lock MDMA up in the medical pharma frame, versus generate cultural change such that all other psychedelic medicines can be integrated in a variety of ways into our culture. The fact that MAPS is a lead org in the SB519 effort to decriminalize MDMA along with all other psychedelics shows MAPS’ multi-pronged approach. This is in distinction to for-profit pharma companies who are not at all engaged in support of decriminalization efforts.
4. Is MAPS a nonprofit or for-profit?
MAPS is a nonprofit org and the sole shareholder of the for-profit subsidiary MAPS PBC. There are no individual shareholders, and all profits the PBC generates will go back into the mission of integrating psychedelic medicines and therapies via not only FDA approval, but state-level legislative and ballot efforts like SB519.
5. Will people have to pay for MDMA medicine once it’s approved by the FDA? (Updated with input from MAPS)
A key priority as MAPS prepares for FDA approval is getting the treatment—both medicine and therapy—covered by insurance companies. Enabling people to access MDMA-assisted therapy as a covered benefit just like other evidence-based mental health treatments will be essential for broad and equitable access. We also will provide generous patient assistance and support to ensure as many PTSD patients who stand to benefit from this treatment can access it regardless of their access to insurance or ability to pay. It is worth noting that MAPS hopes to be in a financial position to subsidize the cost of the medicine for those who need it, but may be limited in its ability to subsidize the cost of the accompanying therapy.
6. What is Peter Thiel’s involvement in MAPS, New Approach or SB519?
None. Here are my blogs discussing New Approach, Compass’s shenanigans and constructive versus extractive capital in the psychedelic space. MAPS is by far setting the gold standard.