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MAPS1, a non-profit organization, is raising funds to partially sponsor research “into the healing and spiritual effects of psychedelic drugs.” MAPS states their experiments will “bring the tools of science to the study of spirituality.” 2
Although the affects of MDMA (ecstasy) on humans is already well-known, (closeness, empathy and trust) the NIDA, (National Institute on Drug Abuse), states MDMA’s risks are similar to cocaine and can be dangerous, causing the body’s temperature to increase, resulting in liver, kidney and cardiovascular system failure or death 3. MAPS plans to establish in vervet monkeys what is already known in humans, “we have to begin by showing that vervet response to MDMA resembles the human response” 4. After they demonstrate what is already known, their plans are to “obtain(ing) large scale funding from NSF and NIH.” The future funding they seek will be our tax dollars. 5 The primates they use will be our friends.
The study MAPS is attempting to fund will be conducted at a state-supported school, UCLA, involving five UCLA researchers. Although MAPS will purchase some monkeys for the study, taxpayer owned monkeys (8 females) will be loaned at no charge. UCLA’s research facilities will be the staging ground.6
It is concerning that a non-profit organization’s goal is to “research into the healing and spiritual potentials of psychedelics and marijuana” 7 -- the study of spirituality -- and that a state-supported school has enthusiastically accepted their offer.
Ecstasy is an illegal drug, potentially causing mental and physical harm and yet tax monies are being diverted from other projects to fund this with plans to have tax payers fully fund future experiments.
Further, the expense of monitoring monkeys exposed to ecstasy is a waste of precious resources at a time when the US is grappling with ways to pay so many other obligations.
Primate Freedom Project is amazed at MAPS’ statement, “ Can you imagine a cultural reintegration of the use of psychedelics and the state of mind they engender?” 8
It is staggering that prominent UCLA researchers would align themselves with this organization and expect taxpayers to pay for their investigations.
Primate Freedom Project believes this sends the wrong message to America’s youth. The next generation has enough to pay without supporting useless experiments that lead to dead ends. NIH 2005 funding for ecstasy experiments total $30 million. View data from NIH sources at http://www.primatefreedom.com/2005funding.xls
Spirituality cannot be found in a drug.
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