A local non-profit is pushing for the legalization of the drug MDMA for medical use.
When people think of MDMA, they might think of the party drug more commonly known as “Molly” or “Ecstasy.”
But, what this organization wants to do is use the pure form of the drug to treat, or even cure people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“All of us need this. Not just people who happen to be in the Bay Area or really progressive places. We all need it. We all need healing,” said Angie Leek, the founder of the Holos Foundation for Transpersonal Healing.
Leek is a licensed professional counselor who wants to treat PTSD patients with MDMA in Northwest Arkansas.
She said, “It helps you access your stored emotional trauma and it does it in a way that lets you process it, reprocess it and refile it.”
It’s called psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight.
Leek’s agency is sponsored by the non-profit MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.
MAPS researches the success of MDMA in patients with PTSD, and is in phase three of clinical trials for using MDMA assisted psychotherapy.
Leek said, “The trials are going so well that they have been given a break-through therapy designation because it’s so promising as a treatment and also they’ve applied for expanded access permission to use this treatment even before phase three is complete.”
Leek has an application in progress with MAPS to open an expanded access clinic where her team can continue this work legally, with FDA and DEA approval, here in the Natural State.
But, right now the drug is illegal.
Sgt. Tony Murphy of the Fayetteville Police Department said, “It’s considered a schedule one drug, and if you’re caught with it, it’s a felony.”
MAPS emphasizes that pure MDMA is not the same as the party drugs “Ecstasy” or “Molly,” which can be dangerous.
Murphy said, “There have been times where people have become seriously ill due to overdose or stuff like that. Not knowing what they’re taking.”
Leek agrees that the drug can be dangerous, but emphasizes that in its pure form, in a controlled environment, it’s different.
She said, “We have to have a special safe to store the medicine, we have to have all of these specifications that the DEA has approved and if we pass all that then we’ll be able to do that here.”
Before anything happens, the expanded access must be approved first, then the potential sites where MDMA treatments would be administered need approval.
To see more of the research from MAPS, click here.