Canada


nathan-fielder-drug-prank-text-550x330Above is Comedy Central’s new dynamo Nathan Fielder, and the results of his interesting Twitter experiment from a few weeks back which some enjoyed less than others, shall we say.  LOFL.

Nathan Fielder, a friend to small businesses during these trying economic times, has been responsible for several irresponsible promotions on S1 of what is already a cult classic, Comedy Central’s “Nathan For You.”  Such as: impossible to claim rebates, nonsensical refunds, an ad campaign for a restaurant based on its bathroom policy, and allowing hot chicks to shoplift from a California clothing boutique.

To get over his fear of socializing with women, Nathan set up a fake bachelor-esque show in which he’d spend time with 10 different women.  On that “show” though, he was insecure around the handsome host, so he banished him from the room, and later, revealed to the women that the host had admitted he’d once had a threesome, proceeding to tell the ladies it was a threesome with 2 men.  To help a similarly afflicted co-worker get over his own shyness toward the female sex, Nathan set the guy up with one of his former “contestants”.  Because of sponsorship issues, that date occurred at a Quizno’s.  And Nathan radio-ed that co-worker dialogue from the back of the Quizno’s via a remote ear piece, because that’s the kind of guy he is.  And a lot of that dialogue happened to be plugs for Quizno’s, because that is also the kind of guy he is–downright annoying as fuck.

We think Nathan’s buttoned down, clean cut look–the classic Blockbuster video get up–and low key approach make these stunts all the more outrageous, and increase his ability to get away with such shenanigans.  Like when he tries to help out a struggling funeral parlor by staging a fake wake, which he has both written and cast himself, in the span of a couple of hours.  First, Nathan chooses his actors, casting all comers, including a woman claiming to specialize in accents, who we felt Nathan would definitely cut, after asking her to do a Canadian accent, which she fails at miserably, instead doing a bad brogue.  Nathan looks set to bounce her, we think, as he explains to her that he is from Canada.  Instead a large “HIRED” sign is stamped across the screen.  Cut to a Filipino looking dude who is sitting across from Nathan, and when Nathan asks him to show him what he has, this dude says, in broken English, “I am Sean Connery!  I want massage!  Rah!”

HIRED!

Each actor, worse than the next, hired, to then act out this script, awful at best, and yet hilarious, which we know from the get, as a eulogist comes forward and says, “I am so so sad right now.  I am so so sad.  Steve was a great guy.  Steve once gave me a thousand dollars for no reason.”

But that is not all.  Because when Nathan’s revitalization play is over, he asks the funeral director lady for his gift, explaining that usually when he revitalizes a funeral home, he is presented a gift afterward.  When she has no gift, Nathan, appearing pained, asks if she would not mind giving him a gift he had pre-wrapped in case she didn’t have something for him, on camera.  When the woman agrees to do so, Nathan shocks us all when he actually opens that gift, revealing a pair of scissors, at which he incredulously begins to criticize the gift that he himself essentially gave to himself, chiding the woman for giving him such a “strange” gift.

We appreciate very much this style of comedy, as Nathan has definitely capitalized on his lack of notoriety, and the comedic misdirection and unpredictability with which he operates is a godsend.  In another episode, Nathan is tasked to hulk up a private investigation business, which he plans to help by writing a positive review on Yelp, if the P.I. can find one missing person: Nathan Fielder.

Fielder then hires 20 actors who look like him to impersonate him in order to confuse and irritate the P.I., then he allows himself to be found, re-ditches the guy, and then has an Asian Fielder stand in jump in the car with the P.I. who takes a look at him and says, “Who the fuck are you?!!!”

To which the fake Nathan replies in a very bad English accent, “I am Nathan.  I just spoke you 2 minute ago.”

This is fucking comedy genius, trust us. Like Sacha Baron Cohen, who Nathan really reminds us of, Nathan has maximized his obscurity for optimum comedic effect.  And also like Cohen on Da Ali G Show, Fielder is dealing in reality type situations, where he is mining the vast potential of comedic gold that is the average American moron.

Kudos.  We are thrilled that Comedy Central bought this pitch and was quick to renew Nathan for what we know will be a crazy season 2 come next winter.  So if you don’t know Nathan Fielder yet,  in the immortal words of Ali G, “you better listen and you better learn about him.  For real.”

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

The above 6 pills have all surfaced in Canada since May 3rd, 2012.  All are adulterated and contain no known MDXX.  Read their pill reports at http://www.pillreports.com or by clicking on the links below:

http://www.pillreports.com/index.php?page=display_pill&id=29509

http://www.pillreports.com/index.php?page=display_pill&id=29503

http://www.pillreports.com/index.php?page=display_pill&id=29502

http://www.pillreports.com/index.php?page=display_pill&id=29499

http://www.pillreports.com/index.php?page=display_pill&id=29340

http://www.pillreports.com/index.php?page=display_pill&id=29340

(The links appear in inverse order of their pictures displayed above.)

We generally don’t publish much on specific pills anymore because, as we told you last year in our most recent analysis of the lab results from http://www.ecstasydata.org, that it was depressing to do so, considering the state of the game world wide.  We called last summer a “bad season for Ecstasy.”  Since then, each season has been as dismal.  In comments, we have said repeatedly that the thing to do, if you are in the scene, is find pure MDMA in the powder form, AKA “Molly.”  Of late, the Pokeball operation out west has kept pumping out pills containing MDMA, albeit they are still adulterated, and the Mint operation in the midwest has continued to churn out the pills of the highest purity and quality, while also putting out the odd MDA roll.  Good for them.  Kudos.  Other than those, we are only seeing odd pills here and there test as the real deal, as we anticipated, forecasted, written, preached, cried about, etc.

Perhaps no place near has a worse scene than Canada, as we have also been up on the soap box about.  It had gotten so ridiculous that we stopped writing it down for you.  It’s a broken record by now, and you should all get the idea.  Speed merchants have been dominating the Canadian scene for who really knows how long, and really, that is a sad and depressing state of affairs for their underground, truth be told.

We came on the scene about 2.5 years back, and in that time, we have written about many dozens of amphetamine hits that are branded like Ecstasy and that are practically being advertised by pillreports, with whom we have a love/hate affair.  PR is great for the information they provide, but where we don’t endorse them is in all the mistakes and shoddy reporting, and all the nonsensical rules about their trip reports, like it is some kind of high holy medical resource.  Please.

Then, some idiot there decided to take us on.  They said ‘we wanna be pillreports’ or some nonsense.  In fact, why would we want to ‘wanna be’ something who knows less than us?  We’ve only been cracking since before most of these morons have been alive.  Foolishly, they did not take the Canadian speed scourge seriously.  We did.

So a shame it is for Canada and all that, bottom line.  And our point has always been belied by the facts, and also, by the concept that you have to be, as a member of the community, discerning about what you call Ecstasy else the standards will drop.  Piperazines haven’t helped the cause either, but obviously, this is not a discerning community, and that is why Canada has 6 amphetamine pills and another 7 unknown/adulterated pills on PR this month, and not one real ass fucking pill to be found since Blue Dolphins were conclusively tested by ggpr3 on March 22nd.  Good work by ggpr3, who also posted a nice test for Red Buddhas that day containing MDA.  That’s a tough call based on the pics available but we’ll defer to ggpr3 since he saw the actual results’ color scheme (http://www.pillreports.com/index.php?page=display_pill&id=29009).

So Canada had produced literally scores of amphetamine pill pill reports since the last real pill they tested up there, over two months ago.  So who is still in need of a diagram on these matters?  Canadian gib heads?  The teenagers at PR?  We’ve had our rest, and are ready to start calling some pills out again in the hopes that people will start doing the right thing by the scene.

Be Smart,

Crackbillionair (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)        

 

The deadly Milos Raonic serve (above) which produced 14 aces today.

We are kicking ourselves this morning after just having seen Canadian wunderkind Milos Raonic upset world #4 Andy Murray at Sabadell in Barcelona, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Last night we had identified the match in which Raonic was +300 as a potential upset, though we were reluctant and did not pull the trigger. We were of the mind that Murray, after going toe to toe versus both Djokovic and Nadal last year on the dirt, and with the addition of Lendl to his camp, simply moved too well for a Raonic on clay at this stage.

On clay it is very hard not to take the better mover, but clay is changing. How many times in recent years have we seen power surprise us on clay? We all recall Sunday Bloody Sunday, our affectionate name for the day on which Soderling outslugged Nadal. We’ve also seen big men like Del Potro and Isner excel on clay, both seriously tussling with Nadal in DC and Isner taking Rafa to 5 sets at RG, the only time that’s happened.

So after a breezy first set of tennis in which Murray did not get a single sniff on the Raonic serve, we knew it was uphill sledding for Murray, who simply could not dial in for any real traction. Raonic has very wisely gone about his business since leaving the American “hardcourts”.

Not many North Americans rolled out to MC last week but Raonic was there, and though he lost in the 2nd round, he got 2 matches in. Spaniard Galo Blanco should be a tremendous asset in preparing the kid for clay. The coach has been that this year. Taking Raonic to Spain to train has been a successful tact for many looking to beef up on clay, including Andy Murray, today’s loser, and Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won at Roland Garros after a hard spring spent training in Spain.

Raonic has improved laterally, but what the kid does best aside from serve is think the game and keep to plans. As much as a 6’6 kid improves his side to side, you aren’t out laterally moving Andy Murray. The kid hit serve bombs and loaded forehands, playing the match on his own terms. Once he had the 1st set, you got the sense that Murray was in big trouble and he was.

Raonic is an excellent front runner and he has legs on clay, winning four matches in straights this week, 3 against specialists (Falla, Andreev, Almagro).

We had him against Almagro, liking the line very much (+200). Too bad we hesitated last night. A little too much credit we afforded Murray, who we had pencilled in for Sunday’s final.

Now we know that Raonic’s style, well described by our man G-Stob as “blunt force trauma”, is ready to keep on red clay. Raonic may even play through to Sunday’s final, especially since at the moment, David Ferrer is struggling mightily with Feliciano Lopez (6-7, 3-3). Raonic has trouble with the pesky Ferrer, though we would like to see that matchup revisited, especially with Raonic playing so well.

Raonic’s victory today was his first ever against a top 5 opponent. First of many to come. We look forward also to seeing Tipsarevic-Nadal today. We took a flyer on Tipsy at a whopping +1500.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Some time ago we wrote a blog called Cannabis cause can not be stopped.  Since then, shows like Weed Wars (loves it!) and American Weed (kinda loves it despite useless pig cops and moron politicos hating on the plant) have further highlighted the legal medical marijuana scene.

Where it exists.

It does not exist on the East Coast.  For shame.  Are the people out west entitled to a higher degree of medical care than the people back east?

It certainly seems that way.  Because it is that way.

People on the East Coast need to WAKE THE FUCK UP!  California and other states are light years ahead of us in terms of their progressiveness, ability to mobilize politically, and the strength of their convictions and intelligent advocation in favor of legalization.

We are so disgusted by the inequity between the rights of the people in legal states as opposed to our own that we may not even light up today (or vape up even).

And frankly, the absence of legal cannabis is not only unjust, but it is racist, blatant ageism, and discriminatory, promoting very harmful opiates over cannabis, which are a scourge upon the nation and obvious Machiavellian all cost capitalism.

So another happy 420 for Cali.  And another bullshit fucking 420 for NY.

Weed Nation needs to vote strictly, down the line, for the pro-legalization ticket.  And the people here need to make their voices heard.  Cali has it because they want it more and their citizens are smarter than ours.

Bottom line.

So fuck the “holiday.”

Crackbillionair (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

A sealed bottle of Ketamine (above).

From the get go I criticized this completely misleading and non representative hour of garbage.  I mean from the actual first second when some morons are snorting some really chunky K.  Do they not know they have to crunch those shards down into powder?  Powder 101, lesson 1: increase the surface area.  And do it with love.  Crush that shit up and powder it, manicure that shit, and take out every, um, bump.  A lot of people do so with the back of a bottle cap, or perhaps, with a lighter that they run over a Metrocard that’s on top of the K.  Then they trotted out the spoke’s girl.  How awesome.  The face of K, my baby, with these tattooed eyelashes.  Great idea Kathy.  Then she shoots up.  Sorry but we are offended by these damned dumb Drugs Inc. people, their ignorance, and what could be none other than an ulterior right wing agenda.

What about this?

“They call it a bumper.”

Who is this moron talking?  And does he understand he is paid to speak this dog shit?  That thing was a bullet, because it looks exactly like a bullet, and anyone in any head shop anywhere knows it is a bullet.  Because that’s its name.  This show did not even have the decency to do basic research, underscored by the Ketamine shooter junkie first up, and followed by Mr. Bumper Boy’s arm squeeze, stressing the needle as a medium when Ketamine via the injection mode is an absolute rarity.  The mode of ingestion is nasal.

What these far right fascists are portraying would be like presenting Cannabis as a drug usually plugged up one’s ass.

Very rare it is, they say, that people die who do shoot it.  Ya think?  If it wasn’t a safe drug with medically accepted uses, a schedule 3, they wouldn’t let dentists inject it in children every day.  What’s gonna happen to you if your dentist shoots you up with too much novacaine?  Be real.  Think about it.  Ketamine is approved by the federal government and Cannabis is not.

Ketamine use applied to set and setting, is totally safe.  You shouldn’t do any and then drive a car, just as you should not drink and drive.

Ketamine is not speedy, another inaccurate and careless portrayal by Drugs Inc.  It is an anesthetic chemical which is also a psychedelic disassociative, divorcing mind from body and then mind from mind as well, which is why the branded junkie had such a hard time describing it.  Among other reasons.  But it is in no way a substance meant to replace Cocaine.  Cocaine will never be replaced.  Ketamine won’t be either.

In all honesty, Ketamine wreaks havoc on the short term memory, so again, set and setting.  And protracted use will see you tired and irritable the next day.  But if you had the bad day or if you are already rolling and wanna make it all really pop, then Ketamine, in the least, will deliver your head to where you want to go.

And while Ketamine does seem to be a wonder drug linked in several studies to the treatment of serious addictions and depression, and while it is already recognized by the federal gov’t and in practical use, really, very little is known so far about the true extent of the range of its benefits and healing capabilities.

Most reasonable people get or convert Ketamine to liquid, and then steam or heat out the moisture and then nasally ingest it as a dried powder.  You like how these idiots are telling you that so and so Indian crime family is stealing K and shipping the bottles?  Hello?  The bottles say Ketamine on the label.  Who is gonna run a risk like importing a labeled narcotic?  That’s why Ketamine can be hard to find in the pharmaceutical bottle, sometimes all but impossible.

These giant busts you saw on the program were Ketamine HCL busts, or what we refer to as Base Ketamine, because it is a chemical that becomes the liquid form when mixed with water.  So the guy who is talking about getting $10 worth online is describing the chemical that gets converted to usable Ketamine.  Indian crime outfits are not robbing poor 35 grand child having Indian grandpa delivery men because these pharmaceutical companies in India are selling those huge bags you saw in those busts to those gangs for a few thousand American per kilo.

So as you can imagine, while we’re into Ketamine, we are not into Drugs Inc.: Ketamine.  Because it’s not realistic, not accurate, not smart or even tolerable for someone knowledgeable in the community.

Most of these drug programs have been nonsense, if you must know.  Since they are picking horrible subjects in non representative situations, how can we possibly get a good read on any of these drugs, if we are not knowledgeable members of the community?

How about the cop in the Drugs Inc.: LSD?  This guy wants us to feel sorry for him because he was dumb enough to touch LSD and absorbed the drug through his skin.  Unreal.  Hey pig, you’re supposed to wear these strange things called gloves, dude.

Was that really the best they can do?  The drug was only at the heart of a social revolution but we gotta hear some pig crying about getting dosed with good Acid.  What a dick, what dicks, what dick.  And how does an Acid Inc. come off at all without any mention of the original Acid Inc., Owsley Stanley, who pressed the creamiest Acid and supplied just about everyone who was turned on to it including Ken Kesey and The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead?

The Beatles loved LSD.  Is that not news or entertainment worthy for your little shitty weak ass documentary bullshit for morons?

No.  We wanna hear about some dope fiends in a Toronto slum who call that which they bump from, a bumper.

I’m betting that that cop motherfucker is so stupid that he’d have ended up brain damaged one way or another.

Drugs Inc. is devoid of all production value and advances a simplistic rightist agenda.  Especially when depicting complicated chemicals like Ketamine, MDMA, and LSD.

We beg you to get your information elsewhere, preferably first hand.  Supporting the movement means not supporting garbage like this.  Word.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

 
Support Maps
MAPS’ mission is to treat conditions for which conventional medicines provide limited relief, such as PTSD & anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses, by developing psychedelics & marijuana into prescription medicines.
Federal Agencies Say Yes to Psychedelic Studies,
No to Medical Marijuana: MAPS E-Mail Newsletter
October 24, 2011

Dear [xxxx],
Welcome to the October 2011 edition of the MAPS E-mail Newsletter.I have a lot to share with you this month, from original studies and research results to upcoming events and some fascinating new documentaries about psychedelic science and medicine. Read on to learn what’s new in the MAPS Storeand discover how MAPS supporters are making the psychedelic renaissance possible.

Donate Make a Contribution

There’s good news and bad news, but even the bad news these days is opening up doors rather than closing them.

In August, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration upheld the federal monopoly on marijuana for research by denying University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor Lyle Craker, Ph.D., a license to start his own medical marijuana facility.

On September 16, we saw why the federal monopoly needs to end when the Department of Health and Human Services rejected our planned, FDA-reviewed study of marijuana for 50 veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and refused to sell us the marijuana we require for the study.

In response, we’re taking the DEA to federal court and doing everything we can to remind the public what can happen when science is silenced by politics: studies don’t get started, medicines don’t get made, and patients don’t get treated.

Public support is building fast for psychedelic and medical marijuana research. The Washington Post, The Guardian, Salon, The Huffington Post, and other major media have reported on our international MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research program and the government’s medical marijuana research blockade.

In just six weeks, you’ll have a chance to join the leaders in psychedelic and medical marijuana research, therapy, and activism at Cartographie Psychedelica, our 25th anniversary conference and celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area. There has never before been a better chance to connect with the multidisciplinary psychedelic research community and to discover what’s in store for the next 25 years.

Opportunities are everywhere. Please join me in doing everything we can to make our shared dreams a reality: donate today.

 
In gratitude,

Brad Burge, M.A.
MAPS Director of Communications

MDMA Research News:

  1. US Veterans MDMA/PTSD Study Continues Treating Subjects
  2. New MDMA/PTSD Training Videos Under Development
  3. Mithoefers to Lead MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Workshop at 25th Anniversary Conference
  4. DEA Approves US MDMA/PTSD Relapse Study Protocol
  5. Israeli MDMA/PTSD Study Initiated
  6. Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study Final Report Submitted to SwissMedic
  7. Health Canada Schedules Follow-Up Pharmacy Inspection for MDMA/PTSD Study

More Research News:

  1. NIDA Rejects Marijuana Protocol, Blocking FDA-Approved Research for Vets with PTSD
  2. Last Two-Month Follow-Up Completed in Swiss Study of LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy for End-of-Life Anxiety
  3. Canadian Study Explores Ayahuasca-Assisted Therapy for Addiction and Dependence
  4. MAPS Hungary Publishes Report on European Ayahuasca Research Symposium
  5. Observational Study of Ibogaine Treatment for Addiction Enrolls Final Subject
  6. Clinical Team Prepares Protocol for New Study of Ibogaine Treatment for Addiction in New Zealand
  7. Autism Protocol Development: MAPS Releases Request for Proposals (RFP)

Events:

  1. Cartographie Psychedelica: December 8-12, Oakland, CA
  2. International Drug Policy Reform Conference: November 2-5, Los Angeles, CA
  3. Spirituality & Psychology Conference: February 17-19, 2012, Atherton, CA

Media:

  1. Washington Post Makes Federal Marijuana Research Blockade National News
  2. Public Support Builds for MAPS’ International Psychedelic Research
  3. Mind Body Health & Politics Radio Show Hosts Psychedelic Medicine Series
  4. DMT: The Spirit Molecule Now Available on Video
  5. Dirty Pictures Documentary Looks at the Genesis of MDMA
  6. Yarindin Documentary Explores Trauma, Combat, and Psychedelic Healing

Fundraising News:

  1. MAPS Celebrates Recent Fundraising Successes

New in the MAPS Store:

  1. The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios: 45 Years with Shamans, Ayahuasqueros, and Ethnobotanists
  2. The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning

More News:

  1. Donate an Item to MAPS’ 25th Anniversary Adventure Auction
  2. International Ayahuasca Researchers to Meet at Cartographie Psychedelica
  3. A Deck of Medicine: Stormrider Calling Cards by Requa Greer Tolbert
  4. MAPS Welcomes New Staff to the Office

MDMA Research News1. US Veterans MDMA/PTSD Study Continues Treating SubjectsAs of October 21, 2011, our ongoing Phase 2 study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for U.S. veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD has enrolled five out of 16 subjects. Three subjects have started the long-term follow-up portion of the study, and two are still in treatment. Two additional veterans have passed in-person screening, involving thorough assessments of PTSD severity and medical eligibility, with their treatment sessions soon to be scheduled. One subject has chosen to discontinue treatment after just one experimental MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session, reporting being cured and needing no further sessions.

2. New MDMA/PTSD Training Videos Under Development

Two essential parts of conducting methodologically rigorous and state-of-the-art MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research are standardizing the method of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy itself and the method by which data is collected about subjects’ PTSD symptoms. We have standardized our treatment in our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment manual and related adherence criteria. Having a consistent, reliable way to measure PTSD symptoms at baseline and over time during and after treatment is also essential.

MAPS has recently completed the development of a training manual for independent raters who conduct the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) interviews in our international series of Phase 2 MDMA/PTSD pilot studies. The CAPS is the primary measure used by clinicians and therapists worldwide for evaluating the severity of PTSD symptoms, and is the principle measure we use to assess the effectiveness of our treatment method.

The CAPS training manual will be supplemented by video tutorials of CAPS interviews, drawn from actual recordings of interviews with subjects enrolled in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in veterans of war. By building on the training materials provided by the U.S. Veterans Administration, creating Hebrew and Arabic versions of the CAPS through rigorous double back translation methods, and providing a uniform set of training tools for independent raters, we will be able to standardize how the CAPS is administered across study sites. This is a necessary step before moving on to the larger Phase 3 studies required for federal approval of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a legal treatment for PTSD.

3. Mithoefers to Lead MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Workshop at 25th Anniversary Conference

Lead study investigators and co-therapists Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., will conduct an all-day pre-conference workshop on Friday, December 9, as part of our 25th anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica conference and celebration. “The Principles of Psychedelic Therapy: Lessons from Clinical MDMA Research” will examine past and current research into psychedelic therapy, specifically focusing on recent findings from our ongoing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research program.

4. DEA Approves US MDMA/PTSD Relapse Study Protocol

In early November, the official study initiation will take place for our new “relapse study” of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Previously, on September 14, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) notified MAPS that it had approved the Schedule 1 licenses required to transport, store, and administer the MDMA for the study. The FDA cleared the protocol on May 24 and an Institutional Review Board on June 9. With all necessary clearances, we will begin enrolling subjects in November.

This study, which will take place in Charleston, SC, is limited to up to three subjects whose PTSD symptoms returned years after participating in our flagship Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. It will attempt to determine whether a single additional open-label MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session along with several non-drug psychotherapy sessions can be effective for once again enabling these subjects to be free of a diagnosis of PTSD.

5. Israeli MDMA/PTSD Study Initiated

On October 12, 2011, the new Independent Rater in MAPS’ Israeli study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD began working on the training videos that we have created to standardize how the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale is administered across all of our treatment sites. This CAPS training is the last major element to complete before we can start enrolling and treating subjects. The official study initiation took place on July 24, when representatives from Antaea Medical Services, Ltd., the clinical research organization assisting MAPS with managing our Middle East studies, visited the site to finalize documents and provide training to the study staff. The study has all necessary clearances from Israeli regulatory bodies, including the Israeli Ministry of Health and an independent Ethics Committee. We have also submitted the protocol to the U.S. FDA, which is required because we are conducting the study under a U.S. Investigational New Drug application. The Israeli Defense Forces are already prepared to begin referring Israelis with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD once we are ready to enroll subjects, probably before 2012.

6. Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study Final Report Submitted to SwissMedic

On October 14, 2011, MAPS’ clinical research team submitted the final clinical study report for our recently completed Phase 2 Swiss study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD to SwissMedic, the Swiss equivalent of the U.S. FDA. SwissMedic confirmed that the report had been received on October 18. The report, authored by MAPS Lead Clinical Research Associate Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., and MAPS Research and Information Specialist Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., is required under International Council on Harmonization/Good Clinical Practice (ICH/GCP) and FDA regulations. The report contains information about the study protocol, information about the conduct of the study, and all study data in both raw and analyzed formats. The study team is now preparing the results for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

A statistical analysis of the results reveals clinically significant decreases in scores on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), with an average reduction of 15.6 points. Due to the small number of subjects in this small pilot study, however, these decreases did not reach statistical significance. We did, however, observe trends toward statistical significance in both the CAPS and the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS), the two measures used to evaluate symptom severity in study subjects.

7. Health Canada Schedules Follow-Up Pharmacy Inspection for MDMA/PTSD Study

On October 18, 2011, Health Canada conducted a follow-up inspection of the pharmacy for our planned Phase 2 Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. We expect that Health Canada will report on the results of this inspection within four to six weeks. Frustratingly, even though we followed Health Canada’s exact written requirements, the requirements have now changed and additional security measures may be needed. This will delay the start of the study for several additional months. The pharmacy inspection is required under Canadian regulations to ensure that the facility used to store and label the MDMA to be used in the study is adequately secure, and that the proper accountability procedures are in place. Once we obtain clearance from Health Canada we will be able to import the MDMA for the study into Canada from Switzerland.

The lead investigator for this study, Ingrid Pacey, M.D., will speak on the MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Research Panel at our 25th anniversary conference this December.

More Research News

8. NIDA Rejects Marijuana Protocol, Blocking FDA-Approved Research for Vets with PTSD

On September 16, 2011, after a delay of four and a half months, the US Department of Health and Human Services informed MAPS that the five reviewers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse/Public Health Service had unanimously rejected our planned study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD as currently designed. According to MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., the reviewers offered contradictory critiques, misunderstood key protocol design elements, requested expensive and tangential additions to the protocol, and made unfounded assumptions about the study design, revealing their focus on basic science research and lack of familiarity with drug development research. The reviewers also treated the submission as if MAPS were requesting a government grant for the study rather than using private funds. Even if NIDA does eventually agree to sell MAPS the marijuana, getting to that point will take extensive, time-consuming, and costly negotiations—while veterans continue to suffer.

For a concise summary of the HHS review, see the September 16 HHS cover letter. For MAPS’ detailed, point-by-point response to the HHS review, see the annotated reviewer comments.

Download MAPS’ official press release announcing the HHS rejection.

9. Last Two-Month Follow-Up Completed in Swiss Study of LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy for End-of-Life Anxiety

By October 21, 2011, five out of 12 subjects have completed the long-term follow-up portion of our Swiss study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with advanced-stage illness. These long-term follow-ups take place at least 10 months following subjects’ final treatment sessions. The last two-month follow-up visit was completed on July 26, 2011. This concludes the data collection portion of the first clinical LSD study in over 35 years. The results from the treatment period of the study are now being prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The clinical team is now collecting long-term follow-up data in the form of additional interviews and psychiatric measures from subjects who have completed treatment, 10 or more months after their final treatment session. Five out of 12 subjects have now completed the long-term follow-up portion of the study. Once this data has been collected, the clinical team will prepare the final report for submission to SwissMedic and the U.S. FDA, and will submit the results for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Principal Investigator Peter Gasser, M.D., will be giving a lecture and answering questions about LSD-assisted psychotherapy for end-of-life anxiety at our 25th anniversary conference this December.

10. Canadian Study Explores Ayahuasca-Assisted Therapy for Addiction and Dependence

On September 23, 2011, the final treatment session (consisting of a five-day therapeutic retreat) took place in MAPS Canada’s observational study of ayahuasca-assisted therapy for individuals suffering from addiction and dependence. The research team has now recruited and is following up with 15 study subjects that have been treated. This study is taking place in British Columbia, and is overseen by MAPS Canada Board Member Philippe Lucas, M.A., with Principal Investigator Gerald Thomas, Ph.D., Rielle Capler, M.H.A., and Kenneth Tupper, Ph.D. Combining Western psychotherapeutic techniques with South American shamanic (Vegetalista) healing practices, this study is gathering preliminary evidence about the safety and effectiveness of ayahuasca-assisted therapy. Treatment consists of participation in a five-day retreat (facilitated by Gabor Maté, M.D.) including ayahuasca-assisted therapy, which may help reduce problematic substance use as well as addictions, compulsive behavior, and self-harming thought patterns. The study is being conducted in cooperation with a British Columbia First Nations band.

Philippe Lucas, M.A., will speak on ayahuasca research for addiction, and Lucas and Kenneth Tupper, Ph.D., will help lead the all-day “Ayahuasca Healing: Medical, Legal, and Cultural Considerations” workshop at our 25th anniversary conference this December.

11. MAPS Hungary Publishes Report on European Ayahuasca Research Symposium

On October 15, 2011, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Hungary (MAPS Hungary) completed a report on the European Ayahuasca Research Symposium (EARS), a half-day seminar co-sponsored by Stichting OPEN and MAPS which took place in April 2011 at the University of Amsterdam. Over 300 people were in attendance. The Symposium brought together researchers from across Europe who over the last few years have been studying ayahuasca and DMT within the disciplines of anthropology, neuroscience, psychology, and religious studies. The next morning, other European ayahuasca scholars joined presenters from the seminar for a closed-door researcher workgroup intended to stimulate future ayahuasca research and possible collaborations in Europe. The workgroup succeeded in building a shared knowledge base of ongoing and planned ayahuasca research, in facilitating discussions on methodology and obtaining institutional approvals for research, and in developing personal and professional contacts among the few ayahuasca researchers currently based in Europe. The short report shares some of the highlights of the workgroup.

12. Observational Study of Ibogaine Treatment for Addiction Enrolls Final Subject

The 30th and final subject was enrolled in our ongoing observational study of ibogaine treatment for addiction on August 29, 2011. This final subject has completed treatment at an independent ibogaine clinic in Mexico and will be evaluated for addiction and quality of life for 12 months. As of October 20, 2011, 28 subjects have completed their three-month follow-up interviews, and 20 have completed the six-month follow-up interviews. Given the increasing numbers of people around the world seeking ibogaine treatment for drug addiction, this study aims to gather evidence about the safety and effectiveness of the treatment and to compare different approaches to that treatment.

Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., the lead investigator for the study, will be speaking about the goals and progress of MAPS’ ibogaine research program on Saturday, December 10 at Cartographie Psychedelica, our 25th anniversary conference in Oakland, CA.

13. Clinical Team Prepares Protocol for New Study of Ibogaine Treatment for Addiction in New Zealand

On October 17, 2011, the lead investigators for MAPS’ ibogaine research program held a conference call to discuss the next steps for our new observational study of ibogaine treatment for addiction in New Zealand. Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., who leads our U.S.-based study of independent ibogaine clinics in Mexico, and Geoff Noller, Ph.D., who will lead the new study, shared perspectives and lessons from ibogaine therapy research in order to guide the development of the new study protocol. The new study will take place at an independent ibogaine clinic in New Zealand, and will examine the safety and long-term effectiveness of ibogaine treatment for addiction severity and quality of life in 20 to 30 patients. The clinical team will submit the protocol and other documents to the Ethics Committee by the end of October.

Since this will be an observational study (as opposed to clinical) the protocol does not need to pass through an additional review process, meaning that we can begin enrolling subjects as soon as the study clears the Ethics Committee. Data from this study and our ongoing study of Mexican ibogaine treatment centers may be used to make a case for a possible future clinical study (see our original ibogaine Request for Proposals).

14. Autism Protocol Development: MAPS Releases Request for Proposals (RFP)

MAPS is offering a grant of $10,000 for protocol development expenses for a pilot study of MDMA for the treatment of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome. We have prepared a Request for Proposals (RFP) for U.S.-based researchers. One of the factors that we’ll look for in selecting a research team is whether they would also have a chance of obtaining funds for research from other grant agencies (autism research is currently a well-funded field). At present, we do not have the funds for the study itself but we do have funds for protocol development. Once we have a completed protocol, we can develop a budget and a fundraising plan. MAPS itself would be in a much better position to raise funds for a study with a completed protocol from a qualified research team.

To facilitate the protocol development process, MAPS has collected numerous anecdotal reports from individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders who have used MDMA or Ecstasy. Many of these accounts are from people who considered MDMA to be helpful. If you or someone you know has heard of MDMA having either positive or negative effects on symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders or Asperger’s syndrome, please contact MAPS Lead Clinical Research Associate Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., at berra@maps.org.

Events

15. Cartographie Psychedelica: December 8-12, Oakland, CA

16. International Drug Policy Reform Conference: November 2-5, Los Angeles, CA

17. Spirituality & Psychology Conference: February 17-19, 2012, Atherton, CA

Media

18. Washington Post Makes Federal Marijuana Research Blockade National News

On October 1, 2011, the Washington Post continued the trend of positive media coverage with an exposé about the federal government’s refusal to sell us marijuana for the planned study (“Marijuana study of traumatized vets stuck in regulatory limbo”, October 1, 2011). See MAPS’ official press release for more about the federal obstruction of medical marijuana research, and learn why MAPS is taking the DEA to federal court.

The exposé was followed two weeks later by a persuasive Washington Post op-ed condemning the federal government’s ongoing refusal to allow legitimate, necessary medical marijuana research from moving forward (“Marijuana may help PTSD. Why won’t the government find out for sure?” October 14, 2011).

Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project writes: “It is time for government officials to take this nation’s veterans off the medical marijuana battlefield. NIDA should grant the researchers’ request to purchase marijuana and allow the FDA-approved study of veterans to move forward. These brave men and women don’t have decades to wait for relief.”

19. Public Support Builds for MAPS’ International Psychedelic Research

On September 30, 2011, The Guardian reported on a possible new MAPS-sponsored study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD to take place in the UK (“Ecstasy trial planned to test benefits for trauma victims”, September 30, 2011). MAPS, together with psychopharmacologist Dr. David Nutt and psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sessa, are considering submitting a grant proposal to a major UK foundation for the study. If it receives funding and regulatory approval, the study would be the first of its kind in the UK. The article concludes with Dr. Nutt’s observation that more cautious UK media such as The Daily Mail would not welcome the news, a recent positive article in that same publication clearly shows that times are changing. As The Guardian article points out, MAPS’ research on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD “has caused some in the scientific community to think what was until recently unthinkable.”

Additional coverage of MAPS’ possible UK study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD also appeared in The Herald Sun, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Hindustan Times, and The Times of India.

A long and in-depth article on Salon.com also shed light on the wide-open field of medical psychedelic research, focusing primarily on recent and ongoing studies at NYU and Johns Hopkins. You may also remember that last year, the influential medical journal The Lancet Oncology noted that the growing support for psychedelic and (in public opinion if not government policy) medical cannabis research is part of a larger pattern involving “the increased willingness of researchers and regulatory bodies to look beyond stigma, and take a more rational approach to the controlled medical use of compounds that are more often linked with the war on drugs.”

For more snapshots of how MAPS is helping change how the world sees psychedelics and medical marijuana, visit MAPS in the Media.

20. Mind Body Health & Politics Radio Show Hosts Psychedelic Medicine Series

“Mind Body Health & Politics” with Dr. Richard Miller is hosting a series on Psychedelic Medicine, featuring personal interviews with scientists and thinkers in psychedelic and medical marijuana research. “Mind Body Health & Politics” airs the first and third Tuesday of the month at 9 AM on National Public Radio affiliate KZYX FM (Mendocino County Public Radio). You can also listen live online at mindbodyhealthpolitics.org.

Past Shows:

  • Psychedelic Medicine I: Ethnobotany with Dennis McKenna
    Dennis McKenna, Ph.D., has conducted research in ethnopharmacology for over 30 years. He currently teaches at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. Listen to Dr. Miller and Dr. McKenna discuss enthnobotany and pharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he. Broadcasted September 20, 2011 (mp3).
  • Psychedelic Medicine II: The Historic MDMA study
    Dr. Miller and MAPS researchers Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Ann Mithoefer, B.S.N., discuss their FDA-approved clinical trials of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as a therapeutic tool to assist psychotherapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Preliminary studies have shown that MDMA in conjunction with psychotherapy can help people overcome PTSD, and possibly other disorders as well. MDMA has “empathogenic” effects, meaning that it increases feelings of trust and compassion towards others. Broadcasted October 4, 2011 (mp3).
  • Psychedelic Medicine III: The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide
    Jim Fadiman, Ph.D. discusses his new book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys (available in the MAPS Store). Dr. Fadiman is one of the foremost pioneers of scientific research of the potential of psychedelic substances for therapy, self-discovery, spiritual quests and creative problem solving, has written an invaluable guide for safe and productive sessions. Broadcasted October 18th, 2011 (mp3).

Upcoming Shows:

  • November 1: Mark Blumenthal , Ph.D., founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council.
  • November 15: Dave Nichols, Ph.D., pharmacologist, medicinal chemist, founding president of the Heffter Research Institute, and one of the world’s leading experts on psychedelics.
  • November 29: Charles Grob, M.D., psychiatrist, psilocybin researcher, and conductor of the first government-approved study of MDMA in humans.

The mission of “Mind Body Health and Politics” is to enhance health, provoke thought, expand consciousness, and encourage mental health.21. DMT: The Spirit Molecule Now Available on Video

The highly anticipated documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule was released on October 1, 2011 through Warner Bros. and Gravitas Ventures. The film explores psychedelic ecology, the cultural history of psychedelics, shamanism and ayahuasca, psychedelic research, the effects of psychedelics, spirituality, consciousness, and much more. By remixing current research, thoughts, and theories about psychedelic tools the film helps create a new paradigm for consciousness.

To support the release, the filmmakers created the DMTrmx Project, which utilizes the entire media library (over 100 hours of interviews, 30 hours of footage from the Peruvian Amazon, one hour of VFX, original music, and sound files). Their goal is to enhance the cultural dialogue about psychedelic research by offering the content via a non-commercial Creative Commons license, and making it available for viewing and/or downloading from YouTube and a soon-to-be-launched standalone site (www.DMTrmx.com).

Check out this amazing film, and share it with friends, colleagues, and family members. Both the documentary and the DMTrmx Project aim to have a positive influence on the psychedelic narrative. The film can be seen on iTunes, and a variety of other platforms.

22. Dirty Pictures Documentary Looks at the Genesis of MDMA

A festival hit since its world premiere at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival, Dirty Pictures is a look inside the creation of psychedelics and the mind that made it all possible. Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin is the scientist behind more than 200 psychedelic compounds—including MDMA. Considered to be one of the greatest chemists of the 20th century, Dr. Shulgin’s vast array of discoveries have had a profound impact in the field of psychedelic research, making him a subject of fascination and controversy among fellow scientists and a folk hero to recreational users of psychedelics.

Dirty Pictures uncovers the lifework of Dr. Shulgin and takes viewers inside his Northern California home where he lives with his wife of 40 years and continues to carry out experiments in a makeshift laboratory. Director Étienne Sauret likewise delves into the broader world of psychedelic research—where the fields of chemistry, neuroscience and philosophy intersect—and investigates whether or not this particular field could aid in solving the deepest mysteries of the human mind. For more information on Dirty Pictures, including screeners, final DVDs or interviews with the director and cast, please contact Justin@bgpics.com. Use promotion code “dirty” for a special discount on the DVD.

23.Yarindin Documentary Explores Trauma, Combat, and Psychedelic Healing

Yarindin is a feature-length documentary of combat, love, and the healing journey. It will capture the drama of a band of brothers and sisters who fought together on the fields of battle and now fight to heal together in the fields of the soul, blessed by the beauty of nature and the healing magic of indigenous medicine. Yarindin is the story of a group of veterans ravaged by war who journey to South America for initiation into the indigenous plant medicine of the Amazon. To manifest his vision, ayahuasquero and sound healer Dr. Richard Grossman teamed up with award-winning filmmaker Mark Schwartz. They are currently raising funds for recruiting six to eight traumatized veterans, bringing them to the jungle of Peru for three weeks of ceremonies in late spring of 2012, and documenting the process before, during, and after their journey. The hope is to tell a story so compelling it will touch hearts and minds on a wide scale. Watch the video demo and discover more about this film.

Fundraising News

24. MAPS Celebrates Recent Fundraising Successes

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies would like to publicly thank all of those who continue to support us in our ongoing work. As psychedelic research expands and more opportunities emerge for medical marijuana, acquiring the financial resources to conduct our work becomes more important than ever. Whether you’ve purchased a book from the store, signed up for a monthly membership, attended a MAPS event, or made a one-time contribution, we—and the countless people who could benefit from these medicines—sincerely thank you.

We especially want to highlight the courage and commitment of the following individuals and foundations:

  • Joseph Kolb for personally contributing $1,000, of which $500 was matched by his employer Xinet for a combined total of $1500.
  • Gerald Gaines and the Compassion First Caregiver Circle of Phoenix, AZ, for a $10,000 grant for our continued work on the protocol review and approval process for our planned study of marijuana for 50 veterans with PTSD.
  • Matt and Kristi Bowden of Stargate International for a $25,000 donation for our upcoming “intern study” of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
  • Riverstyx Foundation for $50,000 of unrestricted funds for MAPS’ research and educational projects.
  • The Mental Insight Foundation for $60,000 to be used for our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in U.S. veterans.
  • Adam Wiggins for $100,000 of unrestricted funds for MAPS’ research and educational projects.

If you would like to help MAPS develop safe and legal contexts for the therapeutic use of psychedelics and marijuana, please make a donation. Visit our Funding Prioritiespage to learn more about our specific projects and how your gift will be used.New in the MAPS Store

25. The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios: 45 Years with Shamans, Ayahuasqueros, and Ethnobotanists

This book is a look inside almost half a century of pioneering research in the Amazon and Peru by a noted anthropologist of ayahuasca and other psychedelics. Marlene Dobkin de Rios reveals how ayahuasca can be used to successfully treat psychological and emotional disorders through a cross-cultural examination of adolescent drug use and a discussion of the harmful effects of drug tourism in the Amazon. Although late Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes was credited in the early 1950s as being the first to document the use of ayahuasca, other researchers, including Dobkin de Rios, were responsible for furthering his findings and uncovering the curative capabilities of this fascinating compound. The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios presents the accumulated experience of the author’s 45 years of pioneering field studies in the area of psychedelics in Peru and the Amazon. All proceeds help fund MAPS’ psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.

26. The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning

In The Psilocybin Solution, Simon G. Powell traces the history of the psilocybin mushroom and discusses the shamanic visionary effects it can induce. Detailing how psilocybin acts as a profound enhancer of consciousness and reviewing the research performed by MAPS, Johns Hopkins University, and the Heffter Research Institute on psilocybin’s beneficial effects on anxiety in the terminally ill and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Powell examines the neurochemistry, psychology, and spirituality underlying the psilocybin experience, revealing the interface where physical brain and conscious mind meet. All proceeds help fund MAPS’ psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.

More News

27. Donate an Item to MAPS’ 25th Anniversary Adventure Auction

The Kaleidoscope Vault will take place on December 9 as part of Cartographie Psychedelica [[LINK http://www.maps.org/conferences/25/%5D%5D, our 25th anniversary benefit conference and celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are making an official call for in-kind donations of vacation and timeshare rentals, rare psychedelic memorabilia and collector’s items, gift certificates for local services, and anything else our networks can offer in support. We’re especially seeking experiences, such as travel and adventure activities, that can be auctioned off—especially those related to MAPS’ mission and vision (legal, of course). If you have something that you’d like to offer MAPS to auction off to our supporters, please fill out the auction item donation form. If you have questions, please contact MAPS Store Manager Brian Brown at brown@maps.org.

28. International Ayahuasca Researchers to Meet at Cartographie Psychedelica

Philippe Lucas, M.A., Research Affiliate at the Center for Addictions Research of British Colombia and member of the MAPS Canada board of directors; Brian Anderson, M.D. Candidate at the Stanford University School of Medicine; and Bia Labate, Ph.D., Research Associate at the Institute of Medical Psychology, Heidelberg University, are privileged to organize a meeting and dialogue of international ayahuasca researchers as a adjunct to the upcoming MAPS conference in Oakland. The meeting will take place at the conference site (Oakland Marriott City Center) on Sunday, December 11, from 2:30 – 4:30 PM, and is free but will be exclusive to ayahuasca academics. Participants will be invited to share current projects, successes, and challenges, and to discuss the present and the future of the international ayahuasca research. To sign up for the Ayahuasca Researcher Dialogue, please e-mail Philippe Lucas at philippe.lucas1969@gmail.com to express your interest. Learn more about the full-day ayahuasca research workshop (“Ayahuasca Healing: Medical, Legal, and Cultural Considerations”) taking place on December 12 as part of Cartographie Psychedelica.

29. A Deck of Medicine: Stormrider Calling Cards by Requa Greer Tolbert

Medicine artist Requa Greer Tolbert, with the support of the Women’s Visionary Council, has had her deck of medicine cards reproduced and made available for purchase. The deck was first assembled in 1995 for a Day of the Dead shrine, after years of pioneering research with husband George Greer, M.D., on the therapeutic and spiritual uses of MDMA and ketamine. Having suffered from poor health for a year, the production of the cards have had a profound influence on Mrs. Tolbert’s healing process, as she used the images and poetry they contain to come to a deeper understanding the healing power of these ancient substances, used for millennia in shamanic contexts. Each set of cards includes a book of essays that further address the lore, natural history, and imagery of each card is also available online.

30. MAPS Welcomes New Staff to the Office

We are proud to have Virginia Wright join MAPS as our new Director of Marketing & Development. We also welcome Tess Goodwin as our new Membership & Sales Assistant, as well as our new Receptionist Shannon Clare. Shannon values curiosity, communication, and creating community. After majoring in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, this life-long student is now training in Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS). Her favorite activities include backpacking, tango, re-evaluation counseling, and gardening. In addition to her role as Receptionist, Shannon assists the Deputy Director and helps manage the office environment.

Does Novak Djokovic even break a sweat these days?  We thought, with Gael Monfils (above l. with Djokovic), who is a human backboard as his opponent last night, that perhaps the king would work up a lather.  Not the case.  Djokovic made it a perfect 7 for 7 against Monfils, who could not even call upon any extra energy from a French crowd, on his way to a 6-2, 6-1 complete drubbing that saw The Djoker get off court in little more than an hour. 

How exactly is the kid doing it?  Well, making matters even more difficult and impressive, he is not even doing it with his serve.  A rusty Djokovic was broken in 2 of his first service games in Canada in his 2nd round contest with Nikolay Davydenko, who has as favorable a matchup as any with the world’s new entrenched no. 1.  Djokovic was down 4-1 in the blink of an eye to the shady, scandalous Russian, before turning that set around and leaving him in the dust.  Djokovic then made short shrift of Marin Cilic, before annihilating Monfils, despite hitting only one ace in that match.  This guy’s game is so solid that he doesn’t need to win any free points against a guy who can virtually rally back and forth all day, essentially throwing Monfils a bone at 6-2, 5-0 to prevent another bagel.  Djokovic has dispensed a stunning 9 bagels this year, and is now 51-1, looking for number 52 tonight against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. 

Nadal, even at the top of his form, was not dominating people like this on a neutral surface, with these type of score lines.  Federer?  He was in 2005 and 2006 so watch what you see here closely.  This is the best tennis played anywhere in 5 years. 

Tonight, Tsonga will try to get a set off Djokovic.  If he is successful, it will be the first set taken off Djokovic this week, and only the 4th set The Djoker has dropped this summer.  Tsonga did get a set off of him in the Wimbledon semi.  Bravo.  And Tsonga is 5-3 lifetime in the head to head, but you can throw that out the window.  At this moment in time, Djokovic is unbeatable.  We don’t think we’ve ever had occasion to say that about anyone.

Rogers Cup Mens Semi-final — 8:00 PM EST (Montreal)

__________________________________________________________

Novak Djokovic:  – 500

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga:  + 350

——

Rogers Cup Ladies Semi-final — 6:30 PM EST (Toronto)

________________________________________________________

Open

—————

Serena:  – 140

Azarenka:  + 110

Current

————-

Serena:  – 130

Azarenka:  even

Serena has had a gutty week with 2 consecutive comeback wins that weren’t handed to her.  She had to figure both matches out and did, and both took over 2 hours.  It’s a lot of tennis for our girl, but she may have played down to the level of her opponents, which may seem crazy, since both ladies, Zheng and Safarova, played unreal matches.  But neither is a major threat to win hardware.  Azarenka is, and she has Serena’s full attention.  Serena leads the series 4-1, but we know she has a healthy respect for the one dimensional but hard hitting Belarussian, now number 4 in the world.

It’s not often that you will see a – 130 next to Serena’s name.  Probably worth jumping all over either way.  In her comeback, she’s shown that same ability she has always had to come from behind, so she could get out slow and still win.  Or, she could come out on fire and walk.  Does Azarenka have a shot?  It’s hard to say she doesn’t.  She’s probably the best calibre of opponent Serena’s faced since last year.  But that doesn’t mean she’s worth chancing here.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

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