Why We’re Donating $5 Million to MAPS

Our family company, Dr. Bronner’s, donates a lot of resources to social justice NGOs and campaigns, including over $1 million to various state-level cannabis legalization campaigns in 2016. Collectively, well north of $40 million was raised in the 2016 election cycle alone to end prohibition and stop the enormous waste of taxpayer and law enforcement resources from ruining the lives of upstanding citizens and their families. Even with the Trump administration, momentum is growing to recognize medical cannabis at the federal level and remove it from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. Now, we have the opportunity to legalize MDMA as a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medicine, to be available in all 50 states, for a total cost that is substantially less than what we as a movement are investing into legalizing medical and recreational cannabis.

Along with many thousands of people, it’s been our honor and pleasure to support the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)’ strategy to fund FDA-approved clinical research on the effectiveness of psychedelic medicine for diverse conditions, and to change the political climate that makes this type of research so difficult to conduct. The amazing team at MAPS have overcome obstacle after obstacle to bring us to this great moment: not only the FDA’s recent go-ahead for Phase 3 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but also the FDA’s final guidance on the Phase 3 study design and protocol. MAPS has mapped out a detailed five-year game plan and a $25 million budget, with FDA approval nearly assured when the research and funding are complete. Much of this expense is frontloaded in the first two years, so in order to be assured that the cash flow is there as needed, we need to get pledges lined up before we begin the studies.

This is the crucial moment to step up for one of the most important causes on the planet. There is tremendous suffering and pain that the responsible integration of MDMA for treatment-resistant PTSD will alleviate and heal. Plus, once MDMA is an FDA-approved medicine, legal use for other conditions is close behind.  The FDA’s approval of MDMA will also pave the way for other psychedelic medicines to follow, such as psilocybin for end-of-life anxiety and ibogaine for opiate addiction.  To help inspire our allies to close the funding gap, my family has pledged $1 million a year for five years—$5 million total—by far our largest gift to an NGO partner to date. In part we were inspired by the incredible example of Ashawna Hailey, former MAPS boardmember, who gave MAPS $5 million when she died five years ago.  MAPS has banked those funds for phase 3, and coupled with our gift, that leaves a $15 million gap for other angel donors to close.  And smaller donations add up huge if enough people throw down.

We face enormous challenges globally, and psychedelics—used responsibly—can help us solve them. MAPS’ larger goal is to see psychedelic medicine responsibly integrated into American and global culture, readily available to those who need it most, while helping the rest of us open our hearts and minds to each other and to the miraculous living world we live within.  MAPS intends to use the profits generated from selling MDMA once it’s an FDA-approved medicine to train therapists and set up treatment clinics around the world, and to expand its research and move other psychedelics through the formal FDA regulatory approval process. Thus, our investment now into making MDMA a legal medicine will turn MAPS and the broader field of psychedelic science into a self-sustaining organism, exponentially increasing MAPS’ ability to impact and change the world. I hope you are as inspired as we are to help them do it.

Author Profile
David Bronner

David Bronner is Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, the grandson of company founder, Emanuel Bronner, and a fifth-generation soap maker. He is a dedicated vegan and enjoys surfing and dancing late into the night.

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  • Wow! Very generous! I don’t know much about MAPS or MMDA, but I am a huge fan of life-minded projects. If ever you’d like to support a project that will *prevent* dis-eases and dis-orders*, perhaps you’d consider The Mother+Land Project? Either way, thanks for caring about our world! <3

    • Kevin Garcia

      This crowd is all about mother earth haha.

  • medcannabis1

    Thank you for your kindness and compassion towards those who have given so much to the nation in a time of war. Veterans for Compassionate Care is developing a PTSD/opiate reduction model for treating pain and suffering with dosed extracts of cannabis to replace the toxic levels of prescription medications. It gives us great hope that others who have been blessed with success will come forward and help those who are developing program models that bring cannabis therapy into the arena of medicine and provide hope for those who suffer.
    Blessings to all at Dr Bonners

    Veterans for Compassionate Care
    “Compassion…Understanding…Relief “

  • Samir Bernardes

    Thanks for helping psychedelics to heal the world <3

  • jbnorton

    Thank you David Bronner! As a long time user of Dr. Bronner’s products – over 30 years – I appreciate your commitment to ethical business practices and support of MAPS. You embody the “ALL-ONE” philosophy of your grandfather!

  • Thrity Vakil

    Thank you for this very generous donation to a great cause.

  • Shanta Kamath

    I am even more pleased than ever to be another very satisfied, regular vegan customer of Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap products. Excellent soap with fascinating reading included on the label since… at least 1980, anyway. I believe that’s when I started buying it. Stay multidimensional!

    • Thanks for being a long-time customer! We will do our best to stay multidimensional 🙂

  • david bronner, i am aware of our eternal paradise’s destiny, and our uncompromising unity, as matter can neither be created nor destroyed. please contact me at [email protected] or learn about me at facebook.com/1garylopezwatts1. you can also join the e.p.c (eternal paradise crew) at facebook.com/1eternalparadise1, please do, as i sense the destiny of our contact. if i am incorrect, do not fret, it must be the destiny of our eternal paradise. this is real, i am proud of your veganism, and am aiming to make it global.

  • Stephen J Cummings

    David: how did MDMA change your life?

  • Daniela Mitrovic

    This donation is a blessing. We need better options, and with your gift, we may have them sooner than later. Thank you for believing in alternate solutions to mental health issues.

  • Melanie Leontine

    Thank you for making a difference, our Hempothecary.com (clinic, online and mobile store) have supported your products since we started our family business and will continue to do so!


  • Shira Goldberg

    This is what I mix my doTERRA in these soaps. 💫 I am inspired by these efforts. I invite David Bronner to be a guest on The Addiction Show! The only addiction show that I know of that is dedicated to harm reduction. Youtube.com/the1addictionshow I appreciate such effors. While most of us don’t have such resources we can all do something every bit helps! Thanks again! Shira, Goldberg Sober Coaching

  • Helle Mai Nielsen

    EPIC!!! <3 <3 <3

  • Jason Bunting

    An amazing donation, it’s nice to see attention given to this cause – thank you! Nice to know that I’ve been buying products from such a conscientious company all these years.

  • Don K Johnson

    Leary was on the right track but then it went to his head. Good luck with this!
    Been using your soap since the 70’s.

  • jmcgraphics

    Love the products and they were right in front of me all the time and I kept missing, so I ordered online. Glad to find them locally at so many places. Love that peppermint! my favorite scent and taste (Altoids, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups a close second)

  • Kristen Blue

    Because of this donation, I will be a Dr. Bronner’s customer for life. Thank you so much for contributing to making the world a better place <3 Love to see a company take an open stance on true healing.