Chronic Haze is back with another installment in our activism blog post series. Today, we’ll be discussing 5 psychedelics advocates you should know about!
Like cannabis, psychedelics have been subject to much stigma over the years. It’s thanks to those in the activism community that people are finally able to see these substances in a new light. And while many people have contributed to this mission, some names certainly stand out more than others.
That’s why today’s blog post takes a look at five of the most influential figures in the psychedelics movement. Buckle up as we take a trip through the history books.
Timothy Leary (1920-1996)
As we’ve discussed in the past, Timothy Leary is one of the biggest contributors to the destigmatization of psychedelics. After hearing about two European-Americans who took part in a mushroom ceremony in Mexico, the Harvard psychology professor decided to experience them for himself, and soon after began teaching courses about shrooms and LSD at Harvard. He became famous for his phrase “turn on, tune in, drop out,” and was at one point called “the most dangerous man in America” by Richard Nixon. Despite this bad rap, Leary is easily one of the biggest names in psychedelic culture.
Paul Stamets (1955- )
American mycologist and biologist Paul Stamets is another big name in psychedelics, particularly in the world of shrooms. Despite not having a degree higher than a bachelor’s degree, Stamets has made a name for himself as an expert in the field of mycology. He took part in the 2019 documentary Fantastic Fungi, and has even studied the use of mushrooms in contexts such as bioremediation and pest control. While he mostly advocates for therapeutic use over recreational use, Stamets is undoubtedly a huge presence in the world of psychedelics.
James Fadiman (1939- )
Known as “Psychonaut Jim” by other advocates, American writer James Fadiman is famous for his research on microdosing with psychedelics. Having completed his MA and PhD in psychology at Stanford, Stamets first tried shrooms in 1961, and began conducting personal and professional research in 1966. He continues his research today with the aim of bringing psychedelics into the world of mental health, assessing the anecdotes of psychedelic users who microdose.
Michele Ross (1982- )
Michele Ross is an American neuroscientist who became famous after appearing on the hit show Big Brother. Since then, she’s become a huge advocate for the legalization of cannabis, mushrooms, and kratom. She currently offers consulting in the realm of cannabis and CBD for chronic pain, and was a co-founder of Decriminalize Denver which helped to successfully decriminalize mushrooms in Denver. As someone with PTSD and chronic pelvic pain, Ross has stated that she would not be here today if not for the use of cannabis and other substances. Ross’ story serves as a reminder of the benefits of these substances, and her work as an advocate has produced very real results.
Terence McKenna (1946-2000)
Terence McKenna needs no introduction at this point. But for the uninitiated, McKenna was an ethnobotanist that became deeply knowledgeable about the world of psychedelics, shamanism, and mysticism. While some of his theories have been heavily criticized, McKenna has spoken at length about the mental benefits of plant-based entheogens and has become embedded as a figure in the psychedelic movement. He’s also just a thoroughly interesting person; check out some of his talks on YouTube if you’re curious.
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Also, since we’re on the topic, interested in learning more about shrooms? If so, check out this blog post on five strains of Psilocybe cubensis you should know about!