On 5/11/19 I was featured on The Fox News Channel
It was at the end of ‘Watters’ World’, a Republican news/comedy interview show. Jesse Watters, the host, interviewed me to discuss the decriminalization of psilocybin in Denver, as well as decriminalization and psilocybin in general.
As you can imagine, this was a huge opportunity and a very stressful process. I figure it made sense to capture the story of how it came about, why I said “yes” to it, how I prepared, and how I feel about it now that it’s all said and done while it was all still fresh in my mind. Also, it is you, the psychedelic community, that helped me get to a place in my career and capacity to be offered the opportunity to represent this culture to such a large audience. So it makes sense to share the whole context too, not just the fruit of it.
Below you will find the original interview, my experience report video, and the pre-interview Q&A I did with the Watters’ World Booking Producer that offers a deeper look at my perspective on this issue.
My experience being interviewed on FoxNews about ‘Magic Mushrooms’
The Fox Interview
Denver, Colorado becomes first city to decriminalize ‘magic mushrooms’ (FoxNews)
In order to prepare for interviewing me, the booking producer sent me these questions in order to get a sense of my position and how to frame the live questions for me. Answering these questions in writing was very helpful for me to prepare, but much of it didn’t really land in the actual interview. Here they are for your enjoyment. [A couple of grammatical changes were made, but the content remains the same]
Why do you support the decriminalization of Psilocybin mushrooms?
If you mean the decriminalizing of possession for personal use than its because I believe that an adult should have the liberty to choose to alter their mind however they see fit as long as it does not cause harm. Psilocybin mushrooms are incredibly low harm, anti-addictive, and have a high potential for long-lasting positive benefits in people. Also because their most considerable harm is due to a lack of education on responsible use, which is worsened by the stigma that will lessen with decriminalization.
Your background with taking mushrooms? Why you started taking them? How often you take them? Etc?
In my early 20s, I struggled intensely with depression, emotional instability, and lack of purpose and meaning in my life. However, inspired by anthropological and anecdotal reports of both ancient and modern therapeutic use of psilocybin for spiritual wellbeing, I began working with them monthly for 13 months. At the end of which I had turned my entire life around for the better, happy, healthy, stable job and a supportive social circle. I attribute what I learned about myself working with psilocybin mushrooms during those 13 as a massive contributor to my journey back to health. It was what I learned from those experiences that led me to write my first book.
I work with them very infrequently in my life at this point, although when I do, I do with deep respect. Recreational doses can be enjoyable and I believe a person should have the right to use them that way if they choose, but I do not personally consider them a plaything. I consider them a powerful agent of self-inquiry and emotional release, and I treat them as such.
How the decriminalization can benefit people?
It reduces tax spending on unnecessary policing and judicial activity to arrest and sentence simple possession or cultivation of a low-harm substance for personal use. It also saves courts and police from wasting time they could be putting into finding and sentencing violent criminals. Not to mention the protection of otherwise law-abiding, psilocybin-using citizens from having the path of their entire lives dismantled due to an unnecessarily criminal charge.
How it could hurt people?
“it” as in decriminalization or the mushrooms?
Decriminalization: I doubt it will.
Mushrooms in general: psilocybin mushrooms are can be a very intense experience and are not for everybody. Also, poor choice in the context of use and dose can result in incredibly frightening experiences. These harms are easily minimized with proper education.
Do you support just for medical use?
I support educated, responsible, adult use in general. However, I have a very strong support for medical use as it is much safer and holds great promise for many people suffering from otherwise untreatable mental illness. As much of psilocybin mushrooms can be used for a playful good time, they are so much more to offer society as a medical treatment. But all in all, I believe in the personal liberty to choose to alter our minds however we want, as long as it causes no harm.
Should there be restrictions for recreational use?
Absolutely. I believe the restrictions being used for other recreational drugs in our society, like alcohol, such as minimum age and driving restrictions are a good start.