Editorial & Creative Float, Operations
Marketing and Operations
Editor, Psychedelic U
Social Media Manager
Justin Hampton is an erstwhile journalist and digital content creator focused on the nexus of culture and consciousness. Over the course of a quarter-century, he has written on cannabis, music and psychedelics for High Times, the Los Angeles Times, Alternative Press, and Leafly. He is currently the Digital Content Manager of the herbal wellness brand Medicine Box.
Georgia Perry is a freelance writer and photographer. She has a bachelor's in journalism from Indiana University. Formerly, she was a staff writer at Santa Cruz Weekly. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Vice, and Narratively, among other places. Read more of her work on on her website or connect with her on Twitter @georguhperry.
KEVIN BALKTICK, founder and director of Horizons Media, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational charity that produces Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics, is a New York-based producer, creative director, and cultural entrepreneur focused on live experiences and hospitality. Over the last fifteen years, his oeuvre has included parties, festivals, concerts, conferences, exhibitions, and experiences that defy description, in locations as varied as churches, warehouses, fortresses, libraries, mansions, prisons, universities, city streets, and the great outdoors. His work has been featured in The New York Times, National Public Radio, The New Yorker, Vogue, WWD, Vice, Hospitality Design, Wired, NHT (Japan), The Guardian (UK), Ha’aretz (Israel), and other publications. Image: @soulfocus_media
Aaron Genuth is an activist, consumer advocate and journalist operating in the cannabis and psychedelic spaces for over two decades. He has written and produced content for publications including High Times and Civilized, and worked as editor, writer and online content manager for NUGL Magazine. Aaron is also the founder of Darkhei Rephua (Paths of Healing), a religious entheogenic nonprofit for which he serves as president. He is a fan of LSD and the New York Mets.
Mike Margolies is a psychedelic community catalyst and conversation creator. Mike is the Founder of Psychedelic Seminars (psychsems.com), an educational conversation series deepening awareness of the benefits, risks, and complexities of psychedelics. He has also started and contributed to a number of other projects as an event and media producer, connector, and advisor. Mike founded the Baltimore Psychedelic Society and has sparked and mentored similar groups around the world from San Francisco to DC to Portugal.
Michael Garfield is a philosopher and artist whose work anchors our current crises and imagined futures in deep time and Big History. Obsessed with major evolutionary transitions (like the one we're in right now), Michael splits his time between mythopoiesis and musical performance, hosting Future Fossils Podcast, and communicating complex systems science for the Santa Fe Institute. Follow him on Twitter: @michaelgarfield
Henry Holtzman is an entrepreneur and innovation leader at the intersection of business, technology and design. As an executive for Samsung, he led new product innovation projects that touched on TV, Smart Home, Home Appliance and mobile products. Prior to Samsung, Holtzman was part of the MIT Media Lab's leadership team where he also lectured and supervised research. Currently, Holtzman runs Secretparty.io, an event invitation and ticketing platform that supports and builds tight-knit communities through its referral invitation system. An enthusiastic Burner, Holtzman is also the mayor of a Burning Man Village, theme camp organizer, art car builder, and adores the Black Rock Desert.
Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor immersed in digital publishing and storytelling with a focus on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, ethics, health, and politics. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, and the Village Voice.
Jasmine Virdi is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader. Since 2018, she has been working as a writer, editor, and social media coordinator for the fiercely independent publishing company Synergetic Press, where her passions for ecology, ethnobotany and psychoactive substances converge. She also serves as a writer for Psychedelics Today, a podcast and online education platform that is dedicated to exploring the healing aspects of non-ordinary states of consciousness and discussing scientific research surrounding psychedelics. Jasmine’s goal as an advocate for psychoactive substances is to raise awareness of the socio-historical context in which these substances emerged in order to help integrate them into our modern-day lives in a safe, grounded and meaningful way.
Tania Abdul is developing her Ayurvedic herbal medicine business, works as an event producer, and volunteers as an artist, an activist, and a citizen scientist collecting data underwater on California’s rocky reef ecosystem.
Bett Williams is the author of Girl Walking Backwards(St.Martin’s Press) and The Wrestling Party(Alyson Press.) Her forthcoming book, The Wild Kindness; A Psilocybin Odyssey(Dottir Press, Sept. 2020,) is available for pre-order. She was a featured speaker at Horizons Perspectives on Psychedelics Conference. In 2018, she and her partner Beth Hill, received together the Kindle Project Maker’s Muse Award. She lives in Santa Fe, NM.
A creative writer and journalist, Ali McGhee has a PhD in English from the University of Rochester and is the Culture and Team Development Leader at 6AM City. Her creative work has been published in Dark Mountain and Slippery Elm Literary Journal, and her academic work and journalism have been published in Romantic Circles, The Edgar Allan Poe Review, Atlantic Studies, and Scalawag. She's currently completing her novel, an apocalyptic horror/SF work about people turning into trees, and is working on a multimedia visual art and text project, Oso and Otter, with visual artist Justin Noah Wells. She is an IEA-accredited Enneagram coach and a core faculty member at The Enneagram School of Awakening in Asheville, NC.
Colleen Newvine has been a reporter and editor at daily, weekly and monthly publications, including the Ann Arbor News and Insider Business Journal. She covered health sciences at the University of Michigan News Service for five years. She is a freelance writer in addition to being a marketing consultant and coach. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Central Michigan University, and she was inducted into the CMU Journalism Hall of Fame in 2017. She received her MBA from the University of Michigan Business School in 2005. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, John Tebeau.
Leia Friedwoman loves to connect the dots as a teacher, writer, and permaculturist. Born and raised on traditional Pawtucket land in Lowell, MA, Leia obtained her master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Rivier University and worked as an in-home therapist before psychedelics turned her world inside out. She is now an integrative psychedelic coach, somatic practitioner, a trainee in restorative and transformative approaches to conflict, and host of The Psychedologist: consciousness positive radio. Her work explores consciousness through the lens of social and environmental justice.
Itzhak Beery is an internationally recognized shamanic teacher, healer, speaker, community activist, and author of three Amazon bestseller books. Born in an Israeli Kibbutz, he had a fine art career and was the owner of an award-winning boutique Ad agency in New York City. A midlife crisis led to his transformation from a skeptical atheist, and business executive into a passionate believer, aligned with his life purpose. Since 1995, Itzhak bridges the spiritual and practical wisdom his indigenous and Western teachers entrusted in him. He was initiated into the "Circle of 24 Yachaks of Imbabura" by his Quechua teacher in Ecuador and by Amazonian Kanamari Pajè in Brazil. Itzhak is the founder of ShamanPortal.org, The Andes Summit, and co-founder of the New York Shamanic Circle, he is on major global spiritual centers faculties. Itzhak received the 'Ambassador for Peace Award' from The Universal Peace Federation and the UN.
Danny Nemu is a hypnotherapist, speaker, and independent researcher interested in what the Bible can tell us about the powers and peculiarities of the human mind. He is the author of Science Revealed and Neuro-Apocalypse, out on Psychedelic Press, and Getting High with the Most High: Entheogens in the Bible.
Nicholas Powers is the author of The Ground Below Zero: 9/11 to Burning Man, New Orleans to Darfur, Haiti to Occupy Wall Street, published by Upset Press. He is a poet and an associate professor of English at SUNY Old Westbury with writings in Truth-Out, HuffPost, Alternet and The Indypendent.
Veteran San Francisco journalist Don Lattin has been writing about psychedelics for newspapers and magazines since the 1970s. More recently, he is the author of Changing Our Minds — Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy (Synergetic Press, 2017), Distilled Spirits (UC Press, 2012) and The Harvard Psychedelic Club (HarperCollins 2010).
Sean Lawlor is a freelance writer, personal trainer, and graduate student in Transpersonal Counseling in Boulder, CO. His interest in psychedelics owes great debt to Aldous Huxley, Ken Kesey, and Hunter S. Thompson, and his passion for dreaming draws ongoing inspiration from Carl Jung and J.K. Rowling.
Noah Potter is a New York City-based attorney. He began organizing for psychedelic law reform advocacy in the early 1990s. He founded the New Amsterdam Psychedelic Law blog in 2010 in order to establish the field of “psychedelic law” as a unique topic for legal analysis.
Don Shewey is a writer, therapist, and pleasure activist in New York City. As a journalist and critic, he has published three books about theater and written hundreds of articles for the New York Times, the Village Voice, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and other publications. He has chronicled his psycho-sexual-spiritual adventures in essays that have been included in numerous anthologies, including The Politics of Manhood and The Queerest Art: Essays on Lesbian and Gay Theater. His most recent book is The Paradox of Porn: Notes on Gay Male Sexual Culture. An archive of his writing is available online at donshewey.com. His psychotherapy practice (bodyandsoulwork.com) specializes in sex and intimacy coaching, and he completed training at CIIS in psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy in 2018.
Zach Haigney is a freelance Science and Business writer. He is the author and founder of The Trip Report a newsletter offering insight, news, and analysis at the intersection of business, policy, and psychedelics. Zach is drawn to the emerging psychedelic ecosystem because restoring psychedelic experience into the culture is a watershed moment in human history. The Trip Report keeps readers informed by analyzing the news within the context of the larger themes, forces and history of psychedelic science, culture and practice.
Chris Pezza attended 9 burns consecutively beginning in 2007 and served as a Black Rock Ranger for 7 years. He’s the co-founder of Camp Soft Landing, where he hosted Palenque Norte, a psychedelic lecture series that provides content for the Psychedelic Salon podcast established by Lorenzo Haggerty in 2003. Together with Mischa Steiner and Lucid News editor Ann Harrison, Pezza is a co-founder of the event production company Take 3 Presents. He is a DJ who brings tech house, melodic techno, tribalish, synth wave, ambient, and live grooves.
Ido Hartogsohn is a scholar, artist, and activist in the field of psychedelics. His work explores the role of collective set and setting in shaping psychedelic experiences for human cultures. His book, American Trip: Set, Setting and the Psychedelic Experience in the 20th Century, appeared with MIT Press earlier this year.
Sarah Ratliff is a corporate America escapee turned eco-organic farmer, writer and published book author.
Erica Zelfand, ND is a licensed family physician, writer, and speaker specializing in integrative and functional medicine. She enjoys training healthcare providers in the clinical applications of psychedelic medicine, wearing big sunglasses, and eating second breakfast. To learn more and connect, please visit https://DrZelfand.com/Psychedelics
Ifetayo Harvey is the marketing coordinator at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and founder of the People of Color Psychedelic Collective. She is a graduate of Smith College with a BA in History and African Studies, and has shared her experience of being personally impacted by the drug war. Ifetayo is currently a student of Somatic Sex Education. In her free time, she enjoys TV, fitness, crafts, and playing her euphonium or listening to music. Ifetayo Harvey is originally from Charleston, SC and currently lives in NYC.
Sam Woolfe is a freelance writer based in London. His main areas of interest include mental health, mystical experiences, the history of psychedelics, and the philosophy of psychedelics. He first became fascinated by psychedelics after reading Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception, which details the author's experience with mescaline. Since then, Sam has researched and written about psychedelics for various publications, covering the legality of psychedelics, drug policy reform, and psychedelic science.
Phillip Smith is a writing fellow and the editor and chief correspondent of Drug Reporter, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has been a drug policy journalist for the past two decades. He is the longtime author of the Drug War Chronicle, the online publication of the non-profit StopTheDrugWar.org, and has been the editor of AlterNet’s Drug Reporter since 2015. He was awarded the Drug Policy Alliance’s Edwin M. Brecher Award for Excellence in Media in 2013.
Darius James is the author of Negrophobia and That's Blaxploitatiion: Roots of the Baadassssss 'Tude. He moved to Berlin, Germany in 1998 and worked as a radio host; theater director; and creative-writing coach. His experience as a talking head on German television led to his teaming with Oliver Hardt and tvt productions for the documentary The United States of Hoodoo. His collaboration with filmmaker Noel Lawrence, Sammy-Gate, premiered at the 2019 International Rotterdam Film Festival. Currently, he is in New Haven, Ct.
Robert Tindall is a storyteller, father, classical guitarist, and practitioner of Zen Buddhism and Amazonian vegetalismo whose work explores the crossing of frontiers into other cultures, time depths, and states of consciousness. He has written three books on shamanism and indigenous lifeways: The Jaguar that Roams the Mind, The Shamanic Odyssey: Homer, Tolkien, and the Visionary Experience, and Sacred Soil: Biochar and the Regeneration of the Earth, along with numerous articles on themes such as shamanic archaeology, healing of addiction, pilgrimage, the medieval quest, and the indigenous prophetic and healing traditions of the Americas. Robert works as a professor of literature and “consulting mythopoeiacist” (he’s proud to be pioneering this new profession!) and divides his time between the Amazon rain forest and the San Francisco Bay Area. He has just completed his first fantasy novel, inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairytale, “The White Snake.”
Jahan Khamsehzadeh, Ph.D. completed his dissertation on psychedelics in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. His book, “Psychedelic Revolution: Psilocybin Mushrooms, Human Evolution, and Psychotherapy”, is being published by North Atlantic Books and is set to be released Spring 2022. He earned his Masters in Consciousness and Transformative Studies from John F. Kennedy University, and his Bachelors from the University of Arizona with a major in Philosophy and minors in Physics, Psychology, and Mathematics. Aside from academic work, he has undergone several major trainings, including graduating from the Hakomi somatic-psychotherapy program and training within the Mazatec mushroom tradition. He assisted the Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy Certificate training at CIIS for two years, and mentors at the newly emerging School of Consciousness Medicine. He works as a facilitator for legal psilocybin mushrooms ceremonies in Jamaica with Atman Retreats, one of the few opportunities offered worldwide where people can legally experience psilocybin. Jahan is on the PsiloHealth integration team, a group of MDs and PsyDs in the process of creating psychedelic integration trainings, and volunteers at the Zendo Project, which provides psychedelic harm reduction. He serves as an advisor for PsyGaia and their project HowToTakePsychedelics.com and leads a monthly group called “Developing a Relationship with Sacred Mushrooms” with the San Francisco Psychedelic Society. You can learn more about him and contact him through his website www.PsychedelicEvolution.org.
Ahmed Kabil is an Egyptian-American writer and multimedia storyteller. He is the Editor of The Long Now Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering long-term thinking. He has written about psychedelic history and culture for Gen, Timeline, Integral Review, Michael Pollan’s “Trips Worth Telling” essay collection, and The Museum of Old and New Art’s surrealist cookbook, Eat the Problem. He is based in Barcelona.
Kelly Berry is a functional movement therapist and healthcare strategist based in Brooklyn, NY. She specializes in guiding individuals and groups towards greater integration of physical and emotional awareness utilizing yoga and core movements, breath integration and mindfulness. Formerly a Washington D.C. native, she was the lead curator and instructor for the yoga program at the U.S. State Department and yoga teacher for sports teams including the Washington Mystics. As a healthcare strategist and consultant, Kelly has held leadership roles for marketing and communications teams at public relations agencies, technology start-ups, and lifestyle brands. Most recently Kelly served as marketing and communications director at Forth Road Health, a consulting agency supporting the development of psychedelic assisted therapy. She holds a B.A. in English from The College of William & Mary and over 1,000 hours training in various movement disciplines including bodywork, Pilates, kinesiology, anatomy, alchemy, and Reiki.
Adam Rubin is a psychedelic harm reduction activist and crisis counselor. He has devoted his life to supporting others experiencing extreme states of consciousness and creating safety systems at events where people might choose to ingest a psychedelic substance. He has worked at over 45 events around the world since 2015 with many organizations including the Zendo Project, White Bird, RGX Medical, and Take 3 Presents. He trains peer support volunteers, local psychedelic communities, and event medical teams. Adam is the author of a series of free zines titled “The It’s Okay Psychedelic Harm Reduction Series.” Currently, Adam is the Director of Training for the Fireside Project, a psychedelic peer support hotline.
Igor Domsac has a degree in journalism, with an international specialization diploma, from the Antonio de Nebrija University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in “Journalism I: Analysis of the Informative Message” from the Complutense University of Madrid. He has worked for several media outlets, including the EFE agency, Diario 16 and the AFP in Paris. Igor was director of the magazine Enteogenia and the blog tuCriptomoneda, and has contributed as author, proof reader and translator in numerous books and publications on psychoactive substances, for example Colección Interzona and the translation into Spanish of PIHKAL and TIHKAL by Alexander and Ann Shulgin. He was coordinator of interventions in the Madrid delegation of Energy Control, participated in several editions of Kosmicare (a project by the Boom Festival) as a facilitator of difficult experiences with psychedelics, and contributed to magazines such as Heavy Rock, Kerrang!, Interzona, Cáñamo, Generación XXI, Ulises, Infocannabis, ÁGORA or Cannabis Magazine, in addition to founding and leading Alter Consciens, an association dedicated to performing arts and technologies of consciousness. He currently works as a communication assistant at ICEERS and dedicates his free time to his two children, writing, storytelling, and participation in various projects related to Bitcoin (BSV) and blockchain technology.
Seth Warner is the communications director of the San Francisco Psychedelic Society since helping to reboot the organization in early 2018. Today he helps to create one of the most vibrant and active online communities of psychedelic integration and support in this time of crisis. Additionally he teaches about the cultivation of psilocybin containing mushrooms with a personal project, MycoRising.
Hadas is a Founding Partner at Plant Medicine Law Group, a boutique law firm serving the psychedelic and cannabis space. She advises companies on matters of regulatory compliance, policy advocacy, risk management, strategic planning, corporate governance, licensing, and dispute resolution. She served as counsel to some of the first equity applicants in Oakland, California; and currently works with legacy cannabis cultivators in the Emerald Triangle on strategies for conveying their policy goals to state regulators. She is the co-founder of Decriminalize Nature NYC, Campaign Director of New Yorkers for Mental Health Alternatives and a Board Member of the Psychedelic Bar Association. She also sits on the Advisory Board of the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society.
Rachel (she/her) serves as the Education Manager for DanceSafe, a nightlife harm reduction nonprofit known for its drug education and drug checking kits. In addition to working for DanceSafe, Rachel has been teaching a semester-long course called DrugsCo for several years, and founded the Oberlin Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter in 2019. She has been an avid harm reductionist since 2012, and enjoys long walks to her soapbox to talk about psychedelic safety and the injustices of the drug war.
Kristi is a freelance writer specializing in cannabis, health, and psychedelics. Her work can be found in the New York Times, Washington Post, Men's Health, and many other publications. She lives in the American southeast with her husband, children, and numerous pets.
Mitchell Gomez is a graduate of New College of Florida (whose Alumni included the founders of Erowid, MAPS and the Zendo Project), and has his Masters from CU Denver. He has been a part of the electronic music community since the late 90’s, when he first started attending underground breaks shows while still in high-school. In 1999 while living in Israel, he became one of the earliest full time professional fire spinners, eventually performing at some of the biggest electronic music events on four continents. Mitchell joined Dancesafe as their National Outreach Director in 2014 and was responsible for all volunteer coordination, the development, implementation, and evaluation of new training curriculum and outreach initiatives, and administrative tasks, and was promoted to Executive Director in 2017. He has volunteered with the Burning Man organization, SSDP, the Denver Drug Strategy Commision, Psymposia, and other small harm reduction projects for many years, and is a passionate advocate for reality-based drug policy and harm reduction.
Krista Diamond is a Las Vegas based writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, HuffPost, Business Insider, Thrillist, Eater, and elsewhere.
Colin Newton is a writer from Los Angeles who is interested covering in psychology and wellness, traditional medicine, consciousness expansion, religious experience, and futurism. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/religious studies from California State University, Northridge. His work has appeared in The Ignatian Literary Magazine, Westwind, The Argonaut and The Abstract Elephant Magazine. In 2018, he was an artist-in-residence at Oregon State University’s Shotpouch Cabin. He blogs about monsters, media and metaphysics at IdolsAndRealities.wordpress.com.
Mitch Mignano is a writer, researcher, editor and workshop organizer who splits his time between Santa Fe and New York City. After finishing graduate school, Mitch teamed-up with psychedelic author Daniel Pinchbeck to begin working with the Evolver social network, Reality Sandwich online magazine and North Atlantic Books. Through this activity, he came in contact with John Allen (inventor of Biosphere 2) and Deborah Snyder, discovering a deep calling to work with John and his ecotechnic ideas, Mitch brings a myriad of professional connections, as well as an experiential and interdisciplinary knowledge set to the Synergetic team.
Sophia is a freelance journalist covering subjects such as technology, healthcare, lifestyle and social affairs for international publications. Her byline has appeared in outlets such as Newsweek, Forbes.com, Wired UK, New Scientist and many more. Sophia has been writing for 16 years and completed her undergraduate degree in Journalism (BJTC) at the University for the Creative Arts. She is based in Yorkshire, England, and lives with her son and dog.
Sara Brittany Somerset (she/hers) is a United Nations-based cannabis correspondent and global drug policy analyst. Her work is syndicated worldwide, and appears in various media outlets from Forbes to Innovation and Tech Today. Sara Brittany launched the first cannabis news desk at the U.N. in 2011, and is the former U.N. Bureau Chief for High Times. As a foreign correspondent, she covered an exclusive expose on the cannabis trade during the blood diamond wars in Sierra Leone. In 2021 she ranked one of the Top 10 Cannabis Journalists by Muckrack. In 2020, she was listed on Green Market Report's 100 Most Important Women In Weed. In 2018, Sara Brittany received an AxisWire Star Media Award for Best Freelance Cannabis Writer
Annelise Kelly had no idea that her first Grateful Dead show (Ventura County Fairgrounds, CA 1984) would lure her On the Bus. Today she writes mostly about food and travel, recognizing that the interior journey is the only one that really matters. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
David E. Carpenter contributes to Forbes on the topic of breakthroughs and trends in the field of psychoactive substances. He is the creator of the ongoing booklet series Your Neighbors Are Doing Psychedelics, which features stories of healing through psychoactive drugs. He's the author of MDMA: From The Club To The Clinic. His forthcoming work on the topic of 5-MeO-DMT, Toad, is due out this year.
David Arnson reviews for Lucid News, Erowid.org and Music Connection Magazine. An urban shaman, he fronts 'Insect Surfers' (Planet Earth's Longest-Running Modern Surf Band") and raises cacti, succulents, and carnivorous plants.
Lisa Newcomb is a journalist, editor and political communications professional. She has covered national and state-level politics for independent media including Common Dreams and Sludge. Lisa has directed communications efforts for progressive statewide campaigns in California, Idaho and Maine, and she has worked as a communications consultant focused on media relations and strategic communications for U.S. House and U.S. Senate campaigns across the United States. Lisa is interested in the intersection of social movements and electoral reforms as well as healthcare, citizen participation in the democratic process and the essential role of the free press in holding power to account.
Allan Steiner is a Drug Policy reform advocate living in Oakland California. From 2016-2019, Allan worked as a cannabis consultant helping entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of cannabis law and was an early supporter of the Decriminalize Nature Oakland resolution.
David Jay Brown is the author of Dreaming Wide Awake, The New Science of Psychedelics, and 14 other books about the evolution of consciousness. To find out more see: www.davidjaybrown.com
Jon Kelvey is a science writer based in Maryland. He’s covered health and neuropharmacology since 2013, with his work appearing in the Baltimore Sun, Cancer Today, Slate and Smithsonian, among other publications. He holds a bachelor’s in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley, where his studies placed a special emphasis on the neuropharmacology of psychedelics.
Psychedelic Safety Alliance co-founder Ally Lee is a clinical social worker of 12 years who works closely with both the street and festival drug user communities. Formerly the head of a chapter of Students For Sensible Drug Policy, Ally also works as a first responder and harm reduction educator at Burning Man and other large events. Her subfields of interest include mental health crisis intervention, overdose reversal, and translating academic literature into tactical safety protocols.
When we have questions about psychedelics, we often consult our Auntie. An Auntie can be a person of any gender who offers wise advice about psychedelic substances and how to effectively use them. Lucid News is asking a collection of well-informed people to step in as Auntie and answer your questions about psychedelics. Send your questions to the Psychedelic Auntie via the Lucid News contact page and watch this space for the answers.
Bruna Corsato is a writer and photographer based in Berlin. They’re most interested in the intersection of identity, environment, culture, and meaning-making. She co-creates content focused on queerness, psychedelics, individual expression, the climate emergency, and creative processes. Their photos live here and words live on their website.
Dr. James Penner is the editor of Timothy Leary: The Harvard Years (2014) and the author of Pinks, Pansies, and Punks: The Rhetoric of Masculinity in American Literary Culture (2011). He is also a Contributor to the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Erik Davis (www.techgnosis.com) is an author, award-winning journalist, and scholar based in San Francisco. He is the author, most recently, of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies. He also wrote Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica, a critical volume on Led Zeppelin, and the cult classic TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information. Erik’s scholarly and popular essays on music, technoculture, drugs, and spirituality have appeared in scores of books, magazines, and journals, and his writing has been translated into a dozen languages. Davis has spoken widely at universities, conferences, retreat centers, and festivals, and has been interviewed by CNN, the BBC, NPR, and the New York Times. He graduated from Yale University in 1988, and more recently earned his PhD in religious studies at Rice University.
Andrew Tatarsky developed Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP) for the spectrum of risky and addictive behavior. IHRP brings psychoanalysis, CBT and mindfulness together in a harm reduction frame. IHRP has been described in his book, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems, and a series of papers. He is Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Optimal Living in NYC, a treatment and professional training center based on IHRP. Andrew has trained in 18 countries. His writing, teaching, clinical work and leadership aim to promote a re-humanized view addiction and a harm reduction continuum of care that will extend help to everyone who needs and wants it whereever they are ready to begin their positive change journeys.
Rachel Harrus is a doctoral candidate in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Long Island University, Brooklyn campus. Rachel completed her bachelor's degree in environmental biology at Barnard College in New York City. Previous to beginning her doctoral studies, Rachel worked in data analytics and was a researcher and writer for a prominent U.S. based medical practice that specializes in the applied science of human health and longevity. She has an interest in the intersection of integrative therapeutic approaches, with a particular focus on the intersection of somatic, psychodynamic, and third wave behavioral psychotherapies and their intersection with Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy.
Dr. Adam Frankel is a psychologist at the Center for Optimal Living, where he specializes in treating individuals who deal with substance misuse and co-occurring anxiety and mood challenges. Adam integrates insight-oriented, mindfulness, motivational, and cognitive and behavioral therapeutic approaches. Adam has a particular interest in group psychotherapy and its relationship to the improved capacity for managing difficult emotional states, interpersonal intimacy, and personal creativity. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. He completed his internship at Mt Sinai Medical Center and his post-doctoral fellowship at the Addiction Institute of New York at Mt. Sinai-Roosevelt Hospital. Adam presents nationally and internationally on integrated therapeutic treatment modalities and is a clinical supervisor and teacher to advanced Ph.D. students in psychology and social work throughout the New York Metropolitan Area.
Katie Stone is an ecotherapy practitioner and doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Born and raised in Arizona, she has been engaged in collaborative efforts toward drug policy reform since her teens through organizations like Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Intercollegiate Psychedelics Network. Her research investigates the intersections of mysticism, ecopsychology, and women’s transpersonal experiences during childbirth and the emergent fields of thealogy and psychedelic midwifery. Katie is deeply devoted to nurturing resilient ecosystems and co-creating a post-prohibition future that realizes the full potential of human-nature relationships.
Ryan Greendyk is a freelance writer, poet, entrepreneur, community organizer, and healing facilitator. He is an IAKP-Certified Kambô Practitioner, and specializes in multi-modality integration work. For the past ten years, he has founded and worked with health companies offering functional food products, liposomal nutrient formulations, and integrative lifestyle design education. Before the pandemic, he spent years organizing and producing community gatherings, tea ceremonies, symposia, festivals, and other events that help keep the torch of freedom and creativity burning. Ryan is a lifelong student of plants, pharmacology, occult practice, yoga, and the written word.
Reilly Capps is the drugs reporter for Rooster, a Colorado magazine. An EMT who spent years responding to 911 calls, his writing about drugs has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Telluride Daily Planet, Chacruna, and the MAPS Bulletin. Read all his work at on Authory and follow him on Twitter @reillycapps.
Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who works with indigenous people all over the world with sustainable botanical trade. He is author of fifteen books including The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook and The Lotus and The Bud, and has appeared on over 500 TV programs globally. He speaks on psychedelics at conferences and is a yogi and body surfer (@medicinehunter). The New York Times called Chris "part David Attenborough, part Indiana Jones.
Sophie Saint Thomas is a New York City-based author and journalist covering sex, drugs, and glamour. She is the author of multiple books, including Finding Your Higher Self: Your Guide to Cannabis for Self-Care, and a columnist for Allure magazine.
Floris Wolswijk is the founder of Blossom. He studied Psychology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and the University of Calgary. Through his personal experiences with psychedelics and subsequent engagement with scientific literature, he fell in love with the psychedelics field. He is helping make psychedelics more widely available and hopes they can be widely used both as therapeutics and for self-development.
Bryan H. Lang is a serial entrepreneur, impact investor, and global healthcare and IT consultant. His career includes work with commercial, government, military, and not-for-profit organizations on five continents. His focus areas include medical and mental health performance improvement, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, organizational development, aviation, and harm reduction. His initial effort resulted in the first publicly-traded population health management company, and a subsequent company provided performance management and decision support for every hospital in NHS England. As a published author and educator in the harm reduction space, he is the lead consultant to MAPS on the development of innovative educational initiatives premiering in early 2022.
Steve Wruble, MD is a board certified child and adult psychiatrist in private practice in Manhattan and Ridgewood, NJ at the Venn Center where he is the Executive Medical Director. He specializes in trauma, and anxiety disorders. He attended medical school in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee and did his psychiatry residency at Northwestern University. He did his child psychiatry fellowship at the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he was the Chief Fellow. Steve is an accomplished singer-songwriter, storyteller and playwright. He won The Moth StorySLAM and his self-written Off-Broadway solo show, “Escape from Daddyland,” debuts in May 2022 at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
Mattha Busby is a freelance writer based in Mexico. His work has appeared in the Guardian, the Observer, Vice, GQ, and other publications.
Adele Meyer is a coach and facilitator based in London. She contributes through her work in social enterprise, conflict resolution, harm reduction, community care & creative resistance.
Zoe Cormier is an author, journalist, science writer, broadcaster and public speaker with an academic training in zoology coupled with an upbringing in the music industry. Her journalism has featured in Rolling Stone, The Times, Wired, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, BBC Future, and many other publications.
Joseph Gallivan has been a reporter since 1990. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune, where he is currently a Feature Writer. He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on Amazon.com. He was born in Birmingham, England, received his BA in English Literature from Oxford University, and emigrated to the USA in 1994.
Rachel Cassandra is a journalist, essayist, and audio storyteller. She went to UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and has published stories with The Atlantic, VICE, KQED, and Atmos. You can find more of her work on her website or keep up to date by following her on Substack. Lately in her spare time, she paints dressers, embroiders, and frolics with farm animals. She lives in Central Texas with her boa, Squeeze.
Mary-Elizabeth Gifford is chair of the Global Wellness Institute's Psychedelics & Healing Initiative. Her work is rooted at the intersection of botanical remedies, regenerative agriculture, public health and mental wellness. She is Executive Vice President of Psyence Group.
Dr Amza Ali MD, MSc, FRCP, MBA is an internationally recognized neurologist and epileptologist with a career-long commitment to advocacy on behalf of people with epilepsy, and research at the intersection of neurology and under-served populations with a focus on new therapies. He is the Chief Medical Officer and a co-founder of The Psyence Group.
Dr. Justin Grant holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and has expertise in drug development at Canada’s top research institutes and early-stage biotech companies. Dr. Grant completed his MBA to bridge the gap between science and business to advance innovative therapies. Justin is the Chief Scientific Officer and a co-founder of The Psyence Group.
Lauren Wilson is an author and freelance writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She has built a career following her cultural curiosities and spent the last five years moving the mainstream cannabis conversation forward through education. Lauren is the author of three science-forward books on cannabidiol (CBD), including two for The CBD Solution series done in partnership with Snoop Dogg’s media outlet MERRY JANE and Chronicle Books.
Charley Wininger, LP, LMHC, is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York. He is the author of "Listening to Ecstasy -- The Transformative Power of MDMA." He can be reached at Charley@CharleyWininger.com
Old enough to swear, and young enough to dance. Favorite piece of jewelry is a bicycle.
Noah Daly is a contributor to Lucid News based in Brooklyn, New York. His work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Marijuana Moment, and Up Magazine.
Marc Gunther writes frequently about psychedelics. You can read his reporting at Medium and follow him on Twitter at @MarcGunther.
In a Sea of Swirling, neverending notions, to pause and pen a pondering, can become a calling, and a purpose, Armed with the Power of Play, I have persisted. In hopes of spreading Joy, to call attention, to Ideas that can be captured, with Kind Attention. Concentrated efforts for consumption. May it serve you well, if found to please. For the words we have, will work wonders, IF we believe.
Monica Cadena is an Afro-Indigenous psychedelic writer, digital alchemist, plant ally and advocate, Creatrix of Psychedelics and Sensuality and the former co-founder of Wear Your Voice Magazine, an internationally recognized intersectional feminist digital publication. Monica’s passionate about highlighting stories from those at the intersections of healing and social justice activism and centering healing-based initiatives. Connect with Monica on Instagram at @sacred.alchemist.
Christina Sandwen, MSW (She/Her) is a Berkeley California/Ohlone Territory-based,Transformation and Psychedelic Integration Coach. She uses a grounded approach, based on over ten years in the mental health field, to support clients using psychedelics consciously to connect with their inner healing intelligence. She is also the co-founder of the East Bay Psychedelic Healing Collective, which hosts social and integration-based activities for the psychedelic community in the Bay Area.
Co- founder of Entheo Digital a digital therapeutics company using VR to treat mental health disorders and Co- Founder of Andromeda Entertainment a publishing company focused on bringing to market “games for good”. Developing and publishing the first ever digital psychedelic, Soundself, as well as the breakout hit, Audio Trip, one of the top selling and highest rated experiences in VR. He is now on the founding team of GeniusX with a goal to transform the education industry through social E-learning courses in the Metaverse.
Matt Zorn is an intellectual property, commercial, and regulatory litigator that for the past 3 years has been at the bleeding edge of drug policy litigation against the government. He is a partner at Yetter Coleman LLP and represents an array of clients in different industries. Matt also writes essays on drug regulation on the On Drugs newsletter at ondrugs.substack.com
Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries, and has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. She is one of the founders of the Women’s Visionary Council, a nonprofit organization that supports investigations into non-ordinary forms of consciousness and organizes gatherings of researchers, healers, artists, and activists whose work explores these states. She is Professor Emerita in the School of Science, Allied Health, and Nursing at holy Names University and a visiting scholar at the Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. For the last 50 years, she has been a part of the Hog Farm, a well-known communal family based in Berkeley and in Laytonville, California.
Bob Jesse has long been a quiet, guiding force behind the contemporary psychedelic renaissance. He was instrumental in forming the psilocybin research team at Johns Hopkins, helped to set its course, co-authored its influential 2006 paper among others, and continues as part of that team. He has led the drafting of foundational documents: a Code of Ethics for Spiritual Guides (1995), an amicus brief (2005) for the U.S. Supreme Court in a successful religious liberty case, and a statement on Open Science (2017) now signed by numerous leaders in the field. He has served on boards and advises various individuals and groups in the space, including the new Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. Earlier in life, Bob trained at Hopkins in electrical engineering and computer science, consulted for AT&T Bell Labs, and worked at Oracle as a VP of business development.
Free Frame is an art connoisseur and a researcher of the art of alchemy in the former Kingdom of Bohemia.
Steve Wagner was co-host, writer, and executive producer of the Bay Area television programs Reel Life and Film Trip, reviewing over 1,000 films and interviewing over 300 actors, directors, writers, and musicians. As a director of the San Francisco Art Exchange gallery, he brokered sales of many of the world’s most famous album cover original artworks, including Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. He has ghostwritten several published books, contributed articles on music, film, and popular culture to numerous publications, and is the author of the book All You Need is Myth: The Beatles and the Gods of Rock (Waterside, 2019), a study of the 1960s music renaissance through the lens of classical mythology.
Dennis Walker is a satirist and multimedia producer with a long and robust relationship to psychedelics. He is the host of the Mycopreneur Podcast, a platform that spotlights and supports fungi entrepreneurs from around the world.
Josh Hardman is Founder and Editor of Psychedelic Alpha, where he spends most of his time exploring the curious intersection of psychedelics and business. There, he shares weekly updates on the space and works with a group of subject-matter experts to maintain a number of free resources and datasets to help individuals and organizations make sense of this burgeoning field.
Thomas Hatsis is a public speaker and author in the field of psychedelic history with four books to his credit: The Witches' Ointment (2015), Psychedelic Mystery Traditions (2018), Microdosing Magic (2018), and LSD The Wonder Child (2021). He has articles published in both PsyPress UK and the Journal of Psychedelic Studies and has appeared on the GaiamTV shows "Beyond Belief with George Noory," "Psychedelica" and "Open Minds with Regina Meredith," and in the cannabis documentary "Kaneh Movie" (2019). With co-founder Eden Woodruff, he runs the Psanctum Psychedelic Education Center and curates the Psanctum Psychedelic Library. They also run the weekly Psanctum Open Mic, and host the Psanctum Psychedelic Speaker Series and The Gaian Mind Psychedelic Conference. As recently as Nov. 2022, Psanctum was entrusted with the task of digitizing and preserving materials from the last thirty three boxes of the Timothy Leary archive still in private collection.
Noah Smith is an Analyst at Psychedelic Alpha, where he helps keep tabs on the rapidly evolving field of psychedelics. He holds a bachelor’s in Justice, Political Philosophy, and Law, and a graduate degree in Global Health from McMaster University.
Kurt Rasmussen, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientific Officer at Delix Therapeutics, a neuroscience company developing novel disease-modifying therapeutics for psychiatric and neurological conditions. Dr. Rasmussen joined Delix from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he led NIDA's (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Division of Therapeutics & Medical Consequences since 2018. In this role, he directed the Medications Development Program, and played an integral role in evaluating the safety and efficacy of pharmacotherapies, behavioral therapies, and devices to treat substance use disorders. Prior to the NIH, Dr. Rasmussen served as a Senior Research Scientist and Head in Neuroscience Research at Eli Lilly & Co. With over 25 years at Lilly, Dr. Rasmussen led multiple R&D teams and projects, resulting in multiple neuropsychiatric therapeutics. His laboratory work contributed to understanding the neural mechanisms underlying the clinical efficacy of Prozac, Zyprexa, Strattera, and Symbyax. A Fellow in the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Dr. Rasmussen has amassed over 100 publications and patents. He has also contributed to understanding the mechanism of action of hallucinogens through years of research, including one of the first publications to attribute the effects of psychedelics to agonist activity at the 5HT2a receptor.
Todd Korthuis is a general internist, addiction medicine specialist, and clinician scientist. He began his clinical career treating patients living with HIV and has practiced addiction medicine since 2004. He serves as Head of the Section of Addiction Medicine at OHSU. His research focuses on integration of addiction treatment and prevention in diverse settings. Honors include the 2008 Lawrence S. Linn Award for research that improves the lives of people living with HIV, and two Fulbright Scholar awards to Vietnam (2012) and Spain (2022). In 2021, he was appointed to the Oregon Governor’s Psilocybin Advisory Board where he co-chairs the Advisory Board’s Research Subcommittee.
Kevin Franciotti is a Denver based writer and licensed addiction counselor trained in psychedelic-assisted therapy.
A journalist with more than 25 years of experience in print, online and radio media, including El País, Diario Público, 20 Minutos, Huffington Post, and magazines such as GQ, Cadena Ser, Revista Cáñamo or Condè Nast Traveler. Since 2020 he has also been involved in psychedelic activism, collaborating with ICEERS, Cannopia and the Plataforma de Defensa de la Ayahuasca.
Shayla Love is a journalist based in Brooklyn. She writes about science, health, and the intersection of history, culture, and philosophy with present day research. She has a master's degree in science journalism from Columbia University, and her work has appeared in Vice, The New York Times, Scientific American, Wired, The Washington Post, Stat, The Atlantic, Mosaic, and more.
Jules Evans is the director of the Challenging Psychedelic Experiences Project, and the author of four books including Philosophy for Life and The Art of Losing Control. He is an honorary research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London.
Andrew Meissen is a New York City-based freelance science writer. Before becoming a journalist, he worked in neuroscience labs studying creativity and consciousness at Northwestern University and New York University. His work has appeared in publications such as BrainFacts.org, Photonics Focus, and Drug Discovery News.
Amanda Siebert is a freelance journalist and author interested in the relationship between health, wellness, and drugs. She is the author of The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life (2018), Psyched: 7 Cutting-Edge Psychedelics Changing the World (2022), and the host of the podcast, Ibogaine Uncovered.
Regina Moore, PharmD, is a consultant, advocate, educator, artist, and community-building expert. Dr. Moore is the co-founder of WomensPersonalFinance.org and The Psychedelic Pharmacists Association, and the founder of PharmacistsConnect.com and ThatFrugalPharmacist.com. She has retired from full-time pharmacy practice but helps “put out fires” on a per diem basis. Dr. Moore is passionate about helping people live their best lives — be it through helping them define and meet their financial goals or advocating for access to safe psychedelics to help build better, more meaningful lives. When she's not talking about drugs or money, she's probably mushroom hunting with her cancer survivor son.
Michelle Boise is an award-winning writer whose work spans celebrity profiles, corporate corruption, environment and social justice coverage. As a journalist and managing editor for the past decade, she’s published over a thousand articles that have garnered more than a million page views for non-profit organizations and tech companies in the Bay Area. In 2019, she was awarded a Webby for Best Writing, Editorial (the People’s Voice Award) for her multimedia, investigative journalism: “Previously Healthy.” She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco.
Martha Allitt is a freelance writer, facilitator and educator operating in the psychedelics space. With a background in neuroscience, her written media focuses on clinical advancements within psychedelics, including the political and ethical implications of the rapidly evolving psychedelic research field. Martha is a co-owner of the UK Psychedelic Society, for which she hosts and curates events about psychedelic culture, harm-reduction, and therapeutic practice. Trained as a yoga teacher, she also facilitates embodiment workshops within her home city of Bristol. Martha volunteers with the charity PsyCare UK, offering drug-related welfare and harm reduction at music festivals. She also enjoys writing and playing music.
Firstman is a longtime advocate for the sustainable development of the cultural industry through the preservation, protection and promotion of cultural events; community development projects; traditional knowledge, and indigenous expression. He is one of the original founders of Rastafari Indigenous Village (RIV); a father, drummer, chanter, singer, songwriter, and orater. Firstman has had a long career as a community organizer and cannabis freedom activist; serving as a charter member of the Jamaican Ganja Task Force; as the Chair of the first Ganja Advisory Committee to the Government of Jamaica; and as a Co Founder of the Rastafari and Grass Roots Growers Association (RAGGA). Firstman has been certified by the United Nations as an expert in the 2003 Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention and the 2005 Cultural Diversity Convention; and by the State of Oregon as a Trainer for indigenous practices surrounding visionary plants (pending). In 2016, Firstman and the Rastafari Indigenous Village were introduced to ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms and other sacred plants by MesoAmerican and South American medicine people. Immediately thereafter, RIV became the first traditional Rastafari community to incorporate these sacred plants into their own spiritual practice, expressing traditional beliefs with new insights; and creating a new, unique and very powerful Rastadelic ™ expression of psychedelic culture and spirituality. For the first five years, this practice was at shared exclusively within the Rastafari community. In 2021, the RIV team began offering this new ceremonial experience to guests visiting Jamaica.