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Interviewing Michael Pollan, June 2018

What’s a psychedelic community builder?

I’m an event/media producer and connector in psychedelic science, drug policy reform, harm reduction, and blockchain.

I’m the Founder of Psychedelic Seminars, a live and online event series featuring leaders in the psychedelic scene. PsychSems explores the renaissance in research, connects to broader drug policy, and digs into difficult questions.

I started the project in 2015 after returning to my home city of Baltimore to build community for open and honest conversations about psychedelics — because that was what I needed. PsychSems now operates globally.

As the scale of my work grew, I transitioned my role in the local community and mentored the original group to lead itself as the Baltimore Psychedelic Society. I have provided guidance to leaders of several other Psychedelic Societies and helped start the Global Psychedelic Network to connect them.

I’m Co-Founder of CryptoPsychedelic, an event series bringing together leaders in blockchain and psychedelic science,  and former Co-Director of Psymposia, a platform for rethinking drugs through live events and online media. I co-founded Psymposia Magazine, a free online resource for investigative journalism, personal stories, and deep conversation series.

I’ve produced and participated in conferences, festivals, and events including Psychedelic Science (Oakland), Burning Man, Beyond Psychedelics (Prague), Breaking Convention (London), Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics (New York), the initial CryptoPsychedelic Summit (Tulum, Mexico), and a cross-continent Psychedelic Stories tour.

My work actively bridges people and organizations including MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the Drug Policy Alliance, DanceSafe, and Psychedelic Societies around the world.

20141120 - Before and After

In a former life…

I used to be a good model citizen. I received a BS from the University of Maryland in chemical engineering, summa cum laude. I then worked as a chemical engineer at ExxonMobil for 5 years.

After an ayahuasca experience in Peru, I dropped out of corporate America and spent the next 15 months backpacking and living in India and Southeast Asia while hosting Walking the Earth Podcast.

I guess I never really stopped backpacking. I’m still a digital nomad, with bases in Oakland, CA, and Baltimore, MD.

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