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#035 Carlos Plazola: grow, gather, gift

Psychedelic Diaries episode summary:

We talk with Carlos Plazola — Chairman of Decriminalize Nature — about the challenge of inner work, access for indigenous & underserved, and entering the infinite.




00:37 — NUGGET AND A NOODLE: Psychedelic biotechs dying off; Hazel Park, Michigan, decriminalizes psychedelics; using these medicines to improve well-being and satisfaction

2:59 — Why is it so hard for people to embrace introspection?

10:59 — Magic mushrooms are relatively easy to grow. How does that influence the efforts for decriminalization?

13:19 — Who is Decriminalize Nature's target audience?

16:52 — How does Carlos imagine a world 5-10 years into fullscale legalization of psychedelics?

19:48 — Ray and Carlos share mystical experiences

26:17 — SOUL SEARCH: You've got to live the life of any historical figure...

Carlos Plazola

Carlos is the child of an indigenous farmer from rural Jalisco and a powerful and loving Mexican woman who raised three children as a single parent. He grew up surrounded by struggle, but also by a loving Chicano/Mexican community that taught him how to stand upright in the face of adversity.

At seven, the death of a family member introduced him to the paradox of zero and the infinite. He spent the next 40 years trying to reconcile this contradiction where the universe is infinite, but death looms large over our personal narratives. Several mushroom and ayahuasca journeys in 2018 and 2019 enabled him to reconcile this seeming contradiction, overcome childhood trauma, and discover his healing path.

From 1989 to 1993, Carlos studied biology and anthropology at UCLA to understand the mechanisms of life. In 1993, He lived with the Achuar of Ecuador to connect with the sacred. From 1993 to 1995, he studied Environmental Science at Yale to understand the human impact on Earth’s ecosystems.

Upon graduating from Yale with a Master’s in Environmental Science, he came to a fork in the road: pursue a prestigious resume or hit the streets and become an organizer. He chose the latter. To learn the tools of creating social change, he worked as a community organizer in the 1990s. To learn the tools of legislating and political organizing, he worked as a congressional aide, chief of staff to a councilmember, and ran political campaigns throughout the 2000s.

Today Carlos builds housing in Oakland, which keeps him grounded, while volunteering as Chair of the Board of the Decriminalize Nature, an organization he co-founded.

Carlos has been married for 26 years and has three loving children who are constantly teaching him.

Find Carlos here:


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