5 Celebrities Surprisingly Into Psychedelics
Celebrities, they’re just like you and me: They live in mansions, they have tons of money, and they like to get high! Well, one out of three ain’t bad. Let’s take a trippy trip together through some of the famous folks who have recently been getting psychedelicized.
Lil Nas X Took Shrooms To Write Montero
Seems like mushrooms and psychedelics are in the news everywhere. Cities and states are decriminalizing. New companies are forming. Gray-area dispensaries are opening. Shrooms are where weed was twenty years ago. Which means in a couple of decades, we should be seeing all sorts of lawsuits as investors complain about being misled and customers complain about poor labelling and lack of quality control in the newly legal industry.
However, one thing we should be able to look forward to during this psychedelic renaissance is some fantastic music, because as the late great Bill Hicks told us, the best music comes from people high on drugs. One recent example is Lil Nas X, who took magic mushrooms for the first time as he was working on his debut album Montero. “I was able to open up a lot,” Nas told the Wall Street Journal. “I was able to write actual stories about my life and put it into my music. I actually did that for the first time.”
Nas took his inner journey in an Airbnb with his producers on hand. The experience seems to have been beneficial, as the album was a huge success.
Being high can help talented people make more interesting music, but it works the other way too: music is often best appreciated by high people. Studies have shown that listeners find more emotional resonance and meaning in music when under the influence of psilocybin … and cannabis too. Heck, it all comes full circle as it turns out cannabis plants apparently increase in quality and potency when they get to listen to music while growing.
Meanwhile a psychedelic researcher at Johns Hopkins University has created the optimal soundtrack for a mushroom trip. It starts with a Vivaldi Concerto, includes a lot of classical music along with some Enya, Beatles, and Gipsy Kings, and ends with the soul-healing “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. If you haven’t yet joined the Spotify boycott you can check out the psychedelic playlist here. No word yet on whether there’s plans to update it to include "Call Me By Your Name."
Chris Rock Hosts Ayahuasca Ceremonies In His House
In a late 2020 interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock described hanging out with comics like Michelle Wolf, David Letterman, and Kevin Hart at the outdoor socially distanced comedy shows Dave Chappelle was putting on in his hometown during the early pandemic.
“We do lots of drugs,” said Rock. “Not the hard stuff. It’s a lot of weed. There’s way more weed than anyone should ever have. And there’s a lot of mushrooms. And then at some point Dave’s got a weed-mushroom chef who prepares amazing meals with weed and mushrooms.”
“Everyone that goes there drinks the mushroom tea?” asked Degeneres.
“Yeah, man!” replied Rock. “We’re in a cornfield in a pandemic. What do you got to lose?”
Rock also explained how he thought shrooms were behind Tiffany Haddish’s decision in 2020 to go with a new no-hair look. “Haddish drank the mushroom tea and cut her hair the next day. I know she likes to act like ‘ooh Common told me he loves me with no hair.’ No, no, it was the mushroom tea talking.”
Rock isn’t limiting himself to shrooms and weed though, he’s delving further into the psychedeliosphere by hosting ayahuasca ceremonies in his home. One guest at such a ceremony was Neil Brennan, who co-created Chappelle's Show and has his own comedy special on Netflix. Brennan described ayahuasca as “the druggiest drug I have ever drugged.”
Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew consumed in South America, made by combining a certain vine and a shrub leaf in a bitter drink. The vine is high in a psychedelic chemical called DMT, which is normally metabolized by the body very quickly and so has minimal effect when consumed orally. The leaf however contains a chemical called a “monoamine oxidase inhibitor” which stops the rapid metabolization of the DMT, so when the leaf and vine are taken together there is a profound psychedelic effect which lasts a few hours. People taking ayahuasca often report encountering spiritual beings or a cosmic force of some kind.
After his second trip, Brennan explained on his podcast how ayahuasca changed his life and made him believe in a higher power.
“Ayahuasca is a god power. It is the end of the Raiders of the Lost Ark when the angels are flying around—before the face melting —it is that. It is absolute proof to me that there is a God-type energy. I am no longer an atheist. I believe in an overwhelming spirit force.”
Will Smith And His Whole Family Get Jiggy Wit It
Ayahuasca use is spreading through Hollywood faster than chlamydia spread through Woodstock. One new devotee is Will Smith, who has high praise for the potent brew. “This was my first tiny taste of freedom,” said Smith, describing the first time he consumed ayahuasca. “In my fifty-plus years on this planet, this is the unparalleled greatest feeling I’ve ever had. I totally opened myself up to what, I think, was a fresh sampling of the fruits of the human experience.”
Like Brennan, Smith described encountering a higher power, which he called Mother Ayahuasca. “She is everything: lover, teacher, mother, protector, guide. She is all I’ve ever dreamed of, and everything I’ve ever wanted. I can tell she knows everything I need to know and how to get everywhere I want to go. She is my goal, my solution, my answer. She is the top of the mountain, and the sky beyond.”
Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith and their son Jaden have also joined the ranks of the day trippers. Jada has said that psilocybe mushrooms effectively treated her longstanding issues with depression. “What it does, unlike therapy and going on Prozac, and I’ve done that too … the thing about the plant medicine—not only does it help you feel better, but it helps you solve the problems of how you got there in the first place … It’s very healing and it’s changed my life.”
Jaden has also described how his psilocybin experiences helped him understand himself better and deal with issues around ego, emotions and self-expression. “Psychedelics are a way of tearing down that wall and seeing what is beyond it. Doing it guided, with people that are professionals, I feel like that really increases the chances of having that mystical experience.”
Will, Jada, and Jaden all credit their psychedelic experiences with helping them grow as people and improve their relationships. No joke, the world would be a better place if more families took magic mushrooms together.
A Bunch Of Hockey Greats Praise Shrooms Too
It might not be shocking to learn that musicians, comedians, and actors are into having mind-blowing psychedelic experiences, but what about athletes? Don’t the jocks need to abstain from all that trippy-dippy stuff so they can focus on achieving peak performance?
Well, let’s start with hockey legend Mark Messier. He’s a six-time Stanley Cup winner, 15-time all-star, and the only person ever to captain two different teams to Stanley Cup championships—there’s a reason he was sometimes referred to as “Mark Messiah.” In his recently published memoir, Messier credits the insights he gained from a teenage mushroom trip for setting him on the path to athletic stardom.
Former NHL enforcer Daniel Carcillo, once nicknamed Car-Bomb for his explosive nature on the ice, is now also praising the healing benefits of psychedelic shrooms. Carcillo was suffering from intense anxiety, depression, and head trauma after a career that included over 100 on-ice fights, three of which are listed among the 50 Nastiest Fights in Hockey History. Carcillo says mushroom therapy saved him, and his family.
“I’m doing phenomenally well,” says Carcillo. “I’m living my best life right now.” And he says that, unlike antidepressants which must be taken every day, the psychedelic experience has very long-term benefits. “It’s not like big pharma saying, ‘Hey, I’m making a pill for you to be on for the rest of your life.’ No. We’re going to create a regimen you can be on for the next two years and be off for the rest of your life.”
And while we’re talking about hockey players using plant medicine to deal with the psychic aftermath of a brutal career, let’s not forget Darren McCarty, a four-time Stanley Cup winner with the Detroit Red Wings, who like Carcillo was known as a hard-core enforcer. McCarty has praised cannabis for helping him recover from alcoholism, saying, “I'd be dead without it. Now I'm properly medicated.” He’s even promoting his own brand of vape pen.
Famed Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry—the flamboyant former head coach who got early retirement from the CBC in 2019 for expressing the same kind of controversial opinions he’s had his whole career—would disagree with all these ice-bound athletes praising the benefits of a higher consciousness.
"You start with marijuana, then you go to cocaine, then you go to heroin,” said Cherry, who has been paid in the past to have his face plastered on beer cans and kegs. Cherry didn’t just ban his players from smoking the devil’s herb, he told them, “If you get caught with anybody smoking marijuana, I’ll cut your heart out.”
Mike Tyson Says Smoking Toad Venom Showed Him Everything Is Love
If hockey enforcers can find peace with the help of psychedelics, maybe anyone can. What about a guy who got paid millions to punch his opponents into submission? Would Don Cherry have the cojones to tell off Mike Tyson if he saw the brutal boxer munching a mushroom? “I can’t even tell you what mental issues I used to have,” said Tyson. “I was in the sick house. Everybody thought I was crazy. I bit this guy’s ear off. I did all this stuff. And then once I got introduced to the shrooms and the toad and all that … my whole life changed. It’s like a dream.”
“The toad” that Tyson’s talking about is Bufo alvarius, known as the Sonoran Desert Toad. The Sonoran Desert stretches from southeastern California across half of Arizona and into Mexico. The toad excretes a venom which is high in a form of DMT, the same chemical in ayahuasca. Unlike ayahuasca, the toad venom is usually smoked, not made into a drink.
Even though it’s great that Iron Mike has found peace and inspiration, I’m not sure if the toad would agree that it’s whole purpose is simply to excrete hallucinogens for humans to enjoy. Indeed, these toads are already suffering from human expansion into their habitats and the effects of climate change, and now they’ve got wannabe shamans trying to grab them too.
Harvesting the toad milk is like the best, or worst, episode of Dr Pimple Popper ever, depending on how you feel about squeezing pus out of living things. You basically hold the toad in one hand and gently squeeze each of the disgusting glands on its back one at a time, squirting the juice onto a plate for collection. Once it’s dried and prepared you’ll end up with about 15-20 doses per toad, and you can milk the same toad again around six weeks later. However, it’s probably a better idea not to go toad-hunting and instead use synthetic DMT—it’s cleaner, and the toads actually prefer to be left alone.
Tyson has become a major promoter of mushrooms, stuffing huge handfuls of dried shrooms into his mouth while blazing on a joint on YouTube, telling people he trains while under the effects of the psychedelic fungi, and praising their benefits incessantly while also smoking weed on his “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson” podcast. He’s come a long way from the young boxer who told his fans to “just say no to drugs” on behalf of Nancy Reagan and the DEA back in the 80s.
Dana Larsen runs a medicinal mushroom dispensary and writes books about weed like Hairy Pothead and the Marijuana Stone. You can get a contact high just by following him on Twitter. See what else he’s up to at danalarsen.com.
Top image: Columbia