Madison Margolin is the co-founder and managing editor of DoubleBlind, a biannual print magazine and digital media company at the forefront of the rapidly growing psychedelic movement.
Also a Los Angeles/New York-based journalist, Margolin covers psychedelics, cannabis, drug policy, and spirituality. She’s written for Playboy Magazine, Rolling Stone, Nylon, VICE, LA Weekly, High Times, Tablet, and others.
A graduate of Columbia Journalism School and UC Berkeley, Margolin has traveled everywhere from pot farms in the Emerald Triangle to the shores of the Ganges River, and all over Israel-Palestine, exploring the role of plant medicine in religion, mental health, and conflict resolution.
She got her start in journalism with a column on cannabis at the Village Voice, after having lived in south Tel Aviv working with Eritrean refugees.
With more than 4 years of experience covering cannabis and other drugs, Madison has spoken on topics like social equity, cannabis feminism, cannabis journalism, and so forth at conferences like Digital Hollywood, the Association of Alternative New Media, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, The Rind's Women in Cannabis, Pepperdine's Cannabis Law Symposium, and more.
For more Clips of Madison - checkout our YouTube Channel Here
1:50 - What is DoubleBlind?
4:35 - Surprising parts of starting a psychedelic media business
7:06 - Giving back to indigenous communities and conscious capitalism
9:37 - Psychedelics, the Drug War and the Decrim Movement
17:46 - The role of DoubleBlind in the movement
19:53 - Not wanting psychedelics to become mainstream
22:28 - Dr. Bronner's as an example of conscious capitalism
23:59 - Growing up in the weed scene and having parents who are Jewish Psychedelic Hippies
26:56 - How Madison decided to become a psychedelic journalist
30:49 - Living in Tel Aviv, and the psychedelic culture in Israel / Palestine
33:43 - What's next for DoubleBlind
Madison, hello and welcome. Thanks so much for joining us.
Thank you for having me.
Let's start with DoubleBlind, tell us what it is and how you got started.
DoubleBlind is a digital media company and biannual print magazine. we cover psychedelics and all they interact with. So social equity, environmental justice, spirituality, mental health, queer culture, all of it basically.
My co-founder and I went to journalism school together. I had already been writing for years about cannabis and psychedelics. I also come from that background, culturally, my my parents are psychedelic Jewish hippies and so my co-founder was meditating and this idea for a psychedelic magazine popped into her head. And the first thing she did was call me and say, Hey do you want to do this together? And I said yeah. And at the time we thought we were just maybe doing like a one-off project, just making a Zine or something, not necessarily building this entire startup. And here we are Uh we're coming up with our fourth issue. We have online courses, we have digital content, we're on podcasts so it's really snowballed.
I have the, I believe it's your third print issue. You're a digital media business and you are still making physical print issues in the magazine. What influenced that decision? Why did you decide to do that?
Yeah, I am a journalist at my heart. I really love to write features. Shelby also, we both met in journalism school and so that's really the heart of what we're doing. Nowadays, of course, our our business model is not based on selling print magazines. However, that is like the heart and soul of the company. It's about mindfulness, right? If you want to sit down and read a physical print publication and put your phone away for an evening, that's such a valuable experience that I think gets lost in the shuffle of digital media nowadays and having a million tabs open on your computer scrolling on your phone.
And so really giving the people the opportunity to check in and zoom in on one thing without the sort of distracted static of being online quote unquote, I think is a really valuable experience. And the last thing I want to say is that it really enabled as to reframe what psychedelic culture and the image of psychedelics are, in blending investigative journalism like quality feature articles with high end design and art and being able to showcase all these creatives from all different parts of the literary field and the design field and so forth and bringing that together and a psychedelic publication.
I definitely want to go back to your Parents being psychedelic Jewish hippies, but maybe before that, you mentioned you'd been writing for a while I think you and your partner Shelby prior to starting DoubleBlind, and you've written for sort of every publication - Vice and Rolling Stone and Playboy and High Times. It's obviously very different starting a company versus just writing and submitting to other publications. What's been the most surprising part of that process, now, looking back?
It really has gotten me to read people a lot differently and a lot better I think it's a cool idea, right, A psychedelic magazine. Yeah, everyone wants to be involved somehow and we're a pretty small team but we've been lucky enough to come through DoubleBlind come into contact with so many interesting people. But at the same time, it really teaches you about really interrogating what people's values are.
What does it mean to be a psychedelic person? What does it mean to have psychedelic values? What does it mean to put social equity and questions of social justice or whatever at the forefront of what you're doing? And then seeing how that trickles into like a business concept, and so really getting straight with ourselves and then getting straight up with the people we're interfacing with about where they where we all stand and what our values are, I think that's not something I necessarily was as keen about before.
And how are you treating that as a business? I think I heard you mentioned somewhere that you're a B Corp, Is that right?
No we're so we're not a B Corp right now. That was a good conversation actually when we just first Founded, and we didn't found as a B Corp over technicalities and so that's part of our intention, is to become a B Corp. We also have our readers or anyone who buys anything on our site, whether it's like a course or the magazine or whatever can also donate into the sacred reciprocity fund which goes back to gives a charity... that's the term I'm thinking of the term in Hebrew Sadaka it's like share charity money, like back into communities in the Amazon.
So, yeah, basically and we have now a writers fund for for writers of color. So also allocating some of our monthly budget to promoting writers who are coming from different types of backgrounds. So that's like a little bit of how we are trying to implement and carry out these values. And of course making sure that our content itself is upholding the values and highlighting the voices that we want to promote on the site.
With all the new companies that are appearing in the space, you want to make sure that as many people as possible are doing what DoubleBlind is doing and giving back to indigenous communities and making sure to elevate voices that might not otherwise be heard. Practically speaking, how would you guide maybe another entrepreneur that may be starting a company in this space as to how to sort of navigate that and how to best allocate their time and money while they're building a business?
Yeah I would first ask yourself, like, who is being helped by the company that you're building? If the majority of the people who are benefiting from it are white, upper middle class consumers of the product or patients of the medicine or whatever it is, that's greatm but that's not for everybody.
And so if your business model is such that the only people who can access it are already coming from a certain level of privilege, then ask yourself okay like how can I reach more people? And whether that's through, again, like a fund and just giving back or setting up scholarships, so that other types of people are able to engage with what you're offering, or making sure your staff has a cultural competence and awareness of issues. These are all things to consider, right, So I'm not, it's not that business I guess in some perspectives you can say the whole business world needs to be Overhauled in thatm do psychedelics and capitalism even go together?
A lot of people nowadays seem to think they do, and that's up for debate, but if we're going to function in a paradigm where people are making money off of the psychedelic industry, then the question is okay, how can this industry be as conscious as possible? We had an article in our last issue about is conscious capitalism even possible? Or, is that a real thing if the scope of people you're able to help through your business is limited, ask yourself why that is and how that can be rectified, and then ask yourself what are the values that you come to under the influence of a psychedelic that can be applied to the way your business is functioning?
And so we talk a lot about at Doubleblind about what is the psychedelic ethos, and one of the main things is this element of like oneness and like feeling connected to community and people And The earth around you. And so the question is then like how are we or how are you if whatever business you're in promoting that ideal?
There was a another article in the in the same issue about psychedelics in the context of the drug war and a lot of the sort of local movements that are happening now to decriminalize psychedelics in Denver and Oakland and Portland. How there's actually a little bit of conflict there with the broader movement of decriminalizing all drugs and it was great I just read it today and it was made a really interesting.
It was very eye opening for me to think about how decriminalization is one thing, and in Portland for example, there's a proposition to allow for legalization of psilocybin in medical settings. And on the surface that sounds like a great thing to people in the community. But what happens is exactly what you were just mentioning where more or less it becomes accessible to more privileged people right, people with more money perhaps, more white people than people of color.
How do you think about that and what is the path forward? And is the sort of decriminalization movement that's happening right now a necessary first step even if it isn't a complete solution?
Yeah, I think look, so Oregon, And it was a really interesting example of what's happening. We have the election and a week there are two bills on the table One is like you said to legalize psilocybin in therapeutic contexts, And the other is to decriminalize personal possession amounts of every single drug.
What's controversial about the psilocybin initiative is that at one point the initiative was to legalize. It had a component where it would decriminalize psilocybin and that was removed partially to compliment this all drug decrim bill, and so a lot of activists in this space are a little bit upset about the idea that it's only for legal and therapeutic contexts right, because then the question is who has access to psilocybin therapy who wants to be doing psilocybin in that kind of therapeutic way?
Why is one form of taking psilocybin quote more legitimate and worthy of being legal than another form? Is it more legit to do psilocybin with a therapist or is it more legit to go camping and just doing it with your friends? Even and that in and of itself might be therapeutic. And so then we have to ask ourselves what is therapy and what is medicine?
And I think especially with seeing with the cannabis movement where you have adult use marijuana it's legal recreationally and then you have medical marijuana. You would think that there's this dichotomy between recreation and medicine. And that's not how it is, you can go camping and have a totally therapeutic reset without a therapist present and you could also do therapy and actually end up having a fun time. It's hard work but it could also be transcendent and silly and all of those things.
And yeah, and I do agree. Iff Natalie Ginsberg who I interviewed for the story, she works at MAPS as the policy and advocacy director said it really well. If psychedelics are about healing then we really do need to be conscientious of not harming other communities of drug users in the process of uplifting psychedelics.
And so part of it is that the concept of psychedelic exceptionalism is saying, "Oh psychedelics and cannabis are good drugs and heroin is a bad drug". First of all, that stigmatizes people who use heroin. Second of all it makes it harder for those people to maybe come out of the closet or to talk openly about their heroin use and for society at large to be having real honest conversations about what we can be doing for hard drug users.
For instance, in Canada they have safe injection facilities where you can go and shoot heroin and under the supervision of trained professionals to look out for overdoses and stuff like that. I think if we had an a more open conversation here and treated any type of drug use as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice matter, we'd be able to really tackle not just the drug war but really the opioid epidemic and issues of mental health and addiction and so forth from a much more honest place, and that all that being said is the reason someone chooses to do heroin or meth or whatever the drug is may not be so different from the reasons another person is choosing to do LSD. We're all trying to just get to a place of feeling good, of transcending mundane sobriety and getting to an altered state. And I don't think it's anyone's right to judge the medicine that someone's doing that with.
Yeah, that was perhaps the most eye-catching part for me, is the way you described how some people use heroin and cocaine. And I'd never thought about that way. And I think there was a really interesting quote there where I believe you said or someone that you quoted said "the only difference between a drug and a poison is the dosage", which I thought was really powerful. So, there are examples globally of people that have ,or countries rather, that have Fully legalized or decriminalized drug use. I think Portugal is an example that you mentioned in the article. I don't know much about that can you speak to that a little bit?
Portugal is an example, when you eliminate the criminal justice part of things at least for the everyday consumer, I'm not talking about drug dealers and large-scale providers, But when for the individual you're really opening up the opportunity to reframe what is a drug, What is a medicine? Why are we doing this? How can we do it safely?
All that said, I also think there's a lot to, when you ask about the decrim movement throughout the United States right now happening, with regard to psychedelics or all sorts of plant medicines, the model that's being promoted is "grow gather gift".
And so purposefully excludes a retail model. That's fine, however, there are there do need to be providers of the medicine. What protections are afforded to those people? I don't think drug dealers should be stigmatized. Do I think there should be an obtuse regulated system whereby people are have they're selling psilocybin or whatever the drug may be?
Like, no, because we've seen this with cannabis, where legal marijuana is so heavily regulated to the point where actually it's been a boon to the black market, that's not regulated because it's so difficult for companies and small business people to comply with the rule regulations in a way that they can afford. You have to rezone your property, hire attorneys, get a new water system. Like all these things that people can't afford. And so what we're seeing now in the cannabis space is people just saying "fuck it", And then going back to the black market.
So we don't want to repeat that with psilocybin or psychedelics and we don't want to see an industry where people are only able to compete in the legal market if they're heavily capitalized because that just opens the door to like these big kind of corporations and leaves out the small mom and pop mushroom grower or whatever.
So I think there needs to be a kind of happy medium that doesn't favor or lean toward a certain type of business model. All this said, I do think there need to be protections for people who are growing for more than just personal use.
And how hopeful are you about that scenario playing out and in what timeframe do you think?
I think within five to 10 years I hope that's realistic probably on state levels or maybe like individual jurisdiction levels. We're going to see some sort of system in place. It would be amazing if it were on a federal level, but I don't, again I don't know to what extent we want the federal government really getting involved in having regulation. I think decriminalization is the way to go because it it's not that I don't want to see things regulated. I think they do need to be regulated to an extent so people can be aware of quality of the medicine and dosage and being able to take it safely and buying it from a trusted source, so I think we are going to see some level of retail, but I don't know what it's going to look like yet. I am researching that first story as we speak.
Oh interesting. What I guess, as a part of this whole movement and maybe this is how you see the mission of DoubleBlind, what role do you see yourselves playing in these types of slow moving but hopefully transformative changes from a legal perspective?
The illusion of objectivity is one that I deal with a lot in journalism. When you're a beat reporter and meaning, when you're covering a very specific topic day in and day out, obviously you're going to form opinions about the topic right? I am not objective about psychedelics. That said, I want my journalism to be as fair, honest to the row, unbiased, objective as possible, interviewing all sides of the equation. Interviewing people I agree with, people I don't agree with, putting aside my own beliefs for the sake of what the story is.
And I think that's the beauty of being a good journalist, is being able to separate yourself from the story. Also you could go Hunter Thompson style and be totally Gonzo and insert yourself straight into the story And I've done that, too. But it really depends on the story. So anyways, that being said, even if you're, even if you're fully reported, however you're reporting the story, whether it's first person or third person or whatnot, I think the important thing is what questions are you asking of your sources.
And I think the questions that you ask and the direct the shape of the angle of the story is really what's going to propel the movement forward, and so that and you can have totally honest unbiased journalism where you have a quote that you ask a person, "what's your business model?", "Is your medicine covered by insurance?", "Do you have scholarships for people who can't afford it?'
Not every journalist is going to think to ask questions about scholarships or accessibility or how companies are or serving different populations. And so I think that's really where the value system comes in. And so the role of Doubleblind is not just to like shed light on the movement itself and popularize it in like the mainstream. So not turning psychedelics mainstream, but just making the mainstream more aware that the psychedelic movement is full throttle happening, but then making sure that it's happening in a direction that is equitable.
So even the fact that you are sometimes taking the angle of investigative journalism, I think that nuance is super important. Throughout Doubleblind's history and prior to that in your other work, is there anything that you've come to change your mind on?
Yeah I would I guess before people would act like it's really good that psychedelics and cannabis are going mainstream, and I come from the cannabis movement. I grew up in in the weed scene. I have written a lot about cannabis and I don't really think any more that I want any of this stuff to be mainstream.
Rather than mainstreaming psychedelics and weed, I think the mainstream should become a little bit more psychedelic. And what I mean by that is it's such a shame what I'm seeing with the cannabis space right now, trying to be like just every other American industry, and like women are getting pushed out and there's not a lot of minority leadership and we're basically just seeing a bunch of like, big companies that, what their regard for the environment is like a second thought.
And whatever, it's okay. We already have enough of that kind of corporatism and capitalism in America. Now we're doing that to cannabis? It's such a shame and it's heartbreaking because it's so antithetical to the original values that you can come to under the influence of the cannabis plant and that the original people who were sort of part of the back to the land movement of the sixties and seventies and started growing weed in Northern California, like it's just such a far leap, And it makes me really sad to think about that said cannabis is a cash crop, Duh, of course this is how it's going to be treated.
So looking at psychedelics, it's do we want to see corporate psychedelic companies that are perpetuating the same sort of like mainstream paradigms of inequality and lack of consciousness around the environment or social issues or whatever? No, like, rather the point of a psychedelic is to become like a more sensitive conscientious globally aware citizen, then take those values and say okay, like how can we have a company that really upholds those values and is different from the mainstream?
And the mainstream itself is what needs healing right? Like, we're at a moment in history where almost every system is completely falling apart, or Corona is showing like where all the cracks in the system are. And so we're at, I think this is a really amazing opportunity to take stock and we've actually seen statistics that people tripping more in quarantine than in other periods, And changing the system at large.
Are there companies that you're observing that are upholding these values that you're really excited about but are also taking that capitalistic approach? It comes down to the people right It comes down to the people that are running these organizations and what their values are, And regardless of the incentives that are at play it's just comes down to individual decision-making, right?
Yeah, there are companies that are doing a good job, psychedelic and otherwise. I'll give a shout out even to Dr Bronner's for example. Dr Bronner's magic soaps, if you go to their website you'll see all the initiatives that they're part of the highest paid person at the company can't be making more than five times with the lowest person is paid. They're very specific about where they're sourcing their materials from, who they're donating to. David Bronner, the CEO of the company has been supporting all sorts of psychedelic initiatives from MAPS, which is like the government approved psychedelic science, to the decrim movement and this kind of kaleidoscope of campaigns to end prohibition around psychedelics.
I'm not saying they're perfect either, right. There are some people who would say like capitalism is the problem and anyone who's doing capitalism needs to have a taking stock of that. So I I'm nervous to get behind fully like any one organization but, yeah.
Yeah I think Dr Bronner's is a great example And if you're listening and you're not a customer, you can Google an image of their labels you'll see them talk about their feelings on a lot of these things.
You mentioned how you grew up in the weed scene and your parents are psychedelic Jewish hippies ,Tell me more about that.
Yeah my dad is a cannabis or he's a criminal defense lawyer, so his specialty has been defending people who are busted for cannabis and other drugs when he's he did all sorts of cases. He used to say "from marijuana to murder" but his main thing was weed and he ran for office several times not to win but just to bring attention to the "legalize it" movement and so like when I was in high school and even middle school I would get do work for my dad, like work in his lobby of the office waiting room. And I would interface with people who were kids my age who were getting busted for gang crimes or drug crimes or dealing weed or and these are this is the people I was exposed to as a kid so there's that.
Drug war activism is like a family value and something I'm deeply passionate about. Secondly both my parents are they're definitely a huge cannabis consumers, also like done their fair share of psychedelics. My dad ended up in India And through RamDass, Maharaji who was the guru of RamDass. the author of "Be Here Now" they have the same guru and so they're part of the same friend group they call it the set song and so much of the seeking that I saw Ram Dass do and that so many of their contemporaries did was motivated by psychedelics right
These post-Holocaust Jewish people who maybe were disillusioned with the type of religious spirituality that they were getting especially after the Holocaust people just wanted to assimilate it was hard to really dive into the depths and weirdnesses of Judaism when you're in this framework of okay like people's families are just like now surviving and dealing with all this trauma and so there's this movement of people now in their sixties and seventies who are quote unquote "Hinjews" who went seeking for spirituality, did a lot of psychedelics went to India, found yoga meditation whatever and that is their religion so to speak.
And what I'm seeing now is actually like a return to the more Jewish aspect of things where you have different rabbis people from Hasidic Jewish communities were discovering psychedelics grandchildren of Holocaust survivors people who are really taking stock of where we are as a Jewish culture and people and whatever and saying, yes there's a lot of trauma, yes there's a lot of assimilation, yes there's a lot of not as if you're coming from a super religious background not assimilation and feeling left out of the mainstream that way.
But everyone is coming together over psychedelics and treating trauma and doing self exploration and coming to an awareness and honest relationship to religion through the psychedelic path, and I think that's really interesting.
So growing up in that environment and sitting in your dad's lobby, how did you go from that to making a career out of this? Were there particular moments along the way that had a particular impact on you that caused you to say, okay this is what I actually want to do with my life?
I thought I wanted to be a lawyer this whole time I was like working in my dad's office like as a teenager and whatever because I was trying to learn about the law. And my older sister is also a cannabis lawyer. She does like cannabis licensing and stuff, so I was like all right like I'm gonna my path is set for me. And I just could not get past the anxiety of taking the LSAT. It was really what happened for some reason. Like I had a block like I walked out of the test I canceled my score I was signed up something was like happening that I just could not get through this thing.
And this was late in undergraduate I assume, so throughout your college experience though you were sort of of the mindset that you were going to become a lawyer?
There was no other path that I could see for myself and I was going to be a weed lawyer. Maybe there were moments where I thought I was going to do something else like intellectual property, but through Canada cannabis strains and intellectual property, I don't know something like that, but I was always really passionate and curious about psychedelics.
I had tripped when I was in college and it was just like, wow, I really love this. Like whatever this is, I love it and I am seeking it. And I went to Berkeley, like I was hanging out with classic Berkeley hippies in a co-op and I had that and I also somehow ended up going to Shabbat dinner at the Berkeley Hillel every week. And I had these like rabbis making sure that I was staying grounded while I was off doing psychedelics with the hippies.
It's all different sort of iterations of what I already grew up with. But I, on a whim, I applied to Columbia journalism school and then I got in and I was like alright, Columbia is a great school and I want to go to New York and Hey, I really like writing, so I'm just going to do that instead and I still had no intention of getting into like the drug space as a journalist.
I didn't know what I wanted to do. I ended up, when I was in a class I wrote a story about new York's Medical marijuana program for this magazine class I was in. I didn't know anything about New York cannabis I grew up in California, like Los Angeles, that was what I knew. So I was like, let me report on something that's like a topic that I have familiarity with.
And that story I pitched it to the Village Voice, and they basically gave me a job reporting on the rollout of New York's medical marijuana program based on the story that I wrote. They're like, you seem to already have a lot of sources in this department, just go for it. You can write for us weekly, whatever, so that is how that snowballed. But the whole thing happened on accident.
Really, I was in a class where everyone had to report on a different ethnic beat. And I was the only Jew in the class And so they gave me Hasidic Brooklyn. I really wanted the Russians but they said no, like you have to do the Jews no one else is going to get access. You at least look Jewish enough to like get your foot in the door and I met these kids who were coming from black hat Hasidic families who were doing these like PsyTran festivals on the weekend and telling me they were taking all these psychedelics. And I'm like what the fuck, like how it was just like such a dissonance I couldn't imagine Orthodox Jews like doing acid and ketamine to PsyTrance on the weekend. Like what, it blew my mind. And honestly like I've followed that scene and made friends in that scene and that plus the cannabis it was just like I am passionate about this and these are the people I want to spend my time with.
And these are the people who are teaching me so much that there is to learn about Life and God and religion and business and culture that like, I'm just going to make my life my living and find a way to write about this and get paid for it and make my own publication And so that's how this happened
So I understand you went and you actually lived in Israel for a while, right? Was that a part of that same sort of feeling that you were looking to just go deeper into that world?
That was like I'm not going to law school I don't know what the fuck I'm doing with my life I'm just putting life on hiatus and going to Israel And instead of figure it out that's what happened that's how I ended up in Televiv and I was like doing this little program where I got to take some classes and Hebrew and the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and also get to volunteer and tutor English to people. and while I was in Israel is when I got into Columbia and then I was like, I guess I'm good in New York now.
Got it. And did you observe, is there a psychedelic community and in Israel?
Oh, for sure. It's huge. Yeah. Yeah. And Israel now, they have, their cannaTech and Psy-Tech are in, so it's huge conference basically around cannabis and psychedelic science and the culture.
And, there's MAPS. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies has, Just one of their study sites is in Israel. And there's so much actually in Israel and Palestine, that is so relevant to the work that I'm doing. I wrote a story for instance, a couple of years ago for Playboy about how addressing trauma is like central to addressing the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
There's not going to be peace if people are still traumatized and acting out of trauma and continuing to perpetuate that and vote in certain ways or enact violence in certain ways. And of course treating trauma is, is one of the biggest things in psychedelic research. So it all comes full circle and, so there's the modern day expression of that. And then there's also like the ancient expression of that, where there's excavations now and scholars looking into all of the psychoactive plants and combinations that people use back in biblical times that enabled prophecy and religious ritual and stuff like that. So there's a lot of meat there that is really resonant to me.
Yeah. there's so much innovation in Israel. It's become known as this hub of innovation across a variety of sectors that surprises me. I did not know that. it also applies to cannaTech, and PsyTech. Are there instances of. Israelis and Palestinians actually coming together under this context so far? What does that look like?
A couple people and Natalie Ginsberg from MAPS, a Palestinian peace activist named Antwan SACA and, Leo Roseman who's at Imperial college London, are looking at an anecdotal study in which Israelis and Palestinians are drinking ayahuasca together for conflict resolution. I wrote about this briefly for one of the past issues of DoubleBlind of course that is a self-selecting group. but even so it shows promise there. And I think also, especially once MDMA, which is shown to be a treatment for trauma gets approved as a medicine, and people have access to it. I think it was going to be a complete game changer.
What's next for DoubleBlind? You're building a media company. you have a print magazine, you have e-commerce element, you have online courses, for example, how to grow mushrooms. You have events, I believe as well. What's the next year to look like for DoubleBlind. And what are you most excited about?
Like I said, I'm a journalist at my heart, so I'm just most excited about following stories that really kindle my spirit and also will speak to other people and inspire them, from science to policy, to religion, to ecology, whatever. and so as far as DoubleBlind goes like that's, that is like the container for doing that. And so many amazing people and creatives are coming to us, wanting to work with us. And so we're going to continue to do the print magazine. we have these online courses, we're just going to continue on that path. We have the "How to grow your own mushrooms" course. And we have a psychedelics 101 course. How to trip with intention and for personal growth. We're going to do mushrooms 102. So like deeper tips for all the Mycofile nerds out there
And pre COVID we had this whole lineup of events. Now we're doing things online. We had a webinar with James Fadiman about microdosing. We had, Alex Gray do a webinar with us this past weekend. We're actually going to do something with Paul Stamets in a couple of weeks. and so we're going to keep bringing people to our audience and doing fun, things like that. And so what does it look like?
Hopefully we're just going to get to a place where we can continue to offer all of our content scale a little bit, go deeper in the stories we're building out our videos section. Maybe we'll have a podcast one day, we'll hold events, and continue to also just collaborate with other like-minded curious people, we have a column now with rolling stone.
There's a lot in the works. but I think, one of the main things personally I'll say is this is a quote startup, part of it is like, how can me and my co-founders Shelby, how can we run a startup while also prioritizing our own wellness and growth and personal journeys. And I think that's something that a lot of people maybe don't ask themselves when they get caught up in like the whole whirlwind of the American work culture.
And being a psychedelic magazine, I think that's front and center is like, how can I really engage my whole self and integrate that into what I'm doing? And
so it's a personal journey too, for both me and my co-founder and I have spiritual journey and all of that. I hate to use the rhetoric of journey and I always make fun of the hippies in my, I am one of them too, but I grew up in such a like overly hippy context that I get very sensitive to people using hippie rhetoric. Hippies and all of that, but yeah, just stabilizing with it.
It's been really fun and it's been really hard and I want to have good mental health while I do this.
And how do you do that practically then? Do you have a regimen in term either daily, weekly, yearly to make sure that your other doing, meditation, yoga, psychedelics, how do you think about that?
Shelby, my co-founder has a really good meditation practice. I, my practice is Shabbat. Like I fully unplug. so I don't do work. I don't check my email. I don't do social media and it's, for 25 hours at least. and I think also like one thing that I'm really practicing right now is my relationship to time and like ownership of time and, with psychedelics. Our perception of time changes, like time, sometimes doesn't exist on psychedelics or it goes by so super slowly or whatever. And so
I think there's a way to see time differently and also lean into a sense of spaciousness that doesn't necessarily exist, or that is not necessarily focused upon in traditional, startup circles. and I say this, having lived in New York and being fully immersed in like the hustle and never having a free moment and having like your calendar booked for three weeks out.
Look, it's a practice and I'm not saying I'm perfect at it. And I have all my own sort of anxieties and Jewish neuroses and this and that. And I think part of the work of learning about this and reporting on it and talking to people is like, Oh, okay. Now how can I apply this to my life?
So for selfish reasons, and I'm sure everyone is wired differently, but what has been the most effective. Either psychedelic or just practice that you've used to address anxiety?
I would say MDMA is my favorite psychedelic,
A recreational setting, a therapeutic setting. Do you have a preference?
Whenever I do it, look, I've never done it with a therapist. that said it's the past handful of times that I've done it quite recreationally, have been really therapeutic and.
You're able to take distance from your life and then have compassion toward it and compassion toward the people and the relationships and so forth that otherwise give you strive for you get caught up in the anxiety of what those relationships are.
It's not something I do all the time, that you're supposed to wait three months in between every MDMA session as they say, but, part of it also is like, whenever you're under the influence, say acid to, or psilocybin for me, is like harnessing that feeling and then being able to integrate and come back to that feeling, come home to it, if you will, which, "home" is another very psychedelic concept, in your day-to-day life.
So like to remember it and then to be like, where can I harness it? Does that mean just breathing more deeply in the middle of the day? Does that mean doing a body scan and trying to see where my feelings are existing within my body. and these are things that psychedelics highlight, but really they're just like, it's a spotlight on things you should be doing all the time, there's, I really don't, there's no point in doing a psychedelic just for the sake of itself, unless you're going to integrate that experience into the rest of your life.
I think that's great advice.
I appreciate all the time that you've taken to talk to me. This has been a really great and really informative. Is there anything you'd like to, leave us with, regarding, things that are coming up for DoubleBlind or anything else that you'd like the listeners to know.
Yeah, just follow along with DoubleBlind. we have a Paul Stamets webinar coming up in November. Our fourth issue is coming out in December. We're going to have some cool little like holiday bundles about that. and you can follow along at DoubleBlind Mag or just DoubleBlindmag.com. and stay in the loop. We're pretty open and receptive to audience feedback.
I'm a huge fan. I'm going to continue to follow along. I really appreciate you being here. Thanks so much, Madison.
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