Drug Epidemics, Psychedelics, and Possible Happy Futures: a conversation with William Leonard Pickard

In this episode I host William Leonard Pickard for a discussion of drug epidemics and how the recent re-popularization of psychedelics may manifest – for better or for worse – as corporate interests manufacture new analogs and as rates of use increase generally.

Leonard is a former drug policy researcher who studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, predicted that fentanyl could be the subject of a drug epidemic, served seventeen years of two life sentences for manufacture of LSD, and wrote The Rose of Paracelsus while incarcerated. He was released in July 2020, as reported by Psymposia.

For more information about Leonard, see the Free Leonard Pickard website or, if you trust Wikipedia, the entry about Leonard there.

(Note that I meant to say “1965” instead of “1995” at 11:13 minutes into the video. Oy.)

6 thoughts on “Drug Epidemics, Psychedelics, and Possible Happy Futures: a conversation with William Leonard Pickard

  1. Fantastic interview. Thank you Noah for organizing, hosting, and posting this. Leonard is exceedingly, effusively brilliant, and we are overjoyed that he is out and able to rejoin the conversion. His book ‘The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets & Sacraments’ is a must-read book for anyone interested in having a transformative experience.


  2. 1995 would work as well right? But yes 1965 was closer to the height of hysteria and my brain actually predicted you were going to say 1960’s. 🙂

    It’s wonderful to see him for the first time ever in video (first I’ve seen). He looks remarkably well, but I hope that’s not a touch of bronchitis or anything.

    Thank you so much for this!


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