The Radical Mycology project, and a word about psychoactive mushrooms

Gary Melgaard of the Arizona Mushroom Club passes along the following email, commenting: “Hi Fellow AMC Member, we received this this past week and I’m forwarding it for your review.  We get several of these each year that are usually scams, however this one may have some merit.  Regards, Gary”


From: Rad Mycology <>

Dear friends, allies, and fellow mycophiles!

The Radical Mycology project needs your support! We are a volunteer organization that works to teach the world about the benefits of mushrooms and other fungi for personal, societal, and ecological well-being. Recently we launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to fund the production of a book on these uses.

You can view the live campaign here:

Learn more about Radical Mycology here:

We hope you take a moment to check out the campaign and consider sending information about it to members of your mycological society.

Thank you so much for your interest in this project!

For the Fungi!
Peter McCoy


I checked out their web site and it is quite interesting.  These are definitely people who love their fungi.  As you might expect, some of that love extends to the psychoactive/entheogenic properties of the genus Psilocybe and its relatives.

teonanacatlThis seems as good a time as any to expound a little further on the warnings against illegal activities related to psychoactive mushrooms that have been part of our terms of service since the beginning.  I want to make it clear that purely academic and informational discussion of these organisms is quite all right on the Arizona Mushroom Forum.  After all, they are part of the wonders of nature, and nothing natural should be out of bounds for discussion.  If you want to talk about the scientific or cultural aspects of the psychoactive mushrooms, or have a picture of one found in the wild that you want to share, feel free to do so to your heart’s content.

What I do not wish to see is an influx of ignorant thrill seekers who are unaware that the psychoactive mushrooms are a very small part of the kingdom of fungi, and of little interest to most local foragers.  In particular, anyone looking to buy, sell or grow illegal mushrooms should not look to our board as a resource to help them in their efforts.  Photographs of grow rooms, detailed discussions of cultivation techniques for these fungi, and anything that smacks of trafficking will be deleted.  I reserve the right to ban you and your IP address if you disregard this request.

Obviously, if people who discuss these things in general terms on our message boards or the Facebook page make contact with each other privately, there is nothing we can or should do about that. Likewise, those who come to AMC meetings or forays with this goal in mind may or may not find kindred spirits. Many of us will ignore you or snicker at you, but one or two current or former friends of Teonanácatl may be willing to discuss these things with you quietly.  And please be advised that you do so entirely at your own risk. You never know when that bearded neo-hippie kid pestering you about where to find magic mushrooms might actually be a DEA agent.

Devotees of the entheogens should also take note that Arizona is a very poor place for finding them in the wild. No active members of the genus Psilocybe occur naturally in any great number in this state, although Alan Rockefeller has made one collection of P. hopii and another of P. strictipes. The only psilocybin-containing member of the genus Gymnopilus that is listed in the Bates checklist of Arizona macrofungi is G. junionius, a.k.a. G. spectabilis. Even these are reportedly not psychoactive in their western U.S. distribution.  Panaeolus subalteatus/cinctulus is a widespread psilocybin-containing species that is said by some to occur in Arizona, but it is not listed in the Bates checklist either, and I have never heard of any being found. Amanita muscaria may be the only more or less psychoactive mushroom that one can count on finding on a local foray, but that is not the kind of trip most of our would-be psychonauts are wanting to take.

As one wag on Shroomery put it, people who are looking to find psychoactives in Arizona would do better to pick up aluminum cans on the roadside until they have made enough money to buy a hit of LSD.  (Speaking of the Shroomery, that is really the place where people with an interest in this topic should go for reliable information. Unfortunately, they will have to wade through much  unreliable information as well. Their problem, not mine.)


Thanks to all friends of the fungi for spending these past few months with me exploring the world of Arizona mushrooms. We have had over 10,000 visitors since we started up in August this year. As the season revs up again next year, I hope to see many more. And let us pray that the rains in 2014 will be as immoderate as they were this past year.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Chris May


About Christopher May

Chris is a radiologist in private practice in Scottsdale. He is married to Barbara May, with two grown children, Megan and Nick.
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