Mike Tyson? If you are not a boxing buff, this world champion fighter might only ring a bell due to his iconic face tattoo… or that time he bit a chunk out of his opponent’s ear. Pretty intense guy, it would seem. Not perhaps, the first person you’d think of to be evangelical about that most magical of psychedelics — the psilocybin mushroom.
“Help Me Be A Better Me“
But, Tyson is nothing if not a surprising guy. On a recent episode of ‘Impaulsive’ with Logan Paul and Mike Majlak, Tyson, who was already smoking a joint, chomped down 4g of magic mushrooms after they were handed to him by his hosts. Seemingly unfazed, ‘Iron Mike’ (iron tolerance too!) extolled the virtues of his beloved fungus and his hopes for its future, claiming that their potential legality is “going to be the best thing in the 21st century” and that they “help me be a better me”.
Tyson also credits shrooms for his daring return to the ring aged 55. He takes a dose of them before he trains and hinted he may have harnessed the power of the fungi a few days before his recent exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jnr.
This Impaulsive appearance was not the first time Tyson has bigged up magic mushrooms, and psychedelics in general. As well as being transparent about experiences with DMT, Changa and even a rare psychoactive substance called ‘The Toad’ (yep its extracted from a toad…), Tyson is also a devotee of cannabis. In fact he has his own company, Tyson Holistic Holdings, and hopes to open Tyson Ranch, a 420 (ha!) acre resort for cannabis lovers with everything from agricultural lessons to a luxury spa.
Psilocybin’s Biggest Advocates
Ever the conscientious business man, Tyson is showing himself to be one of psilocybin’s biggest advocates, putting his money where his mouth is. He is not only an investor but now a fully-fledged board member of wellness company Wesana Health. The company was set up by former NHL left-winger Daniel Carcillo and focuses on developing psychedelic therapies and treatments. In a twitter post Tyson explained;
“Traumatic brain injury has affected me and many people I care about, including fighters and veterans, I’m proud to be an early investor in @wesanahealth , launching now on the CSE, who are developing new ways to understand and improve brain health, including with psychedelics.”
It was for this very reason that Carcillo started his company in the first place. As a former contact sport player himself, repeated head trauma meant that he suffered from depression, anxiety and pain until he found psychedelics.
“Everyone Thought I Was Crazy”
Tyson himself had a very similar experience, with much to say on this subject. In an interview with Reuters he shared openly his struggles with mental health and how it affected his life, publicly and privately;
“I can’t even tell you what mental issues I used to have. I was in the sick. Everyone thought I was crazy, I bit this guy’s ear off…I did all this stuff, and once I got introduced to the shrooms …my whole life changed.”
“To think where I was – almost suicidal – to this now. Isn’t life a trip, man? It’s amazing medicine, and people don’t look at it from that perspective.”
A New Focus On Mental Health
Not only is Tyson’s pro-shroom stance amazing for the legalisation cause, it is also a huge step forward for mental health visibility. Expressing vulnerability is still a sticking point for many men, as old-fashioned minds often label it as ‘weakness’. This creates a culture of silence that can be deadly, with soaring suicide rates amongst young men. Thankfully, with stereotypically ‘masculine’ figures like Tyson, Lamar Odom and other sports stars coming forward to share their stories, things are changing.
This new focus on kindness rather than aggression is clear, with Tyson stating;
“If you put 10 people in a room that don’t like each other and give them some psychedelics, they’ll be taking pictures with each other.
“Put 10 people in a room who don’t like each other and give them some liquor, and they’ll be shooting everybody. That’s real talk.”
“I believe this is good for the world”
And who are we to argue with Iron Mike?