Often hailed as a “psychedelic concierge”, Michael “Zappy” Zapolin, has helped celebrities, thought leaders, and business icons have a conscious transformation.
As a passionate advocate for ketamine therapy, Zappy co-founded the non-profit organization The Ketamine Fund, which grants free ketamine treatments to veterans and others who are suicidal. The organization is dedicated to dramatically reducing suicide rates in the United States by utilising this psychedelic medicine that has received approval in multiple jurisdictions.
We asked Zappy about his interest in psychedelics, and his recently-launched social movement, Mind Army, which is fighting for the right to pursue happiness.
PA: Why are you so keen to have psychedelics legalized?
MZ: We, as a society, are in a crisis and are battling simultaneous epidemics of suicide, addiction and depression. Now, as a result of the coronavirus, PTSD levels are off the charts. People have the inalienable right to pursue happiness and need to be free to use these breakthrough catalysts to break their addiction or depression. In order to spare society from harrowing incidents or tragedies, like mass suicides, we need to make these catalysts available immediately.
PA: Which psychedelics, in particular, are you interested in?
MZ: People should have the right to use any and all psychedelics in order to break the habitual patterns of the mind. These negative patterns could have been inherited, or caused by some major trauma, but if the person does not get to the root of their own issues, then they can suffer from depression, anxiety, and possibly try to cover those feeling with drugs or alcohol.
PA: Can you tell us about Mind Army? What’s your progress thus far?
MZ: We are demanding that the President of the United States use the Executive Branch to immediately make these psychedelic compounds legal. The president has the power over the Executive Branch to make them available, given the actual crisis we are in.
These compounds were made illegal with an executive order back in 1966, when they were studied for safety purposes. Now – 54 years later – millions of people have had the experience, many with great benefit. We are not going to sit back and accept that alcohol is good, tobacco is good yet, somehow, psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics are bad. We understand basic science and medical findings, and we are demanding the right to use these compounds given that we’re not hurting anyone else and we’re doing this at our own risk.
We have been reaching out to President Donald Trump, letting him know that he will win the Nobel Prize if he legalizes these compounds and reduces suicide rates dramatically in the country, making a dent in the opiate crisis. We are also reaching out to Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, whose son, Hunter Biden, battled a drug and alcohol addiction issue and cured it with plant medicine ibogaine. We intend to tell Mr. Biden that if it is good enough for his son, then it is good enough for everyone else. In order to have the best outcomes possible and reduce harm, we are putting out a Mind Army Microdosing Handbook, so that when psychedelics are legal, people can begin to work with these catalysts safely and appropriately. We are also putting together a task force to bring forward all of the Entheogenic Societies that already exist in every major city in the United States to help the people who need guidance during their psychedelics journey.
PA: Legalizing and rescheduling psychedelic drugs is not as simple as an Executive Order, is it?
MZ: The president is allowed to write an executive order for any reason that he deems necessary. This would have been unheard of six months before the pandemic; however, we find ourselves in a very real crisis that needs to be triaged immediately.
PA: Where does Mind Army’s funding come from?
MZ: Mind Army is privately funded by individuals who believe that humans have the right to go inside their own minds for answers and healing. As a 501(c)(3), we are able to take tax-deductible donations from individuals who support the cause. We are hiring a lobbying organization that will help us bring our message to Congress, alongside our efforts with the president, so that when he considers writing an executive order, he gets positive feedback from his peers.
If you are interested in learning more about Zappy’s work, he has also made contributions in the film industry. In 2016 he directed the acclaimed documentary The Reality of Truth which follows actress Michelle Rodriguez and friends on a deeply personal journey of discovery.
He also has an upcoming documentary about basketball star Lamar Odom, Lamar Odom Re/Born, which features Lamar’s complete transformation from public breakdown, depression, and addiction to healthy and thriving through ketamine infusions and plant medicine.
Written by Ines Alexandre for Psilocybin Alpha.