Saturday, February 5th | 10:00am-11:30am | Room: Newport B
Carlos Plazola 2022
Free Workshop
A Saturday Day Pass is required to attend this Free Workshop
Carlos Plazola
Why Decriminalize Nature

This lecture will explain the reasons why we should decriminalize entheogens without limits to enable just and equitable access to these healing plants and fungi for the most vulnerable members of our community so we may all heal trauma and expand consciousness.


Carlos is the Chair of the Board of the Decriminalize Nature, an organization he co-founded.


Carlos Plazola is the child of an indigenous farmer from rural Jalisco and a powerful and loving Mexican woman who raised three children as a single parent. He grew up surrounded by struggle, but also by a loving Chicano/Mexican community that taught him how to stand upright in the face of adversity. At seven, the death of a family member introduced him to the paradox of zero and the infinite. He spent the next 40 years trying to reconcile this contradiction where the universe is infinite, but death looms large. Several mushroom and ayahuasca journeys enabled him to reconcile this contradiction, overcome childhood trauma, and discover his healing path. 

At eighteen, frustrated with the constant struggle, and ready to give up, Carlos received and embraced a message that love is the answer, and his path unfolded. He studied biology and anthropology at UCLA to understand life. He lived with the Achuar of Ecuador to connect with the sacred. He studied Environmental Science at Yale to understand the human impact on Earth’s ecosystems. Upon graduating from Yale with a Master’s in Environmental Science, he came to a fork in the road: pursue a prestigious resume or hit the streets and become an organizer. He chose the latter. To learn the tools of creating social change, he worked as a community organizer in the 1990s. To learn the tools of legislating and political organizing, he worked as a congressional aide, chief of staff to a councilmember, and ran political campaigns throughout the 2000s. 

Today Carlos builds housing in Oakland, which keeps him grounded, while volunteering as Chair of the Board of the Decriminalize Nature, an organization he co-founded. Carlos has been married for 26 years and has three loving children who are constantly teaching him.