About Mary

Mary Carreon is an independent journalist, editor, and podcaster from Southern California. She reports on the environment and Schedule I drugs, and often the intersection between the two. Mary has reported on pesticides; nuclear waste; local water politics; cannabis and psychedelics drug policy; the sustainability of cannabis cultivation; the collapse of California’s cannabis supply chain; whether buying drugs on the internet is actually safe; the mad honey trade; and much more. Most of her work leads back to raising awareness around how the various drug movements will impact accessibility, the environment, and uplifting BIPOC perspectives. Mary also co-hosts a podcast called Erased, where she reports on the climate crisis and environmental news. She's passionate about the solutions hemp and fungi can provide in the fight against pollution and climate change. Mary's a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and an SEJ Fellow.

You can find her work in Billboard, KCRW, DoubleBlind Magazine, Psychedelic Spotlight, The LAnd Magazine, MERRY JANE, Kitchen Toke Magazine, High Times Magazine, OC Weekly, Forbes, and more.

For ideas, pitches, consulting (this includes "picking her brain"), or to have her as a guest on your podcast—drop her a line: marycarreonwrites@gmail.com. 

I Tried Recreational Mushroom Therapy and This is What Happened

My journey into adulthood has primarily involved coming to terms with my toxic traits. A lot of people shove those bones deep into the broom closet of their psyche, where the calcium and marrow ferment and transform into monsters with green eyes and fangs. I’ve done this. I try not to do this, but our culture enables us to. Eating psilocybin mushrooms consistently over the past decade has helped me cultivate an intimate relationship with my closet monsters, it is my personal form of psychedelic therapy. And the more I let the mushrooms mediate, the monsters seem to have less control over my actions, particularly when it comes to winning arguments.

Enter Through the Zide Door - CA Leaf Magazine, Psychedelia Issue

It’s a Sunday afternoon in 2019 and the clock reads 4:20 p.m. Dave Hodges stands on a stage and delivers a sermon to a group of 40 people seated in pews, dressed in the garb of a Roman Catholic bishop – only, instead of his attire displaying traditional emblems of the Christian faith, his miter (or tall, pointed hat) and chasuble (a cape that’s worn over other vestments) feature the two sacraments of his religion: an unmistakable Cannabis leaf print and images of psychedelic mushrooms. Hodges is the founder of the Church of Ambrosia – a non-denominational entheogenic church in Oakland, Calif. that doubles as a dispensary of plant medicines known as Zide Door.

Ape and Essence: The Stoned Ape Hypothesis

The internet is both a blessing and a social curse. However, one of its better contributions to society is that it has kept the spirit of late ethnobotanist and psychedelic pundit Terence McKenna alive. Though he died in April of 2000, McKenna’s ideas and philosophies still soar through the interwebs, thanks to Reddit, podcasts and numerous social media platforms. One theory in particular that has continued to gain steam is the so-called “Stoned Ape Hypothesis.” It all started in 1992 when McKenna broke the world’s collective brain with his book “Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution.”

The Drawdown Hemp Project Is Quantifying Hemp’s Potential for Reducing Carbon Emissions

We’ve all heard people say it: “Hemp will save the world!” But what does that mean, exactly? That was the topic of conversation on the Lancaster Farming podcast earlier this month. Journalist Eric Hurlock interviewed Bruce Dietzen of Drawdown Hemp, a coalition dedicated to quantifying the carbon sequestration powers of hemp products, such as hempcrete, hemp biochar, biofuel, and more. Their conversation broached a key question rarely discussed: Where the hell is the data proving hemp is a silver bullet for our climate woes?

Lightning in a Bottle Music Festival Has Cannabis Representation on Lineup, Thanks to Lizzy Jeff

Cannabis is the eau de parfum of music festivals. It's the substance no one thinks twice about consuming but is more prevalent than drinking water. Whether you're dancing to music, ordering spicy pie, watching the sunset melt into tomorrow, or wandering around looking for your campsite, weed is everywhere. Even when you can't see it, you can usually smell it. Why? Because cannabis has been the backbone of music festivals since the beginning of time — or at least since the '60s. So, why doesn't it have a more significant presence in festival programming, particularly the education- and wellness-oriented transformational festivals?

Carbon Correction: The Cannabis and Climate Connection No One Is Talking About

Maybe you've heard that cultivating cannabis is bad for the environment. Perhaps you've seen headlines saying that growing an ounce of indoor cannabis emits the equivalent amount of carbon as burning a full tank of gas. Or maybe you've read reports that say growing a few pounds of weed yields the same environmental toll as driving across America seven times. All of this is (mostly) true. Indoor cannabis cultivation is not environmentally friendly. This method requires hours of blasting air conditioning, heating (if you live in snowy regions), lighting, air filtration systems and irrigation. Aside from swapping high voltage lights with LEDs, there are few green solutions for indoor grows to lessen their carbon footprint.

Viva La Raza: CA Leaf Magazine Equality Issue, May 2022

[PG 26] It’s clear the drug war is a scam. The pop history of Reagan’s “Just Say No” fails to paint a complete portrait of America’s anti-drug ethos. It even predates Nixon’s vapid fear of LSD and naked hippies, and Harry Anslinger’s racist weed propaganda of the ‘30s. America’s drug phobia – and specific hatred of Cannabis – began when an influx of Mexicans migrated into the U.S. to flee the Mexican Revolution in 1910. Many brought Cannabis with them over the border, making it a target of racist demonization by the U.S. Government.

CA weed: Who can make money amid high taxes and bagful of regulations?

*LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT* California grew millions of pounds of legal cannabis in 2021. But instead of harvesting that product to sell in dispensaries, many legal cultivators intentionally let tens of thousands of pot plants rot, while others set piles of their buds aflame. Spring would typically be the time farmers begin sowing seeds to harvest in the fall, but many legal farmers aren’t planting at all this year because they simply can’t afford to.

Half-Baked: The Worst Celebrity Weed Brands

In the 2010s, there was a moment when every celebrity was a DJ. A decade later, the obnoxious trend du jour demands that every weed-adjacent celebrity have their own vanity weed brand. This fact shouldn’t surprise anyone paying attention to the swift corporate appropriation of a once-outlaw industry. After all, few things perpetuate the get-money-at-all-costs, late-capitalist mentality like celebrity culture. In cannabis, entertainers see yet another opportunity to make a branded buck.

Season of the Witch: An Oral History of Crypto Coven

The High Witches open up the project's unlikely beginnings, how they collectively conjured such a detailed world, and breaking the spell of the male gaze. Aletheia and Nyx, two artists who work in tech, were bleaching each other’s roots during the 2021 lockdown when they noticed a new Twitter fad unfolding: People were uploading NFTs of Apes and pixelated punks as their profile photos. They started exploring various NFT projects, but none resonated with them personally, let alone enough to use as an avatar.

The Psychedelic Renaissance Is Ushering In a New Genre Of Electronic Music

I pulled a black eye mask over my eyes and placed a pair of sound-canceling headphones over my ears. The sound of rain falling over piano notes and a sporadic symbol rang in my ears as a nurse practitioner at Field Trip Health, a legal ketamine clinic in Los Angeles, injected 35 milligrams of FDA-approved ketamine into my left arm. The sensation of moving backward on a slow roller coaster consumed my body, as I descended to the bottom floor of a black abyss. I entered the upside-down.

5 years of legal weed in CA: Barriers to entry, social equity challenges, booming illicit market

Cannabis has now been legal for recreational use in California for five years. There were high hopes when California adopted The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Prop 64) in 2016. The idea was to bring in money from taxes, reel back the impacts of the years-long war on drugs, expunge marijuana misdemeanors, and legalize the state’s illicit cultivators and sellers. What has actually happened in the years since? Not all of the state’s dreams have come true, including in LA. Greater LA looks at how fa
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