Free & Flourishing by Ryan Place

In addition to being delightfully cryptic, my 6’3” friend Leonard has a phobia: interviews for him can sometimes be agonizing. Thus, I am incredibly grateful for the rare privilege of peppering him with quirky questions. William Leonard Pickard is a 50+ year veteran of the psychedelic era. He’s earned an international reputation of respect and accolades for his subject matter expertise, genius-level IQ, and indomitable spirit. Leonard’s background is far too multidimensional to explore here. Instead, let’s hear about the future from his new adobe abode in the arid steppes of Santa Fe, New Mexico. “A social and scientific revolution is occurring,” says Leonard. “Unanticipated in the history of drug use. Our realm of new participants widens from those seeking spiritual experience to billion-dollar corporations.” This goes beyond psychedelics. “Ultimately we will alter cognitive function to increase skills and competence, an array of non-psychedelic effects fundamental to what is human,” he says.


In the post-psy era, after perhaps the next ten years, substances will manifest which enhance human performance. Psychedelics may be a transition to this next stage, influencing neurochemistry to become more competent, creative, functional, and productive. Within those advances, we must remember compassion.” Right now, Leonard is being absorbed into the venture capital end of the psy revolution, as a biotech consultant analyzing pitch decks from young founders in the psy space. “It is an immense privilege to meet with talented creators and investors, many with their commitment to healing and enhancing our species,” he says. “It is deeply gratifying to help in some small way.” On June 27, 2021, Leonard will be participating in an online event celebrating the life and work of Sasha Shulgin, honoring the upcoming publication of Sasha’s lectures, The Nature of Drugs. Leonard contributed an essay to the book entitled Reflections from a Student.

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