The former heavyweight champion of the world is firmly embracing his role as one of the chief spokesmen for psychedelic healing. This week, he shared his deeply personal tale before sitting down with L.A. Weekly to dive in a bit deeper. 

Microdose’s Wonderland conference at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts was the biggest event in the brief history of the commercialization of psychedelics being used to help people deal with a variety of trauma. During the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies press conference, founder Rick Doblin, basically the modern face of the science around most psychedelic issues, said MAPS was tracking roughly 400 companies attempting to work their way into the space.

And apart from the big-name medical and psychedelic thought leaders in attendance, it was pretty clear the most excitement was around Tyson’s panel alongside two-time Stanley Cup winner Daniel Carcillo and Amanda Siebert from Forbes. Carcillo founded and serves as CEO of Wesana Health where Tyson now serves as an investor and advisor. 

Tyson started the talk by explaining that his neurological injuries started long before his boxing career. He discussed three concussions he had as a child and a regime of traditional pharma he ended up taking long into his adult life.

“Even in my 30s I’m still on this medicine,” Tyson told the crowd. “I’m just a zombie looking at marathons of Law & Order and just not leaving the house. I gained 100 pounds.”

But it would all change when he met his shaman named Dr. Jerry. While Tyson was high on blow, Dr. Jerry told him he knew of drugs better than cocaine. 

“He said there’s the toad, and I said get the fuck out of here,” Tyson announced laughing. 

Mike wanted to try it on the spot but Dr. Jerry explained it wasn’t a recreational thing and he’d need to take part in the full ceremony. Tyson was still down. Here is an example of another 5-MeO-DMT ceremony. Unlike that ceremony, Tyson was laying down before he tried it. 

As noted by the great folks over at Erowid, 5-MeO-DMT is a naturally occurring psychedelic present in numerous plants and in the venom of the Bufo Alvarius toad. Erowid emphasizes it should not be confused with regular DMT. It is way more potent. 

“I held it in for 10 seconds and I’ve never been the same,” Tyson explained. “That was four years ago.”

He told the crowd he used to cry three times a day, but in the years since that first experience, he’s smoked the toad venom 60 times. 

“Because I’m trying to figure this out. But my mind isn’t designed to fathom what I’m experiencing,” Tyson said of the depth of the ceremony. “I mean, you see your ancestors, think about your grandfather that was 100,000,000 years ago. And he might be an animal, a jaguar, something crazy, a gorilla. It’s just pretty mind-boggling.”

Tyson went on to explain the internal processing that happened after each ceremony. He questioned why each was so unique but similarly loaded with a feeling of energizing compassion that’s helped fuel the balance in his life. 

“That’s why my mind was blown away with psychedelics,” Tyson said. “I just want the world to know what I experienced. I thought that if everyone can get what I received out of this, this would be a totally different world.”

We chatted cannabis a bit too. As he embarks on Tyson 2.0 from his original move into cannabis, Tyson is looking to highlight the best cannabis in the world. 

“We have 400 stores our product is in now and it continues to grow,” Tyson told L.A. Weekly after the panel. “I’m very grateful.” 

As for whether Tyson’s cannabis projects have scaled to a point of success where it’s easier to focus time on his new psychedelic mission? He quickly replied he’d be at this place he is now trying to share his personal healing process with others regardless. 

“I have the time, I’m the man for the time,” he emphasized. “I can do everything with the time I have. I’m on top of it.” 

We went on to speak of his peers warming up to the idea of using psychedelics to deal with their own issues from careers in combat sports.

“To make this conversation really simple, I’m the spokesperson. They see me, they see the difference,” he replied.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.