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LAMS is a non-profit group whose purpose is to foster and expand the understanding and appreciation of mycology (that is the study of mushrooms and fungi).

We create and sponsor fun mushroom related events and help people learn about and identify mushrooms they find in the greater Los Angeles area.

January 15 (Monday) 7:30 PM LAMS General Meeting, Times-Mirror Meeting Room, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Speaker: Michael W. Beug, Professor Emeritus, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

Program: "Hallucinogenic Mushrooms as Entheogens: The Use of Psilocybin Mushrooms in Recreation, Mental Health and Spirituality"

This presentation begins with the 1957 Life Magazine article of R. Gordon Wasson, "The Discovery of Mushrooms that Cause Strange Visions." Wasson's article introduced Psilocybin mushrooms to North American readers and prompted pilgrimages to Mexico. You will learn how Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) became cultural icons of the 1960s with their message of "turn on, tune in, drop out." Ken Kesey, a participant in CIA and military experiments on use of hallucinogens, obtained the keys to the drug cabinets and gave birth to the Merry Pranksters and the "Kool Aid Acid Bus." In 1968, the US Federal prohibition of psilocybin and psilocin was passed, largely to get at anti Viet Nam war protestors. At this time, The Evergreen State College was coming into existence. In 1975, Paul Stamets, Jeremy Bigwood and Jonathan Ott simultaneously arrived at my door and a series of international hallucinogenic mushroom conferences begins, bringing R. Gordon Wasson, Albert Hoffman (the discoverer of LSD) and many others to Olympia. Learn how, working with Paul and Jeremy, I determined which North American mushrooms contained psilocybin and psilocin and how potent each species was.

I will describe how my one use of the mushrooms at Breitenbush Hot Springs in the early 1980s permanently changed my life for the better. Starting in the 1990s, research on psilocybin and psilocin resumed. Since 2010, a series of papers from researches like Roald Griffiths at Johns Hopkins and Charles Grob at UCLA have revealed many important roles for these compounds in psychotherapy. I have read of no drugs more effective in dealing with PTSD and depression - where a single well-prepared session can lead to significant, permanent changes for the better. The compounds also produce mystical experiences, generally increasing empathy. Thus in closing, I will discuss how religious use has the potential to make the world a more caring place.

It is recommended that you arrive early to be assured of a seat.


Michael Beug with two morels, Morchella sp.


More information about LAMS events, including a biography of the speaker, is available on the Calendar page.


February 11, 2018 (Sunday) 9 AM--4 PM

34th Annual Los Angeles Wild Mushroom Fair

A web page with additional information about the Fair will be available soon

Click on thumbnail to view full size poster (8.5" x 11").  (Requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

You are encouraged to download, forward, or otherwise distribute this poster!

Ayres Hall

The  Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia
(301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia)

 Arboretum vicinity map is here.


Cooking Demonstration 

Mushroom Growing Demos

Wild Mushroom Displays

Books, Collectibles, Art

Children’s Activities

Wild Mushroom Identification


Admission to the Mushroom Fair is free with admission to the Arboretum.


No LAMS forays are scheduled at this time, due to dry weather.  LAMS members will receive an announcement of forays as soon as they are scheduled.

You can now join LAMS or renew your current membership, using our convenient and secure PayPal online payment option.

Visit the LAMS Facebook page to see photos of our events  

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LAMS is now on Meetup

Created in January 2002.  Last update December 30, 2017.  Contact the webmaster.
Copyright 2002-2018 by the Los Angeles Mycological Society unless otherwise noted.
All images used with permission of the copyright holder.
This page is part of the Los Angeles Mycological Society web page at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County