NFL quarterback Rodgers to speak at psychedelics conference

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A psychedelics conference in Denver in June will feature Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback who has publicly discussed his experiences with the ayahuasca drug.

The Psychedelic Science 2023 conference will be hosted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in Denver from June 19-25. 

The organization and conference explore the utility of psychedelic, hallucinogenic drugs for medicinal and cultural purposes.

Advocates contend that psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms can help treat mental health issues. This year’s conference is the first one to be open to the public, according to the Denver Post, and around 10,000 attendees are expected.

Psychedelics were legalized for medicinal purposes in Colorado by voter referendum in the 2022 election, joining Oregon in allowing the existence of a legal psychedelics industry to develop.

Mr. Rodgers is scheduled to join podcaster and bestselling author Aubrey Marcus in a keynote address June 21. The two are slated to talk about how psychedelic drugs can unlock “elite performance.”

The address will not be the first time Mr. Rodgers has talked about hallucinogens with Mr. Marcus. Last August Mr. Rodgers went on Mr. Marcus’ podcast to discuss an ayahuasca retreat he took and how it improved his play in the National Football League.

Following the retreat, the Packers’ quarterback won Most Valuable Player awards in 2020 and 2021. 

Mr. Rodgers credited ayahuasca with such success, saying the drug “set me on my course to be able to go back into my job and have a different perspective on things. To be way more free at work, as a leader, as a teammate, as a friend, as a lover. I really feel like that experience paved the way for me to have the best season of my career (in 2020).”

Mr. Rodgers went back on Mr. Marcus’ podcast March 1 to discuss a recent darkness retreat, in which the quarterback spent days in a place without light while contemplating his future in the NFL.

While Mr. Rodgers, 39, is still a Packer, he met Tuesday with the owner, coaches and general manager of the New York Jets, who could arrange a trade for him.

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