Madison Margolin – Set and Setting – Ep. 28 – Mountain Girl with Carolyn Garcia

Carolyn Garcia, one of The Merry Pranksters, chats with Madison Margolin about LSD, letting loose, and communal living.

“We learned to trust each other very quickly. Somehow we knew each other through the gift of the LSD, to see each other’s active brain and personality. Instead of not knowing people very well, you felt like you innately knew them or that you could read their aura.” – Carolyn Garcia

In this episode Madison Margolin and Carolyn Garcia discuss:

  • Carolyn’s time as a psychedelic lab analyst at Stanford
  • The Merry Pranksters 
  • Atmospheric parties and poetry
  • How LSD can put you in touch with yourself
  • Fun, Frolic, and Letting Loose
  • Communal Living 
  • Carolyn and Ram Dass
About Carolyn Garcia:

Carolyn Elizabeth Garcia, also known as Mountain Girl, is an American Merry Prankster and the former wife of Jerry Garcia, the lead vocalist and guitar player with the American rock band, Grateful Dead. The Merry Pranksters were comrades and followers of American author Ken Kesey. Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters lived communally and are noted for the sociological significance of a lengthy road trip they took in the summer of 1964, traveling across the United States in a psychedelic painted school bus, organizing parties, and giving out LSD. Carolyn is the owner of Mountain Girl’s Botanica, a line of beautifully simple herbal products for well-being, brain fitness, and cognitive enhancement. Keep up with Carolyn on her Instagram.

About Madison Margolin:

“I’m a journalist straddling California, New York, and Israel-Palestine, focused on psychedelics, cannabis, and Judaism (in jest, I’ll say “Jews & Drugs”). I also cover culture, policy, and science. I’m passionate and curious about how people can transcend their minds to access something greater than themselves — be it through getting high off acid or God, meditating, creating art, or something somatic, I’ve set out to explore the various ways people nourish their souls. This is what drives me, and most of my writing, in some way or another, connects back to this theme.

These days, I work as an editor at  DoubleBlind, the print and digital magazine I co-founded, covering psychedelics and where they intersect with mental health, spirituality, environmental justice, and social equity. I also co-founded the Jewish Psychedelic Summit and host a podcast called Set & Setting on the Be Here Now Network. I’ve been practicing journalism since 2014 and have been published in outlets like Rolling Stone, Vice, Playboy, High Times, Tablet, and Nylon, among others.

I got my start with a column on cannabis at the Village Voice, just after graduating from Columbia Journalism School. Prior to that, I lived in Tel Aviv, working with Israel’s African refugee community. In a past life, I also lived at a crazy co-op called Cloyne, while studying rhetoric and linguistics at UC Berkeley.

I’m a nerd about language and speak or dabble in French, Russian, Yiddish, and Hebrew. When not working, writing, or reporting, I’m usually dancing, spinning my hula hoop, or practicing yoga.”

Learn more about Madison’s work at