Madison Margolin talks with Seth Ferranti about growing as a person while in prison, the joys of legal cannabis, and how the acid counterculture is really about family and community.
Seth Ferranti is an ex-con filmmaker who did 21 years in federal prison for a first-time, nonviolent LSD/cannabis offense. While in prison he: earned three college degrees, including a Master’s degree; wrote 22 books on gangsters, drug lords, and prison gangs; founded a publishing house and website, Gorilla Convict; and started a career as a journalist writing for VICE, Penthouse, and others. After being released he started making films, including White Boy, which is currently on Netflix. He currently has numerous projects in production and development. Learn more about Seth on his website, plus follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Don’t Let the Time Do You
Madison welcomes Seth, who details how he was able to grow as a person while in prison for 21 years. Seth talks about how psychedelics have helped expand his mind and perspective, and the influence that people like Ram Dass and Tim Leary had on the acid counterculture. Madison asks Seth how he dealt with the anger of being incarcerated for selling substances that are now becoming legalized in various ways.
“They got a saying in prison, they say, ‘You wanna do the time, don’t let the time do you.’ So I always took that as, you know, I’m gonna work, I’m gonna read, I’m gonna do everything to fix everything inside myself because all of us, we all have scars, we all have trauma.” – Seth Ferranti
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The Joys of Legal Cannabis (24:30)
Madison asks Seth about getting out of prison in 2015 and stepping into a new political climate with regards to psychedelics and cannabis. Seth shares the joys of getting to experience legal cannabis for the first time. He talks about a documentary he’s working on about the secret history of the LSD trade, which details some of the legendary figures of the outlaw psychedelic culture.
“It’s a culture, man, it’s a scene. That’s what I gravitated towards.” – Seth Ferranti
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Acid Families (45:15)
Madison and Seth discuss how harder drugs have cartels and gangs, but acid has families. They explore how cannabis culture fits on that spectrum, and Seth details a project he’s working on about Humboldt County in California, also known as the Emerald Triangle. They end by talking about how playing with the different elements of what these substances bring to the table is really what makes these cultures special.
“You hear about these acid families, right? Like, other drugs have cartels… With acid, it’s the acid family…” – Madison Margolin