The Bryan Ortega Story – Natural Healing with Plant Medicines Episode 2 of the Psychedelic Timeshare

Bryan shares his experiences serving in the military as a Forward Observer and Blackhawk Helicopter Crew Chief in Iraq.

He tells his story of returning from combat with PTSD and using alcohol, opiates and pharmaceuticals to treat himself and finding a higher and deeper path with natural plant medicines (cannabis, mushrooms, dmt and 5-meo-dmt).

Bryan tells us how we can move forward to deliver full medical and spiritual freedom in Texas and the US.

The Bryan Ortega Story: A Veteran For Natural Rights

Mark:

Up next on the Psychedelic Timeshare, we have army forward observer and Black Hawk helicopter crew chief Bryan Ortega shares his stories of struggles with opiates, PTSD, depression, the custody of his child, and the healing powers of cannabis and psychedelics.

Bryan:

Tip of the tongue. Tip. Tip. Tip.

Ian:

Ah, you’re going to drop a little freestyle in the intro, huh guest?

Bryan:

Just clearing the pipes.

Ian:

Oh, okay.

Mark:

All right. Welcome to the Psychedelic Timeshare I’m Mark Question. Here as always with Ian.

Ian:

Aka Psychedemus. Tonight we’re blessed to have a wonderful guest, Bryan O, from Texas.

Bryan:

Have a beer.

Ian:

Awesome.

Mark:

You want to give us some background on Bryan?

Ian:

Sure. So Bryan is a veteran of the U.S. Army who grew up in Texas in Cibolo in the area between Austin and San Antonio. And after his service as a Black Hawk crew chief, he experienced the symptoms and reality of PTSD. And in doing so, was unable to get the medical treatment that he needed and decided to pick himself up and his family, moved to Colorado in 2015, and then since then has been healing himself and has come back to Texas for this most recent legislative session in the Texas legislature, following the presidential election to work, to have more cannabis freedom for Texans and all Americans. Does that sound about right Bryan?

Bryan:

It’s pretty accurate, a correction on the PTSD. I did re-classed after I deployed to be a crew chief.

Ian:

We’re going to make sure that for the non-military members, we explained all acronyms, all short… So you reclassified.

Bryan:

Yeah so, just to clarify-

Ian:

Well, Bryan, welcome to the show. Thank you.

Mark:

Yeah. Thanks for being here, Bryan.

Bryan:

Oh, I lost my mic, right. My headphones.

Ian:

Pause while we temporarily make some audio adjustments.

Mark:

While he’s fixing that. So is it crew chief on the helicopter? Or is this somebody that works?

Ian:

No, the crew chief. He does both. So go ahead. I think we just rolled into our next question so, Mark, please ask that question again.

Mark:

Yeah, I was kind of curious if it’s somebody that’s more like a mechanic working on the helicopter or if you’re onboard during, while it’s flying?

Bryan:

Yes, all of that.

Mark:

The answer is yes.

Bryan:

They assist the pilot in all aspects and they do fly with the burden, make sure that it is operational, but that is not what I deployed as. I deployed as a forward observer. And that’s where I experienced my PTSD. So that’s what I just wanted to clarify that it was not through the… Actually I had a wonderful experience with Black Hawks of actually saving a life in combat. So that’s why I re-classed to be a crew chief.

Ian:

Awesome. Awesome. So we kind of did a high-level arc of your military experience to get you here, what are your hopes or aspirations for this next session here in Texas? Which for the folks who don’t know, Texas is a State legislature that meets every two years. So it’s meeting now through the end of May, I think into the very beginning of June and yeah, what would you like to see Bryan accomplished here in Texas in this session and you as a Texas resident, after moving to Colorado for five or six years, coming back, what would you like to see happen here?

Bryan:

Medical freedom.

Ian:

What does that look like?

Bryan:

That looks like full adult access of cannabis, responsible adult use.

Ian:

Okay. So doesn’t that, I mean, that’s a big ask, right? In other words, I don’t disagree with your looking at it, but in Texas politics and how much resistance there’s been, is that a realistic achievement out of this legislative session?

Bryan:

I hope so. Yeah. I mean, you asked me about my hopes and my hopes and dreams are for medical freedom in my State, and it’s not an unreasonable, it’s the right thing to do.

Ian:

So then how do we achieve that? How is that achieved in Texas? The medical freedom that you’re speaking of?

Bryan:

Some of these bills have to get amended or new legislature proposed that will give us access in such a way. Removing the restriction for the low THC.

Ian:

So currently the restriction for THC in Texas as the tea cup bill is written is 0.5%. It was expanded from 0.3%, I think, in the last session. And so, are you for fixed higher limits? Are you for no limits? What is your preference for the regulatory framework on anything in the law relating to the amount of THC in the plant?

Bryan:

No, there should be no limit. I mean, why are we singling out and segregating one cannabinoid? It’s like-

Ian:

Well, why don’t you explain to the listeners who don’t understand the concept of concentration, what the difference between how much THC might be in the plant when it’s grown versus how much THC might be in some form of concentrate after the fact? Because all these rules are written to address how much THC you can have in the plant, which we all know once you get out of the plant, that’s completely meaningless. So why don’t you explain a little bit since you live in Colorado and you’re experiencing that freedom, why setting any kind of percentage limit in the plant when you have all these other forms of it, whatever you want to say, doesn’t fit, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t make sense? So educate us being somebody who has access to those things in Colorado.

Bryan:

Well, I’m just going to speak from what I know. I mean, I’ll probably forget some stuff cause yeah, that happens. But so you’re asking about percentages from the plant. You can have a plant that’s around, I don’t know anywhere from 16 to 30% THC, but that’s only one cannabinoid did exist within the structure of the whole-

Ian:

Well, today in Texas, they’re not as sophisticated. They’re just into the one cannabinoid THC and they’re trying to control how much of it is in there. So they don’t care.

Bryan:

Because so it gets you high.

Ian:

Okay.

Bryan:

Right, and that’s supposedly what impairs you or make you, makes you unresponsive-

Ian:

So explain to the listeners then, if they’re trying to control it, why controlling it in the plant once you turn it into concentrate doesn’t mean anything since you’ve worked in that industry in Colorado, right?

Bryan:

Well, I would say the biggest and quickest answer to say to that is, you can have something testing at, let’s say we were what you were saying earlier, the difference between flower and concentrate. Well, when you take the flower, you squeeze the juice out, you take something going from 26% THC pumping a product out that’s testing anywhere from 63% to-

Ian:

Oh my God, isn’t that going to kill people if we increase the strength of the drugs, all the kids will overdose? That’s not true. You’re telling me it’s better?

Bryan:

That’s fear-mongering.

Ian:

No, but you’re telling me this is even better? No don’t forget about the fear-mongering.

Bryan:

It’s amazing. Yes.

Ian:

No, I’m bringing you the fear-model of people that have a legitimate concern, right? Because this is what they’ve heard. The super-pot it’s all potent. Tell us why potency is better. Do you use less when it’s more potent or more?

Bryan:

That’s what made me choose to move in a sense was having access to the higher potency availability in these concentrated forms of cannabis. That’s where the real pain relief comes from. You can’t have that with, I mean, I traded whiskey for cannabis and it saved my life.

Ian:

Why is that harder if you’re smoking versus using these more concentrated forms?

Bryan:

What do you mean harder?

Ian:

You said that it’s harder to get the pain relief smoking the flower versus the concentrates.

Bryan:

Did I lose my mic again, or my headphones?

Mark:

That might’ve just popped out here. There you go. You should be good. I got to work on the-

Bryan:

But I meant harder in regards to that access.

Ian:

Forget access. What is the reason that cannabis in a concentrated form is more helpful to you medically than smoking the flower? Because you went to Colorado-

Bryan:

Pain relief.

Ian:

If someone doesn’t understand that, and they’re worried about the killer weed, it’s going to make them go crazy and check into the emergency room, because this is what a lot of people in Texas have been fed. So you’re a Texas boy, you went to Colorado and got the good medical experience, so you can come back and tell everyone the good news, about not to be afraid of it.

Bryan:

Well, I was able to medicate like I can’t even remember how many dabs a day I was doing, but it was nothing in comparable to as many shots of whiskey I would take to numb the pain. The only thing that could really combat that and not put me in some sort of zombie-like state or state of impairment where I’m no good to nobody, I needed access to high testing concentrated cannabis.

Ian:

So what you’re saying is that if you spend all your time, smoking flower, just be too much work and too much burning to get the same effect you can get by-

Bryan:

It hurts your lungs. And to get the same effect, I had to smoke a lot more.

Ian:

So what you’re saying is it’s not really that you’re going to get knocked out with more powerful stuff. You just use less of it.

Bryan:

Right. Well, say that again?

Ian:

You’re using less of it, because it’s concentrated. If you said the percentage of cannabis is 20% and then the concentrated 60%-

Mark:

Yeah, how much flower would you have to smoke to get to the point-

Bryan:

A lot.

Ian:

People don’t get it. We need to pound this into people’s heads who don’t know about this, they don’t get it. They think if the stuff is too strong, it’ll make you go crazy. How do you self-regulate with concentrate?

Bryan:

I would say two joints of some high-testing cannabis. I could do one dab and feel about the same, but still it’s functioning. I wouldn’t really think, I guess. Well, for me it is.

Mark:

Especially compared to, if you’re trying to get there with whiskey. I’m a former alcoholic. So I know how non-functional that drug is.

Bryan:

Or yeah, that’s a nightmare in itself.

Ian:

Got it. So the listeners could understand, then if you’re smoking flower to using it medically, like you needed it for the PTSD that smoking it all day long was a big hassle. The burning, the smoke, the not good for you.

Bryan:

Oh yeah, because the effects don’t last all day and they tend to wear off. And the more that you become a habitual user, it requires more cannabis.

Ian:

So how does the concentrate address that? Because people might have fears, “Oh, the concentrate’s stronger, so it’s going to knock me out.” What you’re saying is if you use the concentrate, you actually use less overall, because it doesn’t take as much to get to where you’re trying to get to.

Bryan:

Yeah. People, I rarely see a novice cannabis smoker go straight to dabs. Like if they go straight to dabs, they go straight to the floor. You know what I’m saying? It’s it is powerful stuff. But I mean, that’s where education comes into play and responsible adult use, harm reduction. These are all things that will be taken care of or should be taken care of. You know what I’m saying?

Ian:

What I’m hearing you say is that if somebody knows what they’re doing on a medical side, the concentrates are a faster path to ethicacy and safety. And if someone’s using it more, let’s just say hanging out and relaxing with their friends, they can afford to use flower, because they’re not trying to get as much pain relief necessarily or something else, they’re just more wanting to relax.

Bryan:

Right, yeah. The language is already out there and framework is written for people to research this stuff on their own. And the people who really don’t know how to do it are people who don’t use cannabis. And people who do use cannabis, they do the research it’s out there.

Ian:

Okay. So what is the message then this session that you would like as a Texas resident, who’s lived in Colorado and had the benefit of medical cannabis and now come back because of Texas is the place you want to live, it’s where your family and friends are, it’s where your life is? How can you have the life that you had in Colorado, in Texas, where the people here are not afraid of that lifestyle and it fits and it works for you and for them, how do we do that?

Bryan:

A well-regulated market.

Ian:

Okay. So what is the program that you’d like to see here in Texas past this session? What would be your ideal scenario?

Bryan:

Oh, wow. Thanks for the warning by the way.

Ian:

It’s better this way.

Bryan:

No preparation. I thought I was just coming to hang out.

Ian:

Yes.

Bryan:

So yeah, I guess that’s what we’re doing. So to answer your question, the best I’ve seen it, I haven’t really had time to dig into-

Ian:

Yeah, you don’t have to limit yourself to the bills. You know what I mean? I’ve read some of them. It’s just more what would you like to see? And also what’s realistic? You had to leave the state to get your cannabis freedom. So you understand the Texas politics and the history of the cannabis and how we got here.

Bryan:

Yeah. Senator Gutierrez. Yeah. I think it’s HB 140. It’s probably from what I’ve read and I haven’t read Moody’s bill, but it’s the best piece of legislation out there.

Ian:

So it’s like the full medical Monty, right? Everything’s covered.

Bryan:

Recreational use too. The only problem I see in there is it has the low THC content, the cap.

Ian:

Sure. So we definitely don’t want to fall into the whole trap of discussing all the pros and cons of the bills. What I really want to know from you Bryan is so let’s instead of talking about specific legislation, what would you like to see? We’re not going to have legal cannabis this session out of Texas, anybody thinks that is ridiculous. We’re going to have some sort of improvement to the existing medical bills or some new bill that’s going to be approved and amended to that old one or something to that. We’ll have a medical bill. What would you like to see in Texas this session?

Bryan:

If you’re asking me what’s my compromise?

Ian:

No, I’m saying you have your voice and you have your story, how would you like to see that applied and spent in the political process in Texas in this session? Because you have some-

Bryan:

Decriminalization in one word.

Ian:

Okay. So you’re going to be about Moody’s bill, which is going to be about just de-criming four ounces of cannabis.

Bryan:

No de-criming all cannabis. It’s not a crime to use or possess cannabis for sale and distribution.

Ian:

Well, we know the way the bills go. There’s three types of bills. There’s the de-crim, there’s the medical. And then there’s the full legal. We’re not going to get the full legal.

Bryan:

Yes we are.

Ian:

In this session?

Bryan:

Yes sir.

Ian:

Okay.

Mark:

I like the optimism.

Ian:

Okay. So then Bryan. Yeah, Bryan’s putting the weights on his shoulders here.

Bryan:

It’s not on my shoulders. People been doing some great work.

Ian:

Absolutely, right.

Mark:

Do either of you know how this low THC, how that slips in there or why that even got in there in the first place?

Ian:

It’s a concession to give something-

Bryan:

It’s begging for crumbs, it’s crumbs.

Ian:

Yeah. It’s a political ploy. It’s like a little Trojan horse.

Mark:

So I moved here from Colorado and I think Utah still has this on the books. They had with the alcohol still leftover from prohibition when they first legalized alcohol, they had, we called it 3.2 beer, 3.2% beer. And it was, that’s what you would get on Sundays or at the gas stations at the non-liquor store places. And what you end up doing is having to play beer pong with this weak-ass beer, and drink 1,000 of them to really get anywhere.

Bryan:

We still have remnants of that, with the blue laws.

Mark:

Right. Right. It doesn’t make sense to me to even start there. If you want to do a lower concentrated product, you can do that, you can do that later.

Ian:

Yeah. There’s no way that the current system will work as is, because it’s frankenweed to make any percentage of THC or CBD.

Bryan:

It’s diet weed. It’s not natural.

Ian:

You can’t get it that low. It doesn’t go there.

Bryan:

It’s not natural.

Ian:

It doesn’t go below a percent anyway. So the the point is, let’s talk about either de-crim, medical or full legal.

Bryan:

Well, hold on.

Ian:

Okay.

Bryan:

Well, I just want to say something real quick about why that’s so scary.

Ian:

Well, what’s so scary?

Bryan:

The low THC.

Ian:

We know it doesn’t work.

Bryan:

They’re creating the framework for us to be submitting to genetically engineered plants.

Mark:

It’s like setting the whole thing up for failure.

Ian:

What I understand the plan for this session is to get doctors determining THC levels with their patients. That’s the ultimate goal. They’re willing to give up right to grow.

Bryan:

That can be great for the medical program. And give growers and businesses tax incentives and lower prices for patients.

Ian:

We can’t talk about all the plans at one time, we got to talk about what-

Bryan:

Full rack.

Ian:

So you think, we’re going to have full rec in Texas.

Bryan:

That’s what I want.

Ian:

Okay.

Bryan:

And that’s what I’m advocating for.

Ian:

Okay.

Mark:

And as much as we think of Texas as, especially people who aren’t, haven’t been here, not from here as some sort of backwater place where they may as well hang you for having a joint. And there are some places like that, my experience has been, I’ve been out on a ranch with a bunch of old guys, and they’re all smoking weed, but they did tell me, they’ve been friends for years, but they’ve all been closeted, weed smokers. They’re all stoners, but they’ve been hiding it from each other until the last few years.

Bryan:

That’s hilarious.

Ian:

So Bryan, you believe that it’s a political reality that cannabis can be recreational in Texas coming out of this 2021 session?

Bryan:

Yes. If people do the right thing. The bills have been submitted, there’s just a couple of tweaks to a few of them that would make it possible. They just need to be brought to the floor and be read and come to a vote, go to committee.

Ian:

So you believe that there’s the political willpower in the State for that to happen?

Bryan:

The bills are there, if people just do the right thing. Our representatives our senators.

Ian:

Well, I know. But this is what happened last session though, is that Dan Patrick stopped any movement of Senator

Bryan:

I mean, maybe he’s had a change of heart. I think cannabis has been proven to be recession proof and essential, especially throughout the pandemic.

Ian:

Sure. So the point being is just Dan Patrick said, “Nothing’s going to pass his desk on cannabis.” He’s still there.

Bryan:

He could have a change of heart.

Ian:

Definitely. He could definitely have a change of heart. I’m just saying that the political reality is that he has a lot of power and if he doesn’t want something to come to a vote in the Senate, kind of like Mitch McConnell in the last administration, right? He can sit on it.

Bryan:

Yeah. Well then I’d like to know why.

Ian:

Well, I think the bigger thing is his he’s not up for reelection until November of 2022.

Bryan:

I want a better reason.

Ian:

Well, last time what he did was he had, yeah.

Bryan:

I’ve called the office multiple times.

Ian:

Yeah. What did they say to you?

Bryan:

I just get sent to a voicemail to leave a message for the scheduler.

Ian:

So are they going to open the Capitol back up for lobbying?

Bryan:

I haven’t gotten that far. I’ve been back and forth from Colorado, still for the past couple of weeks, wrapping up some loose ends and getting ready to touchdown fully in Texas.

Ian:

So what’s the reason that you feel that full recreational is something possible and realistic when so far, we just got this low THC and of course we have CBD now, and we haven’t really been able to get a medical program. What’s the source or basis for your optimism that we’ll have a significant improvement in the Texas program?

Bryan:

Well, there’s so many other programs out there that have beautiful legislation, that established cannabis reform in a respectful way that everybody can tolerate is palatable.

Ian:

Sure. But Texas has had the luxury of the oil and gas revenue to not have to consider cannabis as much to fill holes in revenues. So what-

Bryan:

That’s not cool. Just because of that, they don’t have to let another group in. It’s just so reminiscent of Jim Crow-style legislation, segregation, divide, something’s better this or that. People get real medical value from this plant that cannot be denied.

Ian:

Yeah. Well, is this something that’s going to be about the political realities in Texas, Bryan? Or is it going to be around the personal stories of transformation?

Bryan:

Are you asking what’s going to enact change?

Ian:

Yeah, exactly. You’re pretty optimistic about what can happen and you have a great story. So yeah. What’s the source of your optimism that Texas which we’ve lagged behind? We have medical cannabis in every other State that’s surrounding Texas, but we don’t have any kind of medical program here. So what’s the source or reason for your optimism?

Bryan:

Just the political climate associated with cannabis in general. And since I’ve been back down to Texas, I’ve met with the few groups, some of the leaders and representatives here and there, and I’ve seen the other ones in what they’re doing. And there really seems to be some wonderful leaders in this community that are doing the right thing and have it buttoned up pretty tight Jax, Heather, and a few of the others that they work with. I think it’s a Texas Responsible Marijuana Policy Project, or something like that. I’m misquoting it. I got Heather’s card, but I saw Jax on there. They put a presentation together that tells everybody on what they can do, if they want to get involved, work with their legislatures. That’s why I’m hopeful is there’s the right people doing the right thing. And then the majority of Texas wants this.

Ian:

So what’s the holdup?

Bryan:

The laws. The people of Texas really don’t have any power. I feel if we could have had a…

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:26:04]

Bryan:

… because he’s really don’t have any power. I feel if we could have had a ballot initiative by the citizens-

Ian:

We’re never going to get one. We lost it.

Bryan:

I think we can get that.

Ian:

No, we had one. We had one from cannabis.

Bryan:

Really?

Ian:

Yes. And what happened was, in 1994 at San Marcus university, people decided to try to take advantage of that to use it specifically for cannabis. And they quashed that in the next legislative session where they removed that from the Texas constitution.

Bryan:

Well, how has that using it? Isn’t that what you’re allowed to do if you get enough signatures? You get-

Ian:

That’s what I’m saying. They changed the rule so people couldn’t use that.

Bryan:

That’s just not right.

Ian:

Only two thirds of the States have that kind of constitutional ability-

Bryan:

Why people are not upset about it? Why-

Ian:

… for people to write it in. Texas doesn’t have that.

Bryan:

How do you feel?

Ian:

How do I feel?

Bryan:

Yeah.

Ian:

Am I upset? It’s happened in the past. I can’t do anything to change it. So I’m not upset about it at all. That’s why we’re talking about the crazy nuances of like, “Are we going to get decent medical program? We’re going to get

Bryan:

They took our rights away.

Ian:

Yes.

Bryan:

We should be upset for a little bit, at least.

Ian:

If the upset doesn’t lead to us doing any political change then it’s just a complete… Actually not even just a waste of time, it’s a waste of our energy.

Bryan:

Maybe ‘upset’ is a wrong word.

Ian:

Yeah.

Bryan:

Because it’s so hard to change?

Ian:

No, I just want to direct it in some other place, which is called advancing cannabis legislation. The fact that

Bryan:

What if somebody has nothing better to do than to get that back?

Ian:

Oh, then you never get it. There’s never been that ever happened in the history of the United States. Once you lose the ballot initiative.

Bryan:

Do we have sound bites we can play? …

Ian:

So, you’re for full legalization. Okay, so then what is the story or what is the message or what would you like to talk about, Bryan, in your own personal story that will aluminate and educate the minds of Texas, the senators and the house members in Texas, the people in these committees, the people who are in the state? What do you want to say to them so that they get the message? Because a lot of people have been fed the lies of the drug war, the lies of dare for a long time, and they don’t have any better information. So what is it you want to say to them?

Bryan:

Ooh, I don’t know that I really have formulated my opinion entirely on that. I’ve been in Colorado for so long, and Texas is so different. The political climate here is different.

Ian:

How long have you lived in Colorado?

Bryan:

I would say four years, but-

Ian:

What year did you move there?

Bryan:

2017, January.

Ian:

Okay. And then you’ve spent the last four years in Colorado, basically. And are you moving back to Texas or you…

Bryan:

Yes.

Ian:

Okay.

Bryan:

Just finished completely.

Ian:

Congratulations.

Bryan:

Thank you. Thank you.

Ian:

Welcome back home.

Bryan:

It’s been like a month.

Ian:

So what did you learn living in Colorado and not only were you a medical patient in Colorado, right? But eventually you got into the cannabis industry in Colorado. So, what is the powerful message that you want people in Texas, who are afraid of cannabis or they got in the alcohol or pharmaceutical lobby, whatever? What can you share with us? What can you share with them that can help them get past the drug war and the dare program and all the propaganda?

Bryan:

Wow. That’s a heavy question.

Ian:

That’s not. That’s the opportunity, Bryan. I mean, that’s the opportunity for us veterans. We have the microphone and this veteran message of natural healing has not yet been heard by the country at all.

Bryan:

Right.

Ian:

And so Texas is the Alamo. Texas is the last place for this to be an issue, and this is the end of the drug war.

Bryan:

Or this is our Alamo.

Ian:

Yeah.

Bryan:

There’s so much depth to that answer. I worked on legislation. I worked there in the business side.

Ian:

Yeah, Let’s start at the fear point. What if people are afraid of weed coming to Texas?

Bryan:

Why? I would say why? Because it’s been illegal. Why are they scared of it?

Ian:

Because of all the propaganda, saying is-

Bryan:

It can’t hurt you. There’s no overdose from cannabis. It’s one of the safe… Well, actually I think mushrooms are safer actually than any other drug, but it’s a beautiful thing. It developed alongside us for thousands of years. It was only just recently taken away from us because of business, of greed, of segregation. I mean, everything was made from hemp back in the day.

Ian:

Amen. So you’re saying that politics, you’re saying that the fossil fuel industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the prison industry, all these industries make money off of cannabis being illegal.

Bryan:

Oh, yeah.

Ian:

And if we don’t have those markets, and we have cannabis instead, there’s more tax revenue, people get along better… Because you’ve lived that, right? You’ve lived in Colorado, and you’ve seen up close and personal?

Bryan:

Yeah. I mean-

Ian:

The taxes that have come out of the industry, right? Are being invested back in the community.

Bryan:

I would venture to say that the tax revenue that you could generate from a legal cannabis market far outweighs the revenue that they’re getting from low-level criminal possession.

Ian:

Everybody in Texas knows that Texas has the luxury through the oil and gas to not have to listen to those realities because they’re going to afford not to. So, what’s the message that you want to-

Bryan:

That’s so sad. That’s so cold to hear.

Ian:

So bring that message, though, from Colorado, that people who believe in that luxury are and have been effected by the propaganda and think weed’s evil. This is your platform to be able to address those valid concerns. Why shouldn’t they be afraid?

Bryan:

Well, because what’s evil about weed is keeping it out of the hands of people that need it. There’s a patient community that moved to Colorado from all over the country to seek the healing that Colorado affords people by having full access and patient protected rights, because of… I lost my train of thought.

Ian:

It’s all good. You’re just saying that the Colorado people there have come from all over the country and really benefited by medical program, because in Texas we know with the politics they’ve been able to slow down cannabis because we’ve got all the oil and gas revenues.

Bryan:

Right. Right. But there’s a millions of people that are suffering because they don’t have access to this medication. I mean, the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t want to lose all that business. The last time I checked the consensus for Texas, it was 2016, and it said that we had about 1.6, 1.7 million veterans in the State of Texas. It was about 2017 to 2018 when I found healing. So there were probably about 2 million veterans in the State of Texas, that doesn’t include the active duty service members all throughout the great state, they’re one of the biggest bases in the world in Colleen, in San Antonio’s Military City USA.

Ian:

So, that’s awesome.

Bryan:

Right. So-

Ian:

Why should veterans, then… Let’s talk about veterans. Why should veterans have these medicines?

Bryan:

Because it helps with PTSD, and it helps with depression. And the side effect from marijuana, as far as I can personally tell, is not suicide, which is what you get from majority of pharmaceuticals, from Western medicine. I’m not saying I’m against Western medicine, but I’m just saying we should have the choice.

Ian:

Sure. But you’re saying that if you get these medicines from your doctor who prescribes them, if the doctor prescribes them, you’re saying you could still want to kill yourself. Because I don’t think a lot of people know. People who are on these medicines, prescribed by their doctor, they can still want to kill themselves. That’s one of the sad things.

Bryan:

Yeah. You’re talking about like a psychotropic medications-

Ian:

Yes.

Bryan:

… the anti-psychotic medication?

Ian:

Regular people, who haven’t been on 20 or 30 meds because they weren’t in the military, and that PTSD was just not in their world, let them in.

Bryan:

Yeah. Wow. Oh, yeah. So, I guess… Yeah. So, I would say I am a suicide survivor. I have attempted suicide, and I felt a lot of that was because of the medication that I was on.

Ian:

How many were you on at the time where that occurred?

Bryan:

I can’t even remember. My memory is pretty bad. 10, off the top of my head.

Mark:

So aside from being able to let go of the whisky, cannabis let you get rid of about 10 different pharmaceuticals.

Bryan:

Oh, yeah. I mean, well, I would say I was on maybe three or four, legit. These are the problems I came with, and these are the solutions they gave me. But the rest of them would be whatever they gave you to counteract the side effects from the medicine that they gave you. So, it’s a spiral, it’s a loophole, and then those cause all kinds of biological symptoms and reactions that are not good that you do not get from cannabis at all.

Ian:

Got it. So you were able to go from these 10 medications to just cannabis, right?

Bryan:

Yeah.

Ian:

And not having side effects that included at least suicidal thoughts or ideations?

Bryan:

Right. Some of these medications we’re talking about, we’re talking about like lithium, we’re talking about Prozac, we’re talking about Welbutrin, Depakote, some of these bad, bad stuff. I mean, they were… I mean, I think I remember being on an anti-seizure medication because they thought that one of the side effects or symptoms… I’m probably misquoting that right now, but it was supposed to be beneficial. They found in studies for whatever it is that they were giving it to me for.

Ian:

And side effects are a good benefit on the other end for some other reasons

Bryan:

Yeah. There’s a word for it, but I’m not a doctor, so… Yeah.

Ian:

So, yeah. So you’ve been experimented on quite heavily. So once you were able to get off of those medications and get on cannabis, was that able to stabilize you?

Bryan:

Whoa. Yeah. Of course. It was like a fog was lifted. I felt like myself again, it was a reconnection to my body, to my mind, to my soul, to my spirit, to nature, to everything around me. I think it made me want to be outside more. It made me want to seek to be better. So I did go to therapy. I did go to my doctor’s appointments. I did do my checkups and get everything and every resource to me because I wasn’t a criminal, and I wasn’t just a pill zombie.

Ian:

So, the cannabis then was able to replace all these other medications that you were on, and… So you were able to get good sleep, right?

Bryan:

Oh, yeah.

Ian:

You were able to not have anxiety. You were not-

Bryan:

Well, I mean…

Ian:

Yeah. That’s why we’re asking you those. tell us.

Bryan:

Yeah. So you should do your research and approach cannabis with caution just as you would everything else that’s recommended for adults. Children in some medical cases will benefit from it under the supervision of adults, of course. But, yeah. What were we talking about?

Ian:

no worries.

Bryan:

dabs.

Ian:

So what about other natural plant medicines? Because you’re kind of alluding that cannabis could address some of your symptoms that the other medicines are being prescribed for as far as being able to sleep or anxiety, but that the cannabis couldn’t completely or not address all of them. So is that a accurate statement or?

Bryan:

Oh. Yeah. Cannabis afforded me the ability to help manage my pain and manage my symptoms from PTSD in a way that allowed me to be a more functioning adult. I feel like it made me seek more healing, the right kind of things that I needed for me. And I was able to talk about it. I wasn’t avoiding it because PTSD, a big part of that, is avoidance and agoraphobia type stuff. You staying at the house, not being able to leave the house. So yeah, cannabis afforded me that opportunity, but weaning… I was taking pain meds for so long. I was taking prescription from the government. One of the highest doses of opioids you could take, hydrocodone, one of the max doses you could take per day for 10 years. And just the sheer volume alone had caused me so many issues.

Bryan:

People don’t really realize that the way it works is it starts to cause your pain. And there’s a lot of medical science that goes behind that, and I’m not a doctor, but I know it creates more neurons and it makes you more sensitive to pain, but you still need it because of the dependency. So it was not until towards the end when I decided to pick up and move. I ran out of medication, and I got sick. I didn’t realize that it was like maybe a day or two. I didn’t really notice it until like the next time it happened, which wasn’t shortly after. It was a couple of days. I think I had lost some pills, and it was a couple of days before I could refill my medication. And I got sick again. And I connected the pattern, and the way that I was feeling, and my cravings, and I realized I was dope-sick, and it was such a disgusting reality. And it made me want to want a better life because I would curse the sun every time I came up, because it was another day of pain, and I didn’t want to live like that. It was not a good existence.

Ian:

And so you were able to find cannabis?

Bryan:

My healing didn’t come just from cannabis. It allowed me to find the doctor, the resources. I was trying to wean off my pain medication with the help of a physician, who was always able to talk about cannabis use with, and be open and honest, and they were able to give me their recommendations for it or against it and helped me manage everything else that I was coming off of. It was great medical team. I would love to plug them one day. I’m pretty sure I can, but we’ll talk about that. But yeah-

Ian:

So you were able to get off the meds?

Bryan:

I wasn’t, I wasn’t, I wasn’t. I tried weaning off, but it wasn’t working for me. I would end up taking more and running out quicker, and it felt dangerous. So I told.. I was like, “Doc, I’m just going to go cold turkey.” So it was like a week before finals, just kind of went and sat. We had an RV at the time, and it was parked in storage. So there was no electricity. It was like the middle of December, had it been 15 degrees outside. And I’m just like, I’m trying to kick these pills, and I ran out. So I’m like, “It’s just not going to get anymore.” And man, it was like 15 degrees outside. And I’m in my underwear laying on, what should have been a cold floor, but I was just sweating buckets, and I was so hot, and… Don’t make me cry.

Ian:

You’re doing amazing, man.

Bryan:

Yeah, man. The pain! Oh, my God, the pain… If I had to describe it, and the only way I’ve ever been able to describe it… I can’t really remember that… I just remember the way it made me feel. And I wanted to take a knife and cut my legs open, all the way down to the bone, like filet, and… That wasn’t viewer… Audio, what do you say? Viewer’s discretion advised.

Ian:

No, this is-

Bryan:

Trigger warning.

Ian:

Yeah, trigger warning.

Bryan:

Trigger warning.

Ian:

This is a full forum.

Bryan:

We should put that at the beginning of the show.

Bryan:

But anyways, I’m wanting to cut my legs open down to the bone and take one of those wire grill brushes that you use to get the stuff off the metal and just scratch it, like you would use in a backscratcher. And that would be in my mind the only way I could have got relief from the intense pain that I was feeling. It was so bad. And somebody gave me mushrooms…

Bryan:

Man, now I’m crying.

Bryan:

Yeah. They saved my life, and it activism, activism. That was…

Ian:

So you were able to get off a lot of these pharmaceuticals?

Bryan:

It was instant.

Ian:

Yeah.

Bryan:

I did not go back to opioids after that. I think it was 14 grams, one night, and seven, but yeah, I don’t recommend that.

Ian:

For people who don’t know that Terence McKenna] heroic dose scale-

Mark:

Like a half an ounce of mushrooms.

Ian:

If people don’t know the Terence McKenna heroic dose scale, which is already five grams in total darkness. What did you say? Was it 14 grams and?

Bryan:

Yeah.

Mark:

About three times a heroic dose. How many-

Ian:

So, did it work?

Bryan:

Beautiful. It so worked. It just allowed me to sit with my pain and exists in a state of awareness. It was beyond my suffering, and it was beautiful.

Ian:

Amen. Wow.

Mark:

Was that enough to reset like your opioid receptors or your dopamine production? Or you were pretty good after that?

Bryan:

The pain just had not gone away, but it was not as loud. And I was bruised. And the rest of it kind of just felt like getting over the flu, because it was 14 grams, one night, and then 7 grams the next, which wasn’t as crazy as the 14 grams in the first night, but still nice. And I was able to go to school the next week and did pretty good on my test, and I didn’t have the cravings to go back to opioids. And it was just victory after victory with my healing after that. And then the Bufo and DMT in Mexico.

Ian:

Exactly.

Mark:

Amen.

Ian:

Yeah. Well, that’s really, really powerful, Bryan. And I think-

Mark:

Yeah, thank you for sharing that.

Bryan:

Sure.

Ian:

Yeah. And I think this is what the people in Texas need to understand. There’s a lot of drug war propaganda that’s been going around for a long time, and they need to hear these real personal stories of how bad the pharmaceuticals and the other kinds of treatments can be. And the end of that road, right? For most people is suicide.

Bryan:

Yeah. They’ll be a great segue into a mantra. Because realistically decriminalization is probably the best thing that’s going to happen legislatively. And I would say to unto them, emphasize behavioral health, mental health, and mental fitness over criminalization. I think the way people have been able to instill all this fear that comes from associated drug-use is because of what you typically find with people that are abusing drugs and the choices they make on harder things. And the addiction… Most of these things are coming out of response to addiction and lack of resources. And we need to change the drugs are not the problem. Criminalization is not the answer. It’s not when you stop locking people up for a sacred herb.

Ian:

Amen. Amen. So in this progression of getting off the alcohol and pills and getting onto cannabis and then starting to move into these other, whatever we want to call them, natural medicines, these psychedelics,

Bryan:

They’re entheogens to me.

Ian:

yeah.

Bryan:

Yeah.

Ian:

So then you’re saying on this path, you had the opportunity to work with 5-MeO-DMT and DMT in Mexico?

Bryan:

Yeah.

Ian:

And yeah, tell us about that.

Bryan:

Oh. Life-changing. I was raised religious. For people who may not know to clarify entheogens are some sort of psychedelic or psychotropic type of medication that induces a mind altering type state that people have some sort of profound religious experience as well incorporated into some kind of healing that they may experience, be it with anxiety, depression, things like that. Some people will meet God. I’ve heard it expressed, and I can’t quote where I read it or heard it, but an atheists find God.

Ian:

Maybe, Bryan, what could be a little bit helpful is also people understand this trajectory. So, you were using the cannabis, you’re off than these pharmaceuticals, you’re getting to sleep, the lack of anxiety, right? With the cannabis?

Bryan:

Yeah.

Ian:

But you’re saying after all this pain med-use, you’re using the mushrooms, you’re getting this reset, what-

Bryan:

Right. So, I get to Colorado and I’m starting to use the cannabis, but it still takes me about a year to get off of the whiskey of the opioids and really be in some sort of functioning kind of way.

Ian:

Beautiful. Beautiful. And then you go from there to the mushrooms, and then you’re saying… Then later in the process of Mexico with some of these other medicines, and yeah. So-

Bryan:

Yeah, maybe a year later.

Ian:

Yeah. So what were those other medicines, or what was this part of the process doing for you? You know what I mean? There was the continuation of the process. Why go to Mexico and do those other medicines? Why not… So for people who don’t understand the kind of this healing journey, this healing process, why doesn’t it just happen where you do the mushrooms once and you’re fixed and you’re healed? Right?

Bryan:

Yeah.

Ian:

How come it doesn’t work that way? Because the old model is you got to take these things forever, and they’ll keep the bumper guards on you, but you won’t experience the full thing. Now, you got to experience the full thing. If you’ve been using pain meds for 10 years, why doesn’t 14 grams of mushrooms and then 7 grams the next day? Why doesn’t that completely fix you all in one shot? Is not that… I’m being facetious here, of course. Doesn’t that fix you all at once?

Mark:

I always actually pretty impressed that it got you that far

Ian:

Oh, totally.

Bryan:

Man.

Mark:

… over the withdrawals.

Ian:

Yeah.

Bryan:

It did it. I did eat quite a bit. So that I could have been the secret. But I mean, this

Ian:

Your ego had no place to go but to accept the reality that it was going to get down-regulated for a while.

Bryan:

Exactly. Exactly. And I was so ready willing to surrender to the medicine, and I think that’s why it works so well.

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:52:04]

Bryan:

To surrender to the medicine. I think that’s why it works so well in that regard.

Ian:

So, tell us about your experiences work with these other medicines in Mexico. And you can even explain to people what they are, how they work, or whatever you want to… Why Mexico? Mexico, for the people who don’t know, currently by the Mexican Constitution, all medicine use, drug use, is personally constitutional, separate from the medical and then full legalization programs they are rolling now.

Bryan:

I’ve come such a long way since then. I was still on a path of healing. I was still struggling. I was fighting for custody of my son. I had to mourn his death, so to speak. It was incredibly difficult because of the way the law works.

Ian:

So, for people who don’t yet know your story, in the personal healing journey to use cannabis, to address your healing, that compromised your access to your children, right?

Bryan:

Right, took them away.

Ian:

Yeah.

Bryan:

About the same time I got accepted in engineering school, I got a restraining order saying that my son couldn’t visit me in Colorado because of cannabis use.

Ian:

How old was your son at the time?

Bryan:

He was about eight.

Ian:

So you were a criminal because-

Bryan:

I admitted to using-

Ian:

from a Texas perspective, from a child protective services, you’re a cannabis user. And even though you’re a legal medical patient in Colorado-

Bryan:

Legal medical patient.

Ian:

You’re a bad parent in Texas.

Bryan:

Committed no crime. It’s just the way the law works. And like you said, because of oil and gas, they don’t have to accept cannabis rights. So they’re not going to… I don’t think it’s just. I don’t think it’s constitutional. I think it’s a certain… Was it inalienable right. It was bestowed upon us by the creator. It’s in our constitution.

Ian:

Amen. I don’t disagree with you at all. And so, what’s the message that you’d like the Texas legislators and the governor to hear from you, who’s had this experience in Colorado and had this military experience, and been on these meds and made it through the other side, through suicidal attempts and ideation, and continuing to heal yourself. What’s the message that you’d like them to hear? With I know this COVID stuff it’s even harder to lobby, but if you had them all in a room for a minute or so, well, what would you want to say to them?

Bryan:

I’m still formulating that opinion. I would express my disappointment. Texas used to be the leader in everything, education, economy, infrastructure, but they fell way behind in patients’ rights, minority rights, drug reform. The cannabis in the world is leaving them behind. A lot of people acknowledge the medical value. It’s curing cancer. We have to acknowledge that and give patients full access to a regulated market because they’re going to do it, anyways. They need cannabis, so they’re going to get it, especially the ones that have tried it and understand, they become criminals and they could go to jail and lose access to their medicine for just seeking healing. It’s not right. I would ask them to do the right thing. We can do it responsibly and we can be leaders again and show the nation how it’s done.

Ian:

Well, okay. So I’ll just maybe play a little bit of counterpoint. Texas, today, will say, “Look, at California where cannabis has been legal and medical for a while, people may have the free access to the cannabis, or open access to it. But they’ve got high taxes and Elon Musk and Joe Rogan and everyone is moving here.” So Texas, it seemed, that it’s been able to afford that, and they also can point to California and say, “We don’t want the high taxes.” So what’s the message to Texas on why cannabis is good for Texas, or good for the Texas economy? Because Texas with the oil and gas revenue, as you were saying before, has luxury to ignore.

Bryan:

I mean, I have not done the numbers and I’m not a financial expert, but I know cannabis is a billion dollar industry. I know it’s brought in revenue for all different types of reasons. I mean, whatever they want to create, however they want to divert the funds. They can go to that. And it can really improve the economic resources, build the community up, improve the community, it’s a public health issue.

Ian:

So do you think the fact that… You said decrim seems to be the most, maybe, let’s just say, efficient course. Is that the way to get psychedelics done at the same time, with cannabis? Because in other words, Texas-

Bryan:

Yeah. So, why not?

Ian:

Well, I’m just saying, do you see if… What do you think is most likely? Is Texas going to decrim cannabis? Are we going to get a medical program? I know you’d said you’d like to see total legalization.

Bryan:

Yeah. Full legalization. Well, a pretty well-regulated market. I mean, we could do it responsibly and not overtax. Make it so incredibly hard that weed creates another pool for the routes we have to… I’ve got to get some water. I think I’ve got cotton mouth.

Ian:

Pause right there on the editing board.

Mark:

So both of y’all are veterans. When I was about to graduate high school, I talked to multiple recruiters from multiple branches. And one of the things that a recruiter told me was, “Even if you’re only 18, if you’re willing to put your life on the line here, somebody’s going to buy you some alcohol.” I’m wondering where the recruiter is that says something along the lines of, “Come on in, do a few years, and by the time you get out and if you have PTSD or traumatic brain injury, one of us is going to get you some cannabis or psychedelics.”

Bryan:

That’d be great. I would love to see that. I think you should one, never trust your recruiter. We had some guys-

Ian:

On the next show, we’ll bring in our mutual friend, Ben former army recruiter.

Bryan:

Current, he’s still active.

Ian:

When I met the current one you’re talking about, I’m talking about somebody totally else named by Bob. Because yeah, not talking about…

Bryan:

I know a Bob.

Ian:

Hold on. Let’s get some confidential bleeping and blooping and scrambling in here, remember the KCK-13, how you could get the encrypted commo between the aircraft and all the UHF and VHF. So yes, we will… We promise that Psychedelic Time Share here to never disclose the identity of people, especially that are on active duty still.

Bryan:

Edit.

Ian:

It’s a full edit. It’s just a…

Mark:

I’m going to make you have to adjust the levels on all the audio after the show.

Ian:

I’m having too much fun here, for sure. Mark’s got to pull the reins in. You roll us Mark.

Mark:

Well, I guess before we forget, we might as well take the time to… The average person listening, what can they do if they are in Texas? What can they do if they’re not in Texas to help out with some of this.

Bryan:

Some of what? What are you looking for?

Mark:

Getting legalization, cannabis for veterans, cannabis for everyone.

Bryan:

Right now it’s illegal. Yeah, I really can’t make any recommendations on how to get it other than going through a state where it’s legal and you can have access to heal in a way that you want to. I would say be active, reach out to your senators and talk about what it is that you want changed. Make sure there’s a bill that’s been introduced. Tell them about your story. Tell them about maybe some research that you’ve done and ask them to vote a certain way on a piece of legislation that you feel could impact your community in a positive way. That’s what I would say. Beyond that it’s still a crime. I mean, they’ve gone real far with some of these diversion campaigns I’ve seen in some cities, but there’s still a lot of work to be done and we’re not going to get there until we have full legalization. We can start mental health programs where we emphasize mental health, mental fitness over criminalization and stop locking people up for a plant for natural healing.

Mark:

Is there anything on a ballot coming up. Or is there any way to help get something on a ballot?

Bryan:

I think we were talking about that earlier. You can’t really…

Ian:

There’s no ballot initiative in Texas we lost tried to utilize it for cannabis in the early nineties, the legislature saw that move around cannabis and then took it away.

Bryan:

The only real power Texans have is to communicate with your representatives, your senators on what you want changed. And they go to the floor and hopefully there’s a bill there that they can vote a certain way, but they have to see the floor. They have to go to committee.

Ian:

So what do you see as the future of psychedelics in America? You can apply that in general or to veterans.

Bryan:

It’s a Renaissance. If we can pay attention to what psychedelics can afford us as human beings in general, I think we can totally progress as a civilization, not just in regards to healing, but healing in all aspects, connection, mind, body, spirit, science, bridging the gap. We’re talking about the evolution of mankind here.

Ian:

How are veterans in the unique position to share this message that you’re communicating with the rest of the society? What’s unique about their experience?

Bryan:

Well, it’s because of what veterans stand for, what it means to be a veteran. What kind of training you have to go through to be a member of the armed forces. A combat veteran has its own warrant for why it’s respected. That being said, we have a tag of PTSD. I mean, it’s almost like we’re the poster children for PTSD and that’s okay. Which just means we have another mission, but we’re really only like 25% of the population that has, or has been diagnosed with PTSD. There’s a number of civilians that suffer from things that happen here in their homes, near their homes, by their homes that caused them to experience some sort of traumatic event. And psychedelics has been shown to have a profound impact on how people live, status, quality of life.

Ian:

How does it help veterans reintegrate from their service or childhood trauma or combat experiences?

Bryan:

Wow. I’m not a doctor. So all I have to speak-

Ian:

How has it helped you? Are there other friends or people that you serve with, or that you know, through this kind of right, healing community of other people?

Bryan:

It’s just such a deep response that I could give. My mind’s spinning because the healing and progression I’ve found, it’s next level. It’s really, like I said, it was healing in a sense that it was spiritual. I just… I stopped living in fear. acceptance.

Ian:

How did that occur? How did you stop living in fear?

Bryan:

I saw the other side. not to sound crazy.

Ian:

No, this is the point of these… This is the point of the first amendment, is to allow these kinds of platforms for us to comfortably do this.

Bryan:

So these entheogens, these psychedelics produce such a powerful mind altering experience that you are able to see outside of your normal thought patterns, your repetitive loops, whatever it is that you’re stuck in, that’s causing you pain and suffering.

Ian:

Isn’t that scary to…?

Bryan:

Hell yeah.

Ian:

Okay, so then help people understand why, even though it can be scary, why overall or through the process that’s beneficial.

Bryan:

Because the alternative was done.

Ian:

So it sounds like the ego’s backed up against the wall in the corner, or the corner and had no other…

Bryan:

Geronimo. I was at a crossroads, like I said, I still have… I still live in pain, but it’s manageable.

Ian:

Tell us your crossroads experience.

Bryan:

Wow. Which crossroads are we talking about?

Ian:

Whichever one you’d like to share. I think the most important thing is you’re here. You’re here.

Bryan:

I moved… Okay, so I picked up and I moved to Colorado and I did a whole bunch of stuff, but I mean, that’s great and glamorous and all, but it was hard. It was a hard road. It was a struggle. Nobody saw the struggle. They just saw who showed up.

Ian:

Why should people in society not be afraid of these powerful, natural plant medicines?

Bryan:

Why should they be afraid?

Ian:

No. Why should they not be afraid? In other words, there’s a natural fear or there’s a societal fear that’s being generated. And you’re coming from the side of saying, having worked with them in a positive way, there’s no fear. And that allowed you to expand your…

Bryan:

It’s a process. I would say to those people, what are you scared of? Why are you afraid of it? And try and solve that, answer that question. People are mostly scared of it because it’s illegal.

Ian:

Okay. So you’re saying, because it’s against the rules, people are afraid that it’s bad for them.

Bryan:

And then people are scared that they’ll lose their mind and go crazy.

Ian:

Yeah. And that’s a legitimate concern.

Bryan:

That is-

Ian:

Absolutely.

Bryan:

But that’s because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean that you should outlaw it for everybody. I don’t really… In the right setting, psychedelic community set and setting is everything. And the right setting, it can be incredibly beneficial. It has been to lots of people and that shouldn’t be denied.

Ian:

So it sounds like more of a decriminalization approach then that these things should be decriminalized and treated like tomatoes or some other vegetable that you can grow in your garden.

Bryan:

Right.

Mark:

And even just operating under the assumption that making something illegal is going to make it go away is pretty stupid in the first place.

Ian:

I think it’s just about the tax revenues and the allocation. If it’s illegal you know who gets the tax revenue, the police and prisons. And if it’s not, then you regulate it through some other way, the FDA, whatever everyone gets their cut.

Bryan:

It’s illegal too, because they can’t tax it. Cannabis as itself it’s part of mother nature.

Ian:

Exactly. you can’t put a manopoly on it because you can’t control it, because it’s a plant.

Bryan:

The way that they changed that is they make these regulatory framework, whatever you call them. Things like low THC, where the only way you’re going to get that is to have a genetic…

Mark:

genetically modified and then you can patent.

Ian:

Now you guys are on the system, exactly. That’s why we’ve got to have a subscription model. It’s about software where you can make the genetics.

Bryan:

No, no, no.

Ian:

And that’s how you’re going to get paid. Am I too loud over there?

Bryan:

We want to get away from that. We want to get away from these sort of, what do they call it? The monolithic style of licensing for this industry. It’s like you saying you have to… There’s a couple of bills that what-

Ian:

So now you know about the bills, all right.

Bryan:

Well…

Ian:

I’m teasing.

Bryan:

I mean, I wasn’t expecting to record a podcast.

Mark:

We did kind of ambush podcast you. Here’s your headphones, jump on in.

Bryan:

Yeah. But it’s vibing man. I did read a couple of bills. I’ve been busy with personal projects. I read a couple of them that stood out in the headlines that were released. When, I think there’s been up to 20 bills that have been filed. There was one of them that stood out to me that was pretty dangerous. And it created a monolithic style vertically integrated form of licensing what you call it. Where in order to get a license, I believe the bill says that you have to own the grow, you have to own the processing facility, and you have to own the dispensary. You have to be able to facilitate, manage and operate all three of these divisions of cannabis production. And you have to show that you have the financial means to support this infrastructure for the period of about two years. That’s affectively going to single out and leave out everybody that’s been negatively impacted by the war on drugs. I mean, it’s just a continuation of the crap that’s been going on. And I really hope they do the right thing, remove stuff like that.

Mark:

Who’s writing these? Who’s writing these things?

Bryan:

I’m not going to throw their names out there right now. I’m trying to make friends.

Ian:

What I’m hearing from you, you either want the full legalization or some kind of decriminalization either of those two or both.

Bryan:

I want our natural rights back. It’s, in my opinion shown to do way more harm than good. Both psychedelics and cannabis.

Ian:

Okay. Texas is quite religious and that’s been part of the political…

Bryan:

Isn’t it in the Bible?

Ian:

Well, this is what I was going to ask you, the political opposition has had religious backing. So from a…

Mark:

So we’ve got to hit it from a religious angle. God made.

Ian:

Let’s go to the word spiritual. What’s the spiritual argument that you want to offer. And I use argument in the ultimate sense of word, just what’s the proposition you want to make in a spiritual level on why we should have cannabis and these other natural medicines or earth medicines.

Bryan:

It’s sacred.

Ian:

What does that mean? They’ll say their religion is sacred.

Bryan:

Well, it talks about it in the religion, talks about cannabis..

Ian:

But you’re trying to counter their argument. What’s your own position on why source made this stuff or why it’s here? Or why source didn’t want us to have pharmaceuticals and wants us to have this stuff, but we have this stuff. We’ve got renewable oil, but we’re not using it.

Bryan:

I tell them I interpret the religious text in a different way. And to me, it is also holy and spiritual, and I respect it.

Ian:

Tell us about that. And people want to hear about that. How was it Holy and spiritual?

Bryan:

What? The Bible?

Ian:

No, the cannabis.

Bryan:

Oh yeah.

Ian:

I thought this just Cheech and Chong.

Bryan:

No, man.

Ian:

I’ve been to a lot of dare programs.

Bryan:

Do you know who this is? I’m just a love machine.

Ian:

I’ve memorized a lot of Cheech and Chong.

Mark:

I’ll give you a completely secular argument, if there’s not any victim, there’s not any crime.

Bryan:

Amen.

Ian:

Sure.

Bryan:

No. Well, I don’t know. Let me think about that, philosophically.

Ian:

What’s this spiritual argument?

Bryan:

It helps me connect spiritually. It is my sacrament. It is brought me to healing. It is brought me to a better way of life, a better existence that has allowed me and afforded me the ability to be a much more productive citizen now than I ever would have been taking opioids every day, and psychotropic medicines, pharmaceuticals, antidepressants.

Ian:

But why do you need to take drugs at all?

Bryan:

I don’t think of cannabis as a drug. I think of it as a nutrient.

Ian:

People have been programmed that way by cultural information programming.

Bryan:

It has medicinal applications affects, and we call the result of a medical… Medicated symptoms. People find healing, maybe it’s a drug in that regard because it’s medication. But even if you’re using it recreationally, you’re still medicating. You’re still getting the medical medicinal value and benefits of cannabis. It’s a sacred herb. We evolved alongside this plant. Otherwise it wouldn’t impact us the way that it does.

Ian:

Amen. They know that when we were living along streams like 50,000 years ago, and we never… When you fished, you didn’t start with hooks, you used the fish basket with the funnel that you put in the stream. And then the fish went into that. And of course that was made out of hemp rope, which grew in your settlement, when you turned over the dirt for wherever your garbage dump was, the cannabis would grow there. So exactly we’ve been, co-evolving with it for tens of thousands of years. And it’s only since the last century that we’ve started this whole war on drugs when we could have had a cannabis economy. And instead we got a petroleum and chemical economy, and we’re finally coming off that right onto the more natural one, which we know is completely sustainable. And you can… You don’t have finite supply of energy for the earth when you can do it through plants that you can grow that are also taking CO2 out of the air.

Bryan:

Yeah, and they grow like weeds.

Ian:

That’s literally why they called it that.

Bryan:

Literally.

Mark:

And every ailment in the body pretty much just boils down to inflammation. What’s going on with cannabis and inflammation Ian?

Ian:

Let’s see if we can recollect the five things that cannabis does. Mechoulam was the proponent of these. So it helps you deal with pain. It helps you deal.

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [01:18:04]

Ian:

Inflammation, sleep, anxiety. I probably put in anxiety and depression need to be together. And then the last one is, the key one is forgetting, because the endocannabinoid system is a retrograde transmission system. All the other ones are not. And so being able to remember stuff that’s important and then being able to forget what’s not important. And that’s the one thing that cannabis does that none of the other systems are able to do, which is kind of whatever you like positive re-integration or processing there where you push the information through the process and then it’s able to be accepted, integrated, released, whatever.

Bryan:

I was able to look at and respond to my trauma that I had been avoiding and deal with it in a way that’s not re-traumatizing. Because it kind of takes that, all those mechanisms that instill the fight or flight PTSD, where all that gets stuck, it kind of

Ian:

Yeah. It’s all, it’s all the reptilian brain basically, right. It’s fight, flight or freeze. And then to get into the mammalian stuff where you can handle that level of intensity, you have to have the social cohesion where you’re just like, “Dude, I was just in front of a Komodo dragon.” You’re like, “Bro, I was just in front of the Saber-toothed tiger.” But you’re all in the igloo or the hut together like, “We can make it, we can do this.” Right? And so that’s the key thing we need as mammals is the social connection, which is why the solution to this so-called pandemic is not to isolate everybody. Because that’s compromising people’s immunity more than any other single factor. So is that what you wanted to talk about as far as psychedelics, Bryan O?

Bryan:

Oh No. What else did we cover about psychedelics too?

Ian:

Well, when I met you in Mexico, that was the first time we’d met. We’d communicate on the internet, but we met and we’re like, “Wow, we’re going to get to do these medicines in Mexico where they’re all legal and let’s just go for it.”

Bryan:

Yeah, it was life-changing. My first experience on DMT, I broke through and it was glorious. I had only learned about it maybe a week before. And it was maybe a year after I had taken the mushrooms to cold turkey the opioids, and here came DMT and 5-MeO.

Ian:

So you went from the 4-HO-DMT, to the DMT then to some 5-MeO DMT. You’re working your way up the cosmic ladder.

Bryan:

Pretty sophisticated language there for me. I remember it was called DMT and 5-MeO.

Ian:

Tell us about it, man. Do you turn into Terence McKenna or how does it work?

Bryan:

I don’t know if I can change my voice.

Ian:

I mean, if you like take the stuff, does that happen to you?

Bryan:

Turn into Terence McKenna?

Ian:

Yeah.

Bryan:

Ah, that’d be weird. No, you lose yourself in a sense.

Ian:

That sounds kind of scary.

Bryan:

It was way scary.

Ian:

How do you know the trust experience? If you’re so scared?

Bryan:

I was just at that point where I was ready to surrender. And I knew that part of the process was surrendering to the process and trusting the process. And I felt that I was in a safe space. I was with people that I trusted and some of them I had just met but it’s the community that I was coming to. And it was a good thing. Crazy, crazy out of body experience.

Ian:

Really? What, tell us about it.

Bryan:

Wow. I definitely remember my first experience to an extent, cause it was so profound. I could tell you maybe, like a cinematic type of description.

Ian:

I love it.

Bryan:

But to apply the meaning and integration that was, would take quite a while.

Ian:

Well, maybe could you quickly explain that to people too. This, just the concept of experiences and then being able to reintegrate them right.

Bryan:

It changes the way you see things because it is such a profound experience. So the experience that you have is just as real to the user, as people listening right now.

Ian:

Explain to somebody who might think it’s fake or it’s artificial. And of course we know these are the same substances that are already in you, but how do you explain to somebody when you’re getting this bigger picture, a reality that has more in it though, right? And you’re like…

Bryan:

Yeah, yeah. It’s almost like you see beyond reality, what reality is made of and-

Ian:

Well, I’m saying, how do you know, how do you know to trust the bigger expansion of consciousness, as you’re experiencing it, you’re coming into it, it’s getting bigger. How do you?

Bryan:

Yeah, I feel it. But-

Ian:

Okay that’s good. You feel it in your heart?

Bryan:

The response, I would say to that more is how could I ignore it? It’s almost like a download of knowledge and understanding that you can’t un-know or unsee it. It’s impossible to remember everything but it’s like, I don’t know if the users have I heard, it’s called something like the Akashic records? It’s like the collection of knowledge throughout all time and space, of every little dot or, energy or being, ways to do things. It’s saying how people throughout history and time have done amazing feats throughout mathematics and science, but it was like accessing that. Like the matrix, like I know Kung Fu, but I don’t know what to do with it.

Ian:

Got it. So when you down-regulated your ego and you could experience unity consciousness, your previous perception of self as Bryan O was able to expand or merge out into the cosmos in a way that you could have the greater identification with the whole.

Bryan:

Yes. The whole…

Ian:

And that’s what with the W in front of, or if it’s in the inside of the Torus, it’s just the whole Torus.

Bryan:

It’s everything above, below, what things are made of, from the macro to the micro, you start to know, as you look at things from different perspectives, like I’m looking through a telescope into space, or I’m looking at a microscope into bacteria, or we’re looking through an electron microscope, more accurate into atoms and stuff. I don’t know if that’s really how it works. I haven’t looked at an electron microscope, but I picture little solar systems, yeah spinning but then you can’t really map an electron but I don’t know, that’s neither here nor there. It all starts to look similar, the systems of the body look like outer space in some ways the brain, artwork, land features

Ian:

Just like the fractal construct of nature

Bryan:

It’s all connected, yeah.

Ian:

As above, so below that the fractal patterns or go into every dimension in every direction.

Bryan:

It’s almost like every science film, every YouTube video, every college class and everything that I’ve ever learned or thought I could learn about every subject was all of a sudden just explained. And not only was it explained, it wasn’t just explained by me understanding through some kind of words or a lecture, it was explained through experience. And I experienced that all at once.

Ian:

Sounds pretty sweet. Was it scary at all?

Bryan:

Very.

Ian:

Wait, but that was sweet. Sweet and scary?

Bryan:

Well, I mean..

Ian:

Being everything that sounds like a lot. Isn’t that scary?

Bryan:

It’s okay to be scared.

Ian:

Okay. Did you feel scared the whole time you were everything?

Bryan:

What do you mean? Well, I wasn’t necessarily everything. It was just-

Ian:

How much of everything were you?

Mark:

You can’t be courageous if you aren’t scared to begin with.

Bryan:

So yes, along those lines, I would say to fear, it’s okay to be scared, but it’s what you do with that fear that defines you. I don’t remember who said that quote, but-

Ian:

Well, in the military, you had all this training. You were a Black Hawk Crew Chief after being a forward observer-

Bryan:

There’s the answer to your question.

Ian:

But it’s psychedelics, how can you ever sort of train for that? Since-

Bryan:

I had already faced death.

Ian:

Oh, now we’re getting somewhere. So you weren’t afraid of dying?

Bryan:

No.

Ian:

Okay. So your root chakra, check?

Bryan:

Yeah. Well, I hadn’t done my research because I didn’t want to listen to trip reports, like what people experienced after they did the EMT exam. I learned about it, I learned there was a possibility I could go to Mexico and do it. And I looked to see if it was safe. And turns out it was. So I took a chance at the next level of healing and it paid off.

Ian:

Beautiful. So you said also in Mexico, you did 5-MeO DMT?

Bryan:

Oh yeah. The Bufo.

Ian:

I heard a song from a veteran, “You don’t do the Bufo, the Bufo does you. You don’t find the Bufo, the Bufo finds you.”

Bryan:

Is that your song?

Ian:

No, it’s not my song. I can neither confirm nor deny

Ian:

So what was kind of thematically then? The DMT that was different maybe sort of from your progression on the mushrooms, high dose mushroom experiences. And then DMT, we know that can be more visual?

Bryan:

I never really got a disassociative experience off of mushrooms like I did off of DMT. I never did off acid either.

Ian:

When you say disassociated to you, what does that mean?

Bryan:

Like I’m always still me. There’ll be geometric patterns.

Ian:

So your ego still has awareness of your self identity as you, as this physical being. And you’re saying this is the first time on any kind of medicine?

Bryan:

No pink elephants.

Ian:

Yeah but that you were able to go beyond. So down-regulate your ego enough to…

Bryan:

I stepped outside of who I am as I understand myself within my body and became part of everything else. A spectator, that is not me.

Ian:

That sounds like a lot.

Bryan:

Oh yeah. It was great.

Ian:

How did it feel?

Bryan:

Ah, so refreshing. Scary.

Ian:

Well, what made it scary?

Bryan:

I guess the experience is like what it must be like to die. So I think that’s what trips people out. And that’s what trips people about, pun intended, using psychedelics as losing their mind, am I going to come back? You can not come back from that cheeseburger, man.

Ian:

It’s a super valid concern, right? You don’t want to shake the snow globe so that it’s always going and it never settles.

Bryan:

From the research I did, odds are that’s not going to happen. It’s a really good odds.

Ian:

Yeah. We all know people that have taken too much of something at one time and are still re-integrating. Well, this is what we’re now learning. When you down-regulate prohibition then people can do micro-dosing and then people can all check it out more safely versus, “It’s against the law!” So I got to do 14 grams, though. I’m just teasing, but you got to do a lot because it’s against the law and you don’t know when you’re going to get it. The prohibition encourages maximize heroic-

Bryan:

Binge-using, yeah.

Ian:

Or heroic dosing even.

Bryan:

Well, there’s no wrong with the heroic dose,

Ian:

Because what you’re arguing for is when it’s decriminalized or de-scheduled or more legal, that people can start with smaller amounts-

Bryan:

Nope, Nope. Personal limits is what I would advocate for. Personal use means personal use and that’s different for everybody.

Ian:

So what did you learn or get from your experiences with DMT that were unique to that substance or plant or molecule?

Bryan:

One of the places, the dimensions that it sent me to, when I blasted out of my body through the tunnel, what was just such a beautiful place, it was what I would equate to heaven. And there was these crazy, bouncing balls of light is how I would explain it. But of all the most beautiful colors you could imagine. But they had so much knowledge and they were showing me things without me seeing them. It was so profound. And that’s where I got, a lot of that understanding and I felt a lot of love and I felt a lot of completeness and it helped me to see outside of what I was suffering from, which is memories of the past, essentially. And it allowed me to forgive myself and understand that I didn’t have to exist in the kind of pain that I was in. It’s not visible. It’s not physical.

Ian:

Wow. That’s powerful man.

Bryan:

It’s powerful stuff. That’s why people should approach it with caution. Like I was saying, there’s threshold doses, there’re different levels of experience. The crazy thing about DMT that I’ve ever found or heard of is that people have such similar experiences. Like I said, I didn’t listen to anybody’s trip report about what it was like, other than it’s not like mushrooms or acid. And afterwards I did do that research and talking from people within the community that have also experienced it, or know people that have, people all over have such similar experiences from this substance that comes from plants, from the extraction of different, various parts of these plants and from all over the world-

Ian:

Lots and lots of plants-

Bryan:

Right. Mimosa hostilis. What’s the other one?

Ian:

There’s lots of-

Bryan:

Acacia.

Ian:

Yes. There’s like 10 in our local living area-

Bryan:

Right. And we produce it-

Ian:

Arundo donax. Mimosa hostilis.

Bryan:

Endogenously. So people have such a collective similar response. It was profound to me.

Ian:

So what then from after this, a DMT experience then in Mexico, having the opportunity to use the 5-MeO DMT, the Bufo, and then my other friend, he does make the music. Hopefully we’ll get him on the show. He says, “You don’t find the Bufo, the Bufo finds you. You don’t do the Bufo, the Bufo does you.” So you found the Bufo.

Bryan:

Yeah. I found you did it. Or the Bufo found me. Well to give a little context and foundation I would say when I was saying there’re different thresholds of an experience, people have this collective experience with DMT and there seems to be a progression of events. You see the fractal geometric patterns. And I did that. I did. And then things started turning into a vortex, a tunnel of sorts, everything just started spinning geometrically counter-clockwise. And then there was a tunnel and boy, did I go through it.

Bryan:

And then I simultaneously went through it and was where I was at the same time. And then I wasn’t where I was. And I experienced various different dimensions. So there’s just different, crazy realities that you can’t even comprehend or put into words. And then it would be different. And then I went to that angelic, heavenly dimension. And I would say to answer your question, the difference for me, DMT, and I’ve heard it explained this way before, would be like infinite cosmic expansion, like outward of understanding. And I would say Bufo would be completely inward and maybe even out the other side.

Ian:

Sounds like all parts of that Torus.

Bryan:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s the complete yin and yang of experiences.

Mark:

Yeah. And when you’re, when you’re stuck in this cycle of depression, your life turns into this same dark loop over and over again every day. And just to be able to see anything outside of that, and way, way beyond that, you see things that you couldn’t have even imagined before. It just gives you so much hope for what else is out there.

Bryan:

And to paint a different picture, essentially, you see without seeing eye cause Bufo is so different in a sense that it’s one of the least visually stimulating psychedelics, right?

Ian:

Can you can explain it to people, right? There’s no visuals, no auditory.

Bryan:

I would say it’d be like blasting through, that tunnel DMT that I described? I would say it’d be like going through it in a reverse direction. And then things just kind of go away and you exist on complete internal emotion.

Ian:

How do you know that you’re existing-

Bryan:

You don’t.

Ian:

It’s not telling me well, that’s all, if you could, because right. Your visual information is turned down-

Bryan:

You’re allowed to step outside of that and we’re forced.

Ian:

Oh, wow. Well, tell us about that. That sounds very interesting. Allowed or forced? Did you allow yourself, or did you force yourself?

Bryan:

Well, I allowed myself to surrender to the process and the process is very powerful. And the only way to safely navigate that experience is to completely surrender to it.

Bryan:

Leap of faith, if you will.

Ian:

Amen.

Mark:

That’s pretty much the greatest lesson I think I’ve learned from psychedelics is the letting go of it.

Bryan:

Yeah, for sure. That’s what everybody, I think collected-

Mark:

Yeah in Buddhism, I think they say all suffering stems from attachment.

Ian:

So what you’re saying is don’t send the email with the attachment.

Bryan:

Review it first.

Ian:

Just send the mind mail, the love mail.

Bryan:

I don’t know what we’re talking about. We’re talking about computers. And I was like, I had this problem today with my email.

Ian:

So yeah, I think we’re winding it up here at the psychedelic timeshare. So happy to have Bryan on tonight, for our really inaugural show of getting some guests on and yeah. Bryan, any final, last thoughts you want to leave us with as Mark takes us out here?

Bryan:

Nope. No final thoughts, just keep it moving.

Ian:

All right.

PART 4 OF 4 ENDS [01:41:42]

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About Ian Benouis

Ian Benouis is a West Point graduate, former Blackhawk helicopter pilot, former US Army officer and combat veteran who participated in Operation Just Cause in the Republic of Panama.  This operation was the largest combat operation in US history focused directly on the War on Drugs and was the largest special operations deployment ever conducted. He was a pilot-in-command and his aviation brigade flew more night vision goggle hours than any unit in the military except for the Task Force 160 Special Operations which his unit was ultimately rolled up into when the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California military base was shut down. Ian grew up in Hawaii in the 1970’s where cannabis was decriminalized and fully integrated in to the culture.  He has been healing himself for over 25 years with sacred plants, a spiritual practice, and being a student and practitioner of ethnobotany.  Ian was a pharmaceutical representative for Pfizer after he got out of the Army witnessing firsthand the meteoric rise of the SSRI’s and synthetic opioids in the early 1990's. He is a casualty of the drug war having been arrested for cannabis while in law school.  Ian is an intellectual property attorney who has been working in the corporate world for over 20 years in the primary roles of VP of Sales and Marketing and General Counsel.  He is a political activist in the cannabis and natural plant medicine space nationally and locally in Texas.  Ian was previously the Chairman of the Board for a public policy foundation in Texas for over seven years. Ian was featured in the Spike Jonze produced episode Stoned Vets on Weediquette the cannabis focused series on Viceland on HBO with a number of other veterans protesting the VA’s policy on medical cannabis and trying to end the veteran suicide epidemic. In 2016 Ian organized a trip for six veterans with PTSD to Peru in May for a 10-day plant diet including ayahuasca and other plant medicines with three Shipibo trained shaman brothers that are third generation plant medicine healers.  Ian also took some of the same veterans to Mexico for treatment with iboga and 5-Meo-DMT.  This experience was captured on video and was released as a documentary in March 2017 entitled Soldiers of the Vine. He is member of the team supporting the movie From Shock to Awe a feature-length documentary that chronicles the journeys of military veterans as they seek relief from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with the help of ayahuasca, MDMA and cannabis.  This movie premiered at the Illuminate Film Festival in Sedona, AZ on June 2, 2018 where it captured the inaugural Mangurama Award for Conscious Documentary Storytelling.