Ian Benouis

Ian is a West Point graduate, former US Army officer, Blackhawk helicopter pilot and combat veteran.

He is Patient Number One at the Mission Within which treats special operators with PTSD, TBI and addiction using iboga and toad in Mexico.  He is an advisor there, after being the General Counsel and spearheading the veteran healing program.  Ian has been helping wounded veterans for over 8 years.

Ian has moderated numerous veteran’s panels including the MAPS Psychedelic Science conference in 2018 in Austin and the World Bufo Alvarius Congress in 2019 in Mexico City.

He founded an ONAC church chapter which was later returned to the parent church.  He is a founder of a Santo Daime church which is the US chapter of a Brazilian government approved church and between himself and his law partner Greg Lake, have created over forty entheogenic churches in the US.

Ian 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 and mushrooms were decriminalized and fully integrated into the culture.  He has been healing himself for over 30 years with sacred medicines, 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 worked 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 medicine space nationally and locally in Texas.  Ian was previously the Chairman of the Board for a public policy foundation in Texas for over 7 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.  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 chronicled the journeys of military veterans as they seek relief from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with the help of ayahuasca and MDMA.