As part of the team (I’m credited with hospitality and moral support) that helped in the creation of the movie From Shock to Awe I was invited to participate in the film’s premiere at the Illuminate Film Festival where it received an Honorable Mention for Social Impact in the category of Debut Feature Competition Jury Prize and it received the Mangurama Award for Conscious Documentary Storytelling.
“On a balmy Texas Saturday, I sat among a motley crew of people watching three very disturbing facts show across the screen in front of us.
Veterans commit suicide at a rate two times higher than the general population. More U.S. Veterans have killed themselves than have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Twenty-two U.S. veterans take their own lives every day.
We were watching the short film Soldiers of the Vine: Healing War Trauma with Plant Medicine. This documentary is a journey into the hearts and minds of six veterans as they travel to Peru seeking sacred plant medicine to heal their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
In this episode my guest is Ian Benouis who is a West Point graduate, former Blackhawk helicopter pilot, US Army officer and combat veteran who participated in Operation Just Cause in the Republic of Panama. He is an activist for the beneficial use of plant medicine, especially for veterans with PTSD. Ian is also a Muslim and a psychonaut.
Down that Rabbit Hole with Ian Benouis, West Point Graduate, former Blackhawk helicopter pilot, Army Officer involved with Operation Just Cause – the largest effort focused directly on the war on drugs, and most recently a sacred plant medicine advocate for veterans suffering from PTSD.
Finding healing for his own traumas through working with plant medicines, such as Cannabis, Ayahuasca, Ibogaine, and 5MEO-DMT, Ian now spends much of his time advocating for the rights of veterans to heal from PTSD through the use of these natural remedies.
Very few people have such an interesting story as Ian Benouis. As for being relevant to the plant medicine sphere, Ian’s life experience is about as diverse at it can get.
From Blackhawk helicopter pilot fighting against drug cartels in Panama to a representative of the disastrous prescription drug epidemic to a supporter of the psychedelic medicine movement, Ian’s story is sure to both entertain and educate.
In this episode, Daniel and Ian discuss Ian’s life story, how it all comes together to make an impact on the veteran suicide and addictions crisis in the USA, and some philosophical questions on war, culture and the so-called war on drugs. Tune in and enjoy!
he says, “While marijuana remains illegal in Texas, decriminalizing marijuana has been taken up by various states while other states have legalized the drug for medicinal reasons. While I have long contended that legalizing marijuana would be harmful to our society, I remain aware of the sensitive and emotional nature of the legalization/decriminalization debate.
H.R. 667, the Veterans Equal Access Act, would make it easier for qualified veterans to access medical marijuana in states where it is legal. Supporters of this bill believe medical marijuana could be used as an alternative prescription for veterans suffering from chronic pain, and assist in a veteran’s recovery from mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress.”