This week we talk with the veteran Ian Benouis who works to connect those who served with the plant medicines. He works with the Weed for Warriors Project and the Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy. Psychedelic Therapy for Veterans You can see their project of taking 6 soldiers with PTSD to the Amazon for Ayahuasca in ‘Soldiers […]
Six American Veterans travel to Peru for a 10-day plant dieta with ayahuasca and other plant medicines to treat their trauma with the help of three Shipibo shaman brothers.
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.”
he says, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates controlled substances, such as marijuana and medical pharmaceuticals. Since the laws governing these drugs are federal laws, the state of Texas is obligated to follow federal law. Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution is referred to as the “Supremacy Clause.” Under the Supremacy Clause federal laws made pursuant to the Constitution are the supreme laws of the land and states are bound to follow those laws. Furthermore, in any conflict between federal and state law, the federal law must be applied.”
she says, “Legalizing personal marijuana use and possession is becoming more of an issue as more and more attention is being drawn to it. While it is still currently banned at the federal level, several states have or are trying to legalize it. I; however, believe that the legalization of marijuana for recreational use would have lasting harmful effects on our communities. As a physician, I believe habitual marijuana usage can be damaging to families and have personally witnessed patients who have suffered long-term health effects from smoking marijuana. This aspect of the issue needs to be considered carefully as there are many aspects involved, and I will take all information under advisement before making any decisions. I will continue to place emphasis on evidence-based research.”
I know the plant and earth medicines work for service trauma as I have gone to Peru and Mexico with other veterans where we have successfully used ayahuasca, ibogaine, 5-Meo-DMT and other plants to treat PTSD with the help of shamans, healers, facilitators and doctors and of course one another. Veteran love is the best medicine. Veterans have learned and recent studies have shown that the highest correlating factor for contracting PTSD from military service is childhood trauma. The medicines help veterans achieve self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. This healing allows for veterans to reintegrate in to society. These outputs of the war machine who swore an oath to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic, who signed their lives away on the dotted line and have not renounced their oath, who are trained in lethal force and are seeking belonging and a calling to a higher purpose, can take their rightful place in society as peaceful warriors showing the rest of humanity a way forward.
I’m sharing this because I initially wrote it over 20 years ago and it still a useful indictment of our failed War on Drugs today.
The Entheogen Review, Summer Solstice, 1995
The following essay first appeared in the March 13, 1995 issue of Legalese, the student publication of the University of Houston Law Center. It also ran in the University of Houston student publication the Daily Cougar. The author has generously made it available to the public — it may be photocopied and sent to officials and policy-makers concerned with decisions related to The War on Drugs.