At the end of April of 2016 I traveled to Peru with five other veterans on a mission to explore plant medicines to heal service trauma. This experience would be captured in the documentary Soldiers of the Vine. Before making the pilgrimage to the spiritual home of ayahuasca, the universe had some more classes in store for me on the plant medicine curriculum.
“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.”
Bia Labate live interviews with Panama combat veteran Ian Benouis at the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Regional Mini-Conference.
Bia Labate live interviews with Gulf War combat veteran Eric Glover. He shares his story about healing his trauma with plant medicines.
Bia Labate live interviews Afghanistan combat veteran Matt Kahl about the therapeutic potentials of plant medicines to treat PTSD. “Ayahuasca: a call for action!
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!