INTERVIEW WITH (IRVIN) DANA BEAL
BY LEGALIZACE MAGAZINE, CZECH REPUBLIC
by Michal Rehak
Questions transmitted via e-mail to Dana’s attorney and answered by Dana in jail, by longhand in pencil, sent by mail and transcribed in New York by Evan Yippie! and e-mailed back to Legalizace.
When did you start to fight for the sacred herb? What was your main reason for this decision?
I started to smoke regularly when I broke up with my first girlfriend in Sept. 1966. I took LSD for the first time on Christmas Day. What we really wanted to do was legalize acid, but they’d just prohibited it, so there was a rational calculation that our best bet was cannabis, since it was most widespread, most familiar to people, and the mildest and least-addictive alternative. On Memorial Day, (May 30) 1967, there was a police attack on a War Resisters League picnic in Tompkins Square Park (in NYC’s Lower East Side) because they were sitting on the grass. In the next three days there was confused rioting involving the hippies and the local Puerto Rican population of the Ave. B area. Our solution was to hold the first smoke-in. When we passed out the free joints [at a Grateful dead concert], a wave of peace swept across the park. Since my background was in civil rights (I hitch-hiked from Lansing, Mich., to the ”I Have a Dream” speech in Wash., D.C., when I was 16) and Viet Nam was just coming up as an issue, smoke-ins were a “natural” for me.
What do you think is the main reason of marihuana prohibition, in the USA and around the world?
A lot has been made of the hate campaigns against Mexicans in the Hearst press in the 1930s and the DuPont interest in suppressing hemp to safeguard their investment in nylon, but the best explanation I’ve found involves cooperation between Harry Anslinger [head of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, precursor to D.E.A.] and Joseph Goebbels in pursuit of détente between the U.S. and the Third Reich. The Nazis got a lot of their ideas, such as eugenics, from America. Both Anslinger and Goebbels believed that marijuana represented a Jewish conspiracy to get white women to miscegenate with black jazz musicians. Larry Sloman (author of Reefer Madness) says the Narc/Nazi Axis believed that jazz actually represented an aural form of marijuana vapor, since the extra beats in syncopation trained the mind to crave the time dilation of the marijuana high. Hans-Georg Behr (German Green Party) says the idea actually flowed from the U.S. to Germany, and that the Nazis passed a law identical to the U.S. law one month later to suck up to America.
When Socialists pointed out that absence of hemp would damage the Reich war effort, they went straight to the concentration camps. Goebbels’ drug czar, a Greek named Stringaris, disappeared in 1945 to re-surface after the Greek civil war in the early 1950s. He became the mentor of the Egyptian anti-pot “expert” Gabriel Nahas, who, when Anslinger moved to the U.N. and passed the Single Convention (the U.N. anti-pot treaty) in 1962 (or 1961?), got U.N. money to publish a number of bogus studies that came out from 1974 to 1976, just in time to stop the legalization drive in the U.S. Their crowning triumph was when Lieselotte Waldheim-Natural became head of the Vienna U.N. narcotic bureau under her father Secretary-General Kurt Waldeim, completing the Nazi takeover, via cannabis prohibition, of the very same United Nations that was established to defeat Hitler.
You've been fighting for legalization for many years. Since you have started, do you think the situation about marihuana has changed? Is it better, same or worse now than it was then?
When we started, there was a broad consensus across the political spectrum that people like me and Marc Emery were nothing but criminals. Now, most societies are almost evenly split between those who view marijuana as criminal and those who see prohibition as Fascist oppression.
What do you consider the biggest success of the pro-legalization movement over those years? On the other hand, what has been the biggest disappointment for you?
The biggest success of the movement has been to establish various zones — the European countries where it is decriminalized such as Holland, Czech Republic and Iberia, and the states in the U.S. where there is medical marijuana, plus Argentina and other countries where personal use amounts of all drugs are allowed — that gives us some idea of what legalization looks like. The biggest disappointment was when NORML in the 1970s decided to go for cocaine legalization before marijuana was fully decriminalized, and ended up getting neither. The election of Reagan may have sealed the deal, but Carter had already turned against us. And of course it is disappointing that when we came up with ibogaine to discredit the “gateway effect,” NORML wouldn’t touch it because after being burned by cocaine they decided to advocate “pot only.” I just wish that I’d told Jimmy Carter’s drug czar Peter Bourne about ibogaine when I met him at the NORML party where they doing all that coke. He was really much more interested in heroin treatment than he was in pot legalization. But I was being a good boy and sticking to the consensus to legalize pot first, when the others were just interested in legalizing their favorite drug: coke. Carter might have won in 1980 if he could have taken credit for a breakthrough in the treatment of addiction. The election was that close. But ibogaine was a legend in 1977. We had to study it all through the 1980s to really understand what we had.
How many times and for what have you been arrested during your life? How much time have you spent in prison so far? What are the conditions and life like in American prisons?
The other thing I really regret is furnishing, in 1967, my personal stash — nine hits of acid — to a federal informant who promised that if I did that, he could get me a regular supply. He lied. Then, while I was awaiting trial, the narcs just made up charges that I sold pot during a month when I had no pot. Concluding they really were out to get me, I went underground — and missed the Yippie! protests at the Democratic Convention [in August 1968].
Most of my busts were designed to put me out of action politically, like the minor pot sale in Madison for which I did nine months in the Dane County jail from 1971 to 1972. The acid bust only netted me another 45 days. I got out and went straight to the Democratic Convention in Miami [the 1972 DNC Convention in Miami Beach July 1972], where we split with those who only wanted to protest the war. We wanted to address the Drug War. They said we only cared about getting high. But over the next 30 years enough black people lost their rights to vote due to drug convictions that “Dubya” was able to steal the election in 2000 and get us into Iraq!
In 1975 I was busted in Atlanta due to an informant trying to get at the Yippie! war chest, which we got back. Then in 1977 I was busted using a blue box (a device for making free pone calls by generating a 2600 tone and seizing an 800 line). At the trial, everything was thrown out because we proved I was the victim of a government vendetta. They even brought up the bogus pot frame-up from the Fall of 1967! I made the mistake of having the entire case sealed, so that it didn’t become case law. And wouldn’t you know it, because there was effectively no record of the phony pot charges being dismissed, they kept coming up every time I was busted for the next 15 years.
In 1979 I was charged in a federal conspiracy out of Nebraska because I was recorded on an illegal wiretap in 1977 trying to collect monies pledged to put on Native American protests at the 1976 GOP [Republican] Convention in Kansas City. Because under federal rules of evidence, all 20 members of the “conspiracy” were considered guilty of everything every other “conspirator” did, I was charged with taking delivery of a ton of pot I never saw and didn’t make a dime on. The whole case collapsed when the judge threw out the illegal wiretaps.
The next year, 1980, I was busted for my one, famous case of political protest — against heroin chic. As advocates of the Dutch model of separation of marijuana and hard drugs, we were understandably upset by a blatant attempt to market heroin to the cannabis community as “the next big thing” after cocaine — and the refusal to allow the marijuana marchers to even comment, on the grounds that we were somehow self-interested, and a bunch of bonehead stoners anyway, when we were the ones with ibogaine. So I escalated, set off a firecracker, and was charged with “bombing” the Soho Weekly News. Then they really freaked when we led 600 people from the Halloween smoke-in over to their offices in a new protest against marketing heroin as the equivalent of pot. After that, the next logical step was to escalate to bio-weapons, and on December 12, 1980, I gave Howard Lotsof the first $1,500 to develop ibogaine as a cure for addiction. Then my lawyer, William Kunstler, got me acquitted of the felony when we found a precedent from Queens County that a firework cannot be charged as a bomb, and I spent 35 days on Rikers Island revising the Yippie! big book, Blacklisted News: Secret Histories from Chicago to 1984…
In 1987, as a result of an elaborate sting involving a vendetta of a rival faction of the Greens, I was snagged for five lbs. of kief. While I was on probation in early 1988, I joined the AIDS coalition ACT-UP — but not, after getting burned by the Greens, to do medical marijuana. With effective HIV treatment in sight, I thought something that would stop folks from injecting drugs altogether would be even more effective than needle exchange: ibogaine! Then in 1991, I acceded to a request to bring medical marijuana to some patients in the middle of an extreme shortage, and found myself busted at LaGuardia Airport heading for Boston on the first day of [Iraq war Operation] Desert Storm. Once again, Bill Kunstler got me off with 40 days in a minimum security prison upstate, where I wrote the first half of The Ibogaine Story. After being publicly exposed, there was no reason not to go whole hog for medical marijuana, and in no time, had more than 300 patients, mostly people with AIDS.
In 2005, they started seizing money to keep me from setting up an ibogaine clinic in Mexico, but we went ahead anyway with a doctor just across the border from Douglas, Arizona. I developed a relationship with the Public Health Dept. of New Mexico because, unexpectedly in some cases, the jumbo, methadone-size doze of ibogaine was found to reduce viral loads of hepatitis C for addicts who had had the disease for many years. We needed someone to pay for follow-up liver panels and biopsies, if necessary, which can be very expensive. Since the only known treatment, chemo with interferon, is also very expensive, takes 18 months, and is so grueling many folks can’t complete it, we thought we might be able to do something about this disease, which kills more people in the U.S. than AIDS. So, naturally, when I was stopped in [Mattoon] Illinois in June of 2008, the DEA seized the money for that clinical investigation and split it up with the local narcs to use for busting more people with pot. We don’t know what proportion of the 40,000 people who die annually in the U.S. alone could be cured of interferon resistant strains of Hepatitis C, but the blood is on their hands. It’s enough to make you set off a firecracker!
How do you feel about your current situation? How do you see your perspectives? Are you afraid of spending a long term in prison?
Finally, in 2009, they got me [in Nebraska] with a significant amount of new, green medical marijuana at the height of the annual Sept./Oct. shortage, on my way to Michigan with its 4,000 registered patients, who pay $20 a gram. Our stuff was meant to retail for $5 a gram to folks on welfare. Yet this only led to news of ibogaine getting out in the Des Moines Register, Omaha World Journal and St. Louis Riverfront Times, which was picked up by the Village Voice syndicate in 30 cities nationwide. (The New York papers are so jaded on the subject of ibogaine.)
I was due to be informed that the Nebraska judge had (wrongly) ruled against our motion to suppress the evidence in that case on the grounds of a bad search, when I was busted in Wisconsin. I only detoured to Madison, because the local activist Ben Masel, is prominent in the Democratic party, and I’m trying to get him to get Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin to query the DEA as to how ibogaine can be Schedule I — banned for research — when it has zero abuse potential. But it turned out Ben developed lung cancer, from smoking cigarettes in addition to pot, and is too sick to do it.
Anyway, I was already going to prison for 18 months, because Mary Gilbride, the Nebraska judge, is a diehard opponent of medical marijuana. Ironically, I might get a fairer trial here, see both cases consolidated, and end up doing less time because she almost has to defer to the judgment of a jury here in Wisconsin. Or maybe not. I might do as many as three years. Eddy Lepp got 10 years in the federal slammer for growing medical marijuana in California.
I have seen many medical marijuana cases get off with a fine and no time. Remember, I personally have a couple of hundred patients with AIDS, MS, seizure disorders, etc. The trick is to find a judge who will admit that testimony. In federal court, introduction of medical marijuana evidence is banned. Then again, many patients are too intimidated to show up and testify.
In New York, since 1976, we have a zone of tolerance: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” It’s called “estoppel”: You win enough cases, they stop prosecuting. In 2004, District Attorney Morgenthau won his last election running with his arm around Montel Williams, the talk-show host/medical marijuana patient with MS. Somehow, I suspect Morgy wants anyone but ME providing the medical marijuana, though. He was DA for 35 years and tried to give me seven years for the firecracker.
If you would have the chance to go back in time to the 1960s with all the experience you have now, would you become a pot activist again? What would you do differently than you actually did?
I’d take the bus up to New York from that big 1963 civil rights rally, find Howard Lotsof, and treat my father’s alcoholism with ibogaine. Then I’d keep Howard from getting busted for LSD conspiracy, so ibogaine never gets banned. Then, I’d introduce Howard and his wife, Norma Alexander, who is black, to the New York Black Panther Party, so they wind up pushing the African rain forest cure for addiction instead of acupuncture as the alternative to methadone at Lincoln Detox in the Bronx. And of course, I would have used all of that to discredit the “gateway effect” argument.
Tom Forcade (founder of High Times magazine) would have taken ibogaine instead of shooting himself in a fit of cocaine-induced depression. We would have listened to [phone phreak and pioneer hacker] Captain Crunch; Trans-High Corporation [High Times] would have a controlling interest in Apple Computers. Marijuana would have been fully legalized in Carter’s second term. There never would have been a crack epidemic. Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have withheld the key $15,000,000 from AIDS research, and protease inhibitors would have become available in 1990, not 1996. Abbie Hoffman would have been treated for his cocaine/alcohol addiction and might still be alive.…
In your opinion, what is the best model of legalization? Do you see any potential problems of legalization (e.g., loss of prohibition-generated profits for the pot underground)?
We will make all the money we need when the DEA can no longer seize it all and distribute it to their narc minions. Marijuana taxes should go straight to socialized health care, funding “single-payer” instead of the big insurance companies. Narcs are simply not qualified to deal with health questions. Men with handcuffs, guns and prisons can only enforce a quarantine; they will never make a cure available for the underlying disease because they would be putting themselves in a homeless encampment down by the river.
Are you in favor of legalizing all the other drugs too? What would be the best model for drugs in general?
Make an effective, single-dose cure for addiction available for all drugs, legal and illegal, and the narco-state immediately begins to wither away. William Burroughs wrote in the intro to Naked Lunch in 1955 that if you make a genuine cure available to the junkies on the street, who must have heroin to live, the entire corrupt pyramid of dealers, narcs, purveyors of bogus treatments, politicians and bankers based on that pyramid of suffering and death begins to collapse.
Last month, my friend Dimitri Mugianis, was busted in Seattle in the first-ever DEA ibogaine prosecution. (Dimitri only found out about ibogaine because I refused to stop talking about it at the Ann Arbor Hash Bash. I then referred him for treatment in the Netherlands for heroin and cocaine addiction; he has gone on to treat more than 500 addicts and is featured in the new ibogaine documentary, I’m Dangerous with Love.) Dimitri is not a doctor; he’s a clergyman, a Bwiti nganga (priest). He is trying to use the ayahuasca precedent from Jeffrey Bronfman’s New Mexico case to argue the religious necessity to fulfill the healing ministry of Jesus by bringing ibogaine to the world, and setting it free. When you march on U.S. embassies around the world, do it not just to Free Dana Beal, for medical marijuana; do it to Free Dimitri for ibogaine, too.
You're known to be a big supporter of ibogaine as a medicine helping to cure hard drugs addiction. Could you tell us some details about ibogaine? What exactly is it, what are the effects and results?
Ibogaine is a betacarboline of the indol-alkaloid family. Because it has a third ring like harmaline (one of the two ingredients of ayahuasca.) it activates dream circuits in the brain. Because it has a stimulant sidechain, it does not require a second compound (DMT) as with ayahuascsa, which has weak anti-addictive effects. A million people in Brazil take it weekly, not just once, like ibogaine) to combat crack and alcohol. Native Americans take peyote to fight alcoholism. LSD was found to be somewhat effective preventing alcoholic relapse. But when you see something you don’t like in the LSD waking state — or some paranoid ideation on crystal meth — you can turn it off. On ibogaine the visions are on the back of your eyelids, as in a dream. Blink your eyes when it’s unpleasant, and you are instantly in a different dream.
Ibogaine is the first broad-spectrum detox for opiates, stimulants, alcohol and nicotine. One-seventh of people treated walk away completely cured, one-seventh fail and most spend their lives in NA or on methadone. The rest will relapse and require retreatment but will be able to quit the drug that’s a problem for them after a series of treatments, usually in about two years.
Ibogaine is not a maintenance drug; in fact, one of the reasons it has no abuse potential is that attempts to take small amounts (50 milligrams) of it every day not only extinguishes cravings for stimulants, within 14 to 20 days people feel compelled to quit using ibogaine because of insomnia and difficulty concentrating. If you try to escalate the dose, the way people do on cocaine or crystal meth, you go into nausea, vomiting and ataxia (sleep paralysis) so you have major problems going to the bathroom or walking down stairs. Animals cannot be trained to self-inject ibogaine; it shares a receptor effect (sigma 2) with haldol and thorazine so that it is not susceptible to black market diversion.
Thirty-five minutes after you take a therapeutic dose (a gram, or more for a bigger person) your heroin withdrawal disappears; ten minutes later your habit is gone. It has been compared to being suspended in a warm field with a vise crushing your spine and then releasing, releasing. Then you go into six to eight hours of visualizations, followed by about 12 “clear” hours where you conceptualize deeply about what you have seen, followed by 12 hours of insomnia. The extreme length of the experience militates against casual repeat use of ibogaine.
Ibogaine, like medical marijuana, has many medical benefits; it just works faster. As noted with Hepatitis C, it has broad-spectrum anti-viral effects. It wipes out genital herpes, for instance. It is also antibiotic, anti-fungal, and eliminates about 50 percent of all growths and tumors. It’s good for bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders and any kind of binge behavior. (After ibogaine, the worst alcoholic could walk into a bar, have just one beer, and go home.) It curbs auto-immune disorders such as MS. In fact, it may work by modulating the immune system in the same way as REM sleep. It even regenerates dopamine cells trashed by drugs of abuse.
Interestingly, the synthetic [ibogaine analog] 18-MC, which is not supposed to induce visualizations, is now thought to resprout dopamine neurons, strengthening the hypothesis that, like dreams, the visualizations arise as many thousands of neurons “model” their cellular surroundings as they resprout dendrites and receptors. If true, this might mean 18-MC’s interruption of addiction, based on the same Welbutrin-like antagonism of the alpha-3, beta-4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor as ibogaine, may not be as persistent. Obviously, regenerating neurons suppressed by drugs might more permanently obviate the need for drug-induced, artificially high levels of dopamine, without which addicts just don’t “feel right.”
Million Marihuana March has become a standard feature in many cities around the world, in Prague it draws increasing number of people (around 12 000 last year). When and how did the idea of organizing such a global event arise? When and where was the first MMM held? How would you precisely define the goals of MMM? What kinds of activities/agenda does MMM mean to you (or to your colleagues now)?
The first Million Marijuana March was held in New York City on the first Saturday of May, [May 1] 1998, to announce the launch of the Worldwide March the following year. It was attended by Ed Rosenthal, Jack Herer, Gatewood Galbraith and Dennis Peron, in response to New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani’s (rhymes with Adolf Mussolini) attempt to completely ban our traditional pot parade, held every year since 1972.
We decided to reach out to the cannabis campaigners in London, who had just done a cannabis march sponsored by The Independent on a Sunday, to highlight the fact that we had less rights under our fascist mayor than the British people under the Queen of England, despite fighting a revolution against that monarchy to secure those rights. The demands of that march were, and still are: Stop All Cannabis Arrests; Stop the Lies; Release the Medicine; Heal the Sick; End the Prison State; Cures Not Wars.
In 1999 we had the biggest march in years, pictured at the end of the movie GRASS. Best of all, in that first year we were already established in 36 cities. Through the Millennium Marijuana March , the 2001 Space Odyssey, and 2002’s Liberation Day, we advanced to 238 cities. Then in mid-decade fell back to a low point of about 165 cities, only to advance in 2010 to 330 cities. This year, with Marc Emery and myself locked up, we probably will come nowhere near our goal of 420 cities. But we know that when we reach our goal of 1000 to 10,000 people in 900 cities, a phase shift will occur and the marijuana movement will be accepted as a legitimate civil rights movement everywhere.
Which are the cities with the biggest attendance of MMM and the biggest support of legalization?
The biggest cities are Nimbin [Australia], Toronto, Rome, Buenos Aires [and Mexico City] — with Madrid and Prague being just behind. London used to have 100,000, collapsed, and is now rebuilding. San Francisco collapsed because of fractured leadership. New York has a perennial problem with its police. But a host of other cities turn out 1000 to 3000. Remember, if we had 900 cities, that would mean a million marijuana marchers around the globe. The Indian subcontinent alone represents a fertile opportunity to add 80 cities alone [not to mention Africa].
Who have been the most famous speakers in MMMs and what's the highest number of cities where MMM has been held?
Better to ask who hasn’t shown up. So far as I know, only Woody Harrelson, Willy Nelson and Rob Kampia of the MPP have never done it, and I may be wrong, about the first two. I don’t think Gary Johnson has done it yet.
Do you recall any serious troubles, with police or other, that have arose in relation with MMM?
The worst country is Russia, where more than 15 events have been brutally suppressed by police beatings. That may change, now that Luzhkov is gone. Brazil keeps trying to criminalize marches, but even Sarkozy, darling of the Scientologists, is not able to suppress the annual event at the Place de Bastille.
In the media has been mentioned that your current arrest is not only for those 150 [actually 185] pounds of pot, but that there was something else in it too. Could you tell us more about this?
This actually came up in Nebraska when I tried to get my passport back to attend international conferences, and more recently, when I tried to get my bail reduced to a reasonable amount from $50,000 cash. There was this unspecified allegation that somewhere there were pending charges that couldn’t be proved — and didn’t have to be substantiated — of dealing in ”narcotics.”
I talk to a lot of people on the phone, and am potentially guilty under federal rules of evidence if a prosecutor somewhere can feed an informant somewhere enough details to substantiate his fantasies and pull down a DEA grant. In 2007 I was named by a confidential informant who had doe time for coke and was trying to keep from going back to prison for a couple of pounds of pot. He spun a story with the local sheriff about an activist I knew in Colorado, a medical marijuana state, who was supposed to have an arsenal, a meth lab and (and this was the Sheriff’s favorite fantasy since the activist liked to go to India to check out gurus and buy handicrafts to re-sell in the U.S.) to be importing heroin. I know I made it in the script because the informant said I owned a high-rise in Manhattan. (I don’t.) But when I was returning from the ENCOD conference just before the U.N. Special Conference in early March 2008, a really strange thing happened. I was questioned in Vienna and then rousted [searched] at JFK. They checked out my pictures of ibogaine crystals and then said something really weird: “We think people are taking this to get high.”
When the activist was finally busted in July there was nothing but a pound of ‘shrooms. No arsenal. No meth lab. (Remember David Koresh?) A little pot, I think. No heroin. But I was supposed to be part of a vast national conspiracy. Do they really think ibogaine is a front for heroin dealing?
There is an alternative explanation . For over 10 years the DEA had an ibogaine webpage reiterating the patent claims of Deborah Mash, that ibogaine is not actually anti-addictive in itself, that ibogaine is only a prodrug that turns into the “active ingredient” when the body turns it into “nor-ibogaine.” Nor-ibogaine raises serotonin levels for about six weeks like Prozac, so that’s good for addicts who are often quite depressed after withdrawal. Unfortunately it doesn’t hang out for more than a day, unlike ibogaine, which deposits in body fat, then slowly leaks out and turns into nor-ibogaine due to enzymes in the blood. Also, there’s not much evidence of nor-ibogaine action at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor like 18-MC, or of it regenerating dopamine neurons. But, get this — nor-ibogaine has very weak effects at the mu and delta opioid receptors (nowhere near enough to account for its anti-withdrawal effects). And it has to be taken every day, in a patch, so the DEA likes that because in their minds they can turn it into methadone.
Or, a third possibility, my co-defendant in Wisconsin, Lance Ramer, has been released with all charges dropped, amid speculation that he gave admissions or statements to the prosecutor. He spent most of his time in jail in terrible pain, suffering from kidney cancer, passing blood in his urine and excrement. The state denied him proper medical attention, until other inmates threatened protest, in a policy that was tantamount to torture, making any statements suspect at best. It's a dirty little secret that torture happens all the time in American prisons; the ringleader at Abu Ghraib was a prison guard in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, under U.S. law, evidence derived from torture, although it cannot be used against torturee, may be used against co-defendants. Still, any narcotic pain pills found in the car would have been more likely to have belonged to someone with incipient cancer.
Nowadays, how do you evaluate the chances of hemp being fully rehabilitated and legalized? Do you believe it's possible? And if so, in what time horizon?
It will be a fait accompli when we have 1000 to 10,000 people in 900 cities on six continents, in every country. The only point I differ from U.S. activists is that I believe the power of the prohibitionists has to be broken through lustral laws, such as you had after communism in the Czech republic. Their right to engage in politics has to be severely restricted for 10 years. Perhaps they could be put to useful work planting trees and building irrigation works in the Caspian/Aral Sea area, diverting water south from the Ob River basin. I wouldn’t let them anywhere near the hemp crop. They might sabotage it. If all this seems excessive, remember sheriffs in more than half of California still refuse to honor the medical marijuana law, citing the federal prohibition, even though the FDA approved Sativex for a clinical trial. And consider the history of the Weimar Republic. When Nazis come back, they’re much worse.
I have heard you had visited Czech republic. How was your experience and what do you think about the situation here?
I attended the International Methamphetamine conference in Prague. I was not given adequate time to explain how ibogaine regenerates dopamine neurons after meth addiction at the panel I was on, and the plenary featured an Australian doctor, Alex Wodak. He said the only treatment therapy he advocates is dex-amphetamine. He is adamant that ibogaine is a fraud, and he’s against even researching it. Just before my Nebraska bust, I did a forum in Wodak’s backyard, New Zealand, and got ibogaine approved as a prescription drug. I don’t think Wodak or the DEA want me traveling around repeating that feat.
Ibogaine is not illegal except in the U.S. and a few second-tier European countries, but it’s not approved for prescription either. In France, Bwiti religious consumption of iboga rootbark is proscribed, although scientific research with GMP (FDA-grade pure) ibogaine is not.
Please describe your opinion about the difference between recreation and medical use of cannabis. Given the vast majority of users are recreational, do you think it's all more a question of health or of human rights and freedom? Do you think it's good to focus the efforts on medical marihuana to increase the chances of changing the law, although it might be seen as hypocritical as the real objective is to legalize the herb as such?
My position, like Dennis Peron, is that all use is medicinal. The difference is that very sick people should get it under a doctor’s recommendation. People who are well, who need it for stress or as a replacement for alcohol or hard drugs, should take a swab test for the DNA of the schizogenic gene (way less than one percent have that gene) and if they pass, be licensed to use it under a physician’s authorization. (With high enough CBD, anyone ought to be able to toke up.)
What would be your main message to the readers of Legalizace magazine?
My message to your readers is: put up a PayPal account for me on your websites. If everyone from all the marches chips in a few dollars, euros or pounds, I will soon make bail. You can also send checks and money orders to my attorney:
La Farge, WI. 54639
Also, it would be helpful if this interview was translated into other languages and published prominently on legalization websites or in their local magazines.
March on your local U.S. Embassy and demand: Free Dana Beal! Free Marc Emery, Eddy Lepp and all pot-litical prisoners. YouTube Root of Hope and check out Marc Emery doing ibogaine treatments! Free Dimitri Mugianis!
Also, that the entire medical marijuana movement should support ibogaine access to get patients off opiates and onto medical marijuana. Dana Beal