Interview by Brandon Lee
Irvin Dana Beal is an American social and political activist. He has worked for most of his career fighting to legalize marijuana all over the country. He is also known for breakthroughs in medical research concerning the benefits of Ibogaine to cure addictions, and to slow and possibly even reverse autoimmune diseases.
On December 31st 1967, a radical youth-oriented and countercultural revolutionary group emerged known as the “YIPPIE” movement, or the Youth International Party. The party was an offshoot of the free speech and anti-war movements during the ‘60s. Dana Beal has worked with the YIPPIE movement and in 1972 founded The Yipster Times magazine. The magazine features early pro cannabis campaigns against the war on drugs and gives accounts on the use of Ibogaine.
Beal’s work has been controversial, and throughout his stint he has been to jail for numerous drug charges, one a 2011 arrest for the possession of 186 lbs. of marijuana in Wisconsin, and another for detailing where he hid his stash of 9 hits of LSD to an undercover informant at Thompkin’s Square Park in the summer 1967 during a series of promotional marijuana “Smoke Ins”.
How does Ibogaine compare to other psychoactive drugs, such as LSD, or ayahuasca?
DB- Well it’s a little different. You know, with ayahuasca you get a reaction of two different things. Where as with Ibogaine it’s pretty much one molecule.
What is the high or onset of the drug? How is it being treated against heroin addiction?
What kind of charges might a person get if found with Ibogaine?
DB- All the Ibogaine coverage is happening below the radar. In Seattle
They’ve went through a lot of trouble to make a case. The charge only gave forty-five days home confinement. They said, “If I could, I would have gave you nothing.”
When Ibogaine hits a withdrawal it gives you a release from all the pains of withdrawal without opiate affects. It’s just different. You know, any junkie who is in withdrawal, you give them an opiate, they go out of withdrawal, but it just comes back, but with ibogaine it doesn’t come back. And that was kind of the big mystery the riddle..How does ibogaine do this? Then it changed to how does ibogaine have a persistent affect? Because it seems to have a persistent affect. You know a lot of drugs, say, methadone, it wears off and then a person is back in methadone withdrawal. You take away the naloxom, it quits blocking the opiate pathway, so they can deal with heroin again. In other words most drugs don’t have a persistent affect, the drug wears off.
Here is a new idea.. Are you ready for a new idea? Ibogaine is a neurotrophogin. It’s not a hallucinogen at all. That is a nartrophin is a thing that makes cells grow. You have about 30 of them in your brain. Because you need to regrow memories when reality catches up with you. Once you discover something you believe is false you have to retrigger your memories and you can’t be stuck with something that is false. And there is this particular nerve regrowth factor, called GDNF Galil Derived Nuerotropic Factor and it regenerates dopamine modes. Unexpectedly, micro-doses of Ibogaine have been found, if you’re dealing chronically, for 60 days, to reverse Parkinson’s degeneration. Parkinson’s starts out as an auto immune reaction before it becomes tertiary with damaged cells, but if we can get someone in early stages of the disease we can arrest and reverse it with just 4 mg., which is just 1/400th the amount you have to give somebody to get off of heroin. 4mg in the morning, 4 mg at night for 60 days, and that really proves that it’s not a hallucinogen, its something else.. Like I said, a neurotrophogin.
Interestingly, 1/3 of people do not visualize on Ibogaine.
LSD works through 2a serotonin receptors. A bunch of things like psilocybin work through that receptor and that produces some of the LSD like affects.
Are there places that are beginning to experiment with, or facilities that are working with Ibogaine?
DB- Yeah. We are working on it right now in Afghanistan. We are supposed to get government approval later this month to import it and then will be ready to do it. We’ve been working on it for the last 3 months. It’s been pretty good. We got the approval from the Health Administrative Hierarchy and if we take off in Afghanistan, there are a lot of countries within a day’s flight by jet that have a heroin problem. There is also crystal meth. There is nothing for crystal meth.
What is your personal experience with Ibogaine?
DB- Well, just a small amount. I had an infection on my lungs. It knocked it out but I didn’t tend to it in time, unfortunately. I should have taken it right away.
What kind of patients would Ibogaine benefit?
DB- It’s used for a lot of autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s, and MS. We get these big improvements after awhile. It may be because it’s up regulating these R.E.M. like effects. R.E.M. ya know, it’s implicated in the immune system, yea.
Being an acclaimed Marijuana activist, and going through a lot of trouble over the years, including several cases of jail time, how do you see that..
DB- Well, We are definitely not done yet.
What are your thoughts on that throughout the states?
DB- We have a lot of stuff to do still. These anti-ist are still left over in the bureaucracy. We need to fire them. I don’t know what they are going to do for a living but they can’t do that.
I mean, we gotta kick them out of the position where they can make policy, and make arrest, and you know, be a cheering section for politicians who call for tougher crack downs on marijuana.
Those politicians need to go.
The main arguments they are using today—the only argument that seems to be effective—is that they are blaming marijuana for hard drugs but they have a real hard time making these kinds of statements.
I’m curious of the number of people in prisons and jails that are still there for marijuana while many states are legalizing it…
DB- Well there are a bunch of people that need to get out. Yea, it’s true.
What would you say to marijuana activist today?
DB- The main thing that we can do, that really changes things, is to let more people know about Ibogaine. Everybody knows about marijuana, and everybody has an opinion of it, and many of them are wrong. But a lot of people still don’t know that there is a cure for drugs out there, and the government is making it illegal in this country and their view of what is happening with the drugs will change because clearly, if Ibogaine is being withheld, that has a whole lot more to do with the fact that we have a hard drug problem, a heroin problem right now, than ya know, some people having some pot and smoking it in there house. Which is, they are kind of arguing that if you smoke a joint in your house, in the privacy of your bedroom, that somehow magically this is going to encourage crime all over the city, and you could argue that if people could get Ibogaine they wouldn’t be robbing to support their heroin habit because they wouldn’t be on heroin. They really can’t make the argument anymore that someone smoking pot somewhere has anything to do with anything. It’s just that people are smoking pot. So what.
That’s just the thing about Ibogaine, it’s just that people need to get the word that it is out there.
Remember, there are a lot of people out there who don’t want it to be discussed.
Would you say that a lot of the hard drug use comes down to economical problems, and issues with who is running the government, how economies vary, how we have built huge dichotomous disparities?
DB- Well..I think that has something to do with it. Yea we should have full employment, have jobs for everyone, have good educations, better health care. There is a bunch of stuff I would like to do..Bring back the Civilian Conservation Quarry, bring water down from the Rockies to the San Wakeen Valley which is parched with thirst in the desert, ya know? It’s like we should do something to bring the water down—that would be something to do with the surplus of people who don’t have enough jobs, right? Give them a job doing that. But the problem is you have people who are controlling the government and setting the agenda, in places like Nebraska and Wisconsin, where I was arrested, and to them, stopping marijuana is still the most important thing there is. It’s more important than, you know, stopping Aids. It’s more important than, you know, stopping white-collar criminals who destroyed the economy of our country. It’s way more important than bringing Dick Chaney to trail for torture.. There are a bunch of things, that, you know are more important than arresting people for pot but these people think it is actually the most important thing that there is.
It is very interesting, you know, that they talk about “we have a heroin problem, a crystal meth problem,” right? And then they say, “To get to the solution:
Tougher Penalties for Marijuana” but the minute you bring up Ibogaine..its like Oooh, let the genie out of the bottle, ya know? Give Ibogaine to junkies to get them off heroin! Yet, all of a sudden heroin is not a problem anymore, it’s not something to think about. Because they don’t want to do that. They only want to lock more people up for marijuana and the entire policy of the country on drugs is 92% crackdown on marijuana.
It started out as a hate campaign on our liberties and they never stopped. They still hate it. It’s like Ronald Reagan, “I know its there..I can’t pwooov it, but I just know its theyw” Well, you’ll never be able to prove it, Ronnie. But, ya know, you’re gonna believe in your gut that something has to be wrong with it…like having too much fun.
So what do you think it’s going to take in order to move these medicinal properties of Ibogaine forward?
DB- Well, I just want to get it to other countries is what I want to do. Getting it to other countries. That’s the main thing. So I got to tell people how to get it safely, so that’s what will be occupying me now.
Are people getting access to Ibogaine in the States?
DB- Yea, and if you find the people who are into it, you know… there are all kinds of situations.. but I’m not directly doing it in the states. I’d rather work with a government in the country and get it through the hospitals.
The problem in the states is they don’t want to take it out of schedule 1. They don’t want to do that. It’s just bureaucratic inertia. They consider Ibogaine to be there “property.”
Well, look , I’ve gotta kinda lay down for a few minutes before I go to this meeting… I’ve got to get up and put up with these people I don’t really like.