Long time marijuana activist and organizer of the Global Million Marijuana March, Dana Beal has set his sights on tackling a new problem—the growing heroin epidemic. And he has quite the plan to do it.
Beal has always been a vocal advocate of ibogaine, a hallucinogen found in certain African plants. Proponents of psychoactive therapy believe that it can cure heroin addiction with a single dose.
According to Metro, Beal is raising money to open a clinic in Afghanistan, where the growing epidemic is crippling the country. He currently only needs $2,000 more in funding and plans to charge patients $350 for a one-time dose.
Afghanistan has seen a huge spike in heroin use in recent years and offers almost nothing in terms of addiction treatment, but the decision to open his clinic in Kabul was not based purely on the country’s need for help. New York City, where Beal resides, is also in the midst of it’s own growing heroin epidemic, and Beal hopes that a success in Afghanistan will show the U.S. government how easily addiction can be treated.
Currently, the U.S. classifies ibogaine as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but it’s not illegal in Canada, Mexico or many other countries. In fact, Americans have been known to travel abroad to receive addiction treatment involving ibogaine—including Kourtney Kardashian’s husband, Scott Disick, who went to Costa Rica earlier this year to treat his pill and alcohol addiction with the plant.
“You had to get Scott Disick in the news,” Beal explained to Metro. “You had to get on the Kardashians. Bored, vacuous, rich women on television had to be married to a guy with an alcohol problem. Based on its merits, it should be in every scientific journal in the world, but things don’t work that way.”
Many critics aren’t convinced that the hallucinogen can actually cure addiction, but Beal hopes his work in Kabul, along with the celebrity endorsement, will show the U.S. that ibogaine is a legitimate treatment option.
“I just want to make it available for people who don’t have Scott Disick money,” Beal said. “There’s always been high-end places to go to quit drugs. Most heroin addicts are busted.”