I was at the Symposium for the Texas and SouthWest Popular Culture in Albuquerque (because I thought it might be both fun and interesting) – hanging out with Alan Tryst (the organizer’s guest that particular year) and a bunch of college professors who’ve made studying the Grateful Dead as their “career” who called their club “DEAD WOOD” – (statisticians, poets, musicologists., linguists, business management researchers..etc.) – the owner of Ice Nine Publishing (keeper and manager of the Grateful Dead’s intellectual property.
Alan was quite interested in me (much to the chagrin of the professors, who all wanted his attention) -after explaining to him that I had been in New Mexico to meet Marcellus “Bear Heart” Williams (on his death bed at the time, btw), and he was telling me fascinating stories about his experiences while present during healing ceremonies conducted by another native healer John Pope – “Rolling Thunder” when to my delight , I was told next – about the same event the year before where a very determined and sure group of native people barged into (crashed) their symposium – and took the floor, and lectured the Grateful Dead people about their mis-use of their sacred medicines as a party drug.
There’s a lot more to this topic – and the question which loomed for years is:
“Why to Psycho-tropics exist in nature ?”
Herbalist – Stephen Harrod Buhner (hands-down the best in North America, btw)- and who is now friend of mine, after saving my life from Lyme Disease actually set out to answer this question, and does so quite eloquently in this book of his: