Thursday, April 10, 2008


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From Amazon jungles to the American Plains, British mental wards, Swiss labs, New York mansions and "Grateful Dead" shows, the history of hallucinogenic drugs is as fantastic as the visions the drugs produce.

Wade Davis, is a modern-day anthropologist, author ("The Serpent and the Rainbow") and protege of one of psychedelia's most intrepid forefathers -- Richard Evans Schultes.

Davis traces Schultes' life's work as one of the greatest botanist-explorers of the 20th century and reveals an illustrated history of the world's most mind-altering plants and substances in: PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY premiering April 19, 2008 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on The History Channel.

Winner of the 2008 CINE Golden Eagle Award, the documentary follows the career of Schultes, who journeyed into far-flung areas in search of ritualistic healing medicines known to produce powerful visions: Peyote, mushrooms and 'Ayahuasca'.

Davis, a former student of Schultes at Harvard and author of Schultes' biography ("One River"), travels to the exotic locations Schultes once voyaged to, seeking the same experiences.

Grateful Dead and featuring input from experts including Dead co-founder Bob Weir, Dr. Andrew Weil and LSD inventor Dr. Albert Hofmann, the doc reveals how hallucinogens traveled from jungle shamans to the hippie generation.

Questions arise about the attitude toward psychedelics: their great potential benefits versus perceived harmful side effects. Why did ancient cultures consider hallucinogenic plants -- "...a medicine from God..."

PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY is produced and directed by Peter von Puttkamer of Vancouver's Gryphon Productions Inc. along with producer Sheera von Puttkamer and co-producer Wade Davis. Executive Producer for The History Channel is Michael Stiller.

An exhibit of Richard Evans Schultes' photographs will run at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, April 16 - November, 2008.