The Peyote Files With Dr. Martin Terry:
A documentary series co-directed by Bia Labate and Nicholas Spiers
Produced by the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines
This three-part web series joins Dr. Bia Labate on an eye-opening road trip through West Texas to meet Dr. Martin Terry, one of the world’s leading experts on Lophophora williamsii (peyote). This series represents a testament to Martin’s tireless conservation efforts and a call to action to recognize and respect the right to exist of this extraordinary cactus, before it’s too late.
The Peyote Files (episode 1: Peyote Territory)
In episode one (Peyote Territory) Bia and Martin trek through peyote’s natural habitat and discuss its unusual morphology, psychoactive nature, history of human interest, and Martin’s irrepressible zeal for all things cacti. Martin’s rigorously scientific understanding of peyote’s evolutionary context challenges the mystical assumptions often underpinning the role of its psychoactive properties.
The Peyote Files (episode 2: Peyote Threats)
Episode 2: Returning from the desert to Alpine, Texas, Martin shows Bia the collection of peyote cacti he nurtures and studies in his fortified greenhouse—following strict DEA regulations—and explains the current threats to peyote populations (currently listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List), such as the destruction of peyote’s habitat and the pressures of overharvesting.
The Peyote Files (episode 3: Peyote Conservation)
Episode 3: Martin outlines the research and action he is carrying out, along with the Cactus Conservation Institute, to mitigate the threats faced by peyote, including spreading awareness of sustainable harvesting techniques, the impact of frequent, repeat harvesting, and the urgency of cultivation.