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Thursday, August 05, 2004


I don't really understand the so-called Puritan impulse in this country. Why are god-given plants demonized? Why should they be outlawed by government fiat? Why is the government so interested in legislating morality? I just don't get it.

This article in the Ithica Journal is a case in point
Salvia divinorum Legislature should outlaw substance -
Salvia divinorum is an herb in the mint family that is native to Mexico. Like marijuana, salvia can be smoked to produce a state of intoxication. Users have said that salvia produces hallucinations that reportedly can be more powerful than LSD.

Unlike marijuana or LSD, salvia is legal to use. A recent Ithaca Journal report found that this drug is no more regulated than bubble gum. It can be openly purchased through some local shops, by mail and via the World Wide Web. And there's the problem: Youngsters who may not try illegal drugs such as marijuana might be tempted to experiment with salvia.

Those who support the use of Salvia claim that it is a "natural herb" and that it is non-addictive. The same arguments once were put forth regarding marijuana. Today, the National Institute on Drug Abuse considers marijuana an addictive substance because people have withdrawal symptoms from it -- and it works in the same area of the brain as other hallucinogens, Rusen said.

Common sense dictates that it is unwise to allow the sale of a powerful psychoactive substance that is subject to less regulation than bottled water. What is particularly disturbing is that there are no laws regulating its purchase by minors. After all, there are sound reasons why our culture doesn't allow eight-year-old children to drive cars on highways or make it legal for 14-year-olds to buy cigarettes or beer.

To date, there are no state or federal laws regulating the production or distribution of Salvia divinorum. There should be.

In 2002, a bill in the House of Representatives, HR 5607, contained wording that regulated salvia. Unfortunately, the 107th Congress did not act on it. Hopefully, our elected officials in Washington, D.C. -- or Albany -- will take action this year.

There are enough problems associated with substance abuse. Allowing a powerful, unregulated psychoactive substance to be openly marketed is not good public policy.

Yes, marijuana is a "natural herb" as well, and should be no harder to purchase at your local herb shop then St. Johns Wort, or green tea. And hallucinogens should be legal too, what's your point?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me naive, but I'm a 42 year old, who grew up in the "drug" era.
I've tried some and lost friends to others. How is Salvia legal and marijuana not. Salvia causes hallucinations on the same order as LSD, where marijuana makes you relaxed.

Please explain.

12:15 PM, October 28, 2005

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salvia isn't quite like LSD, it's relatively short lasting, and much less giggly, and more introspective. Marijuana should be legal too though.

12:27 PM, October 28, 2005


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