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The wide, wide world of salvia

Here's a sampling of salvia-related headlines from the past month:

There's been a constant drum beat along these lines since before we started this blog, but these stories keep coming, each one a little light bulb going off in a different community where some little local news outlet suddenly discovers salvia for the first time, and then freaks the fuck right out about it. I stopped reading these stories a looooooooong time ago, but today, I felt compelled to check out "Parent Discovers Child Has Hallucinogen Available Legally," which features the textbook salvia scare story lede:

Police say it's the best kept secret in the drug community. A type of plant that's completely legal and your child could be using it. It's called Salvia Divinorum. This is a drug that's just now getting some attention.

And of course, the story features the requisite menacing warning from local law enforcement:

"It is very scary and there are things that are out there that are perfectly legal that have really bad reactions once it gets into the body and it wasn't designed to be in the human body for starters."

You hear that? It wasn't designed to be in the human body. Which is really how future legislation ought to be guided: designed to be in the human body? Check, sell it at Wal-Mart. Not designed to be in the human body? Make it Schedule One. It's pretty easy when you break it down like that.

Sorry, I don't actually have a point here...

Posted By Scotto at 2007-09-28 09:11:44 permalink | comments
Tags: salvia war on drugs
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jamesk : 2010-08-03 12:36:00
Um, I think Scotto was being sarcastic.
scotto_is_a_dead_man. : 2010-08-01 09:03:30
Scotto, i fell sorry for you. You have had a very sheltered life which has caused you to be extremely closed minded. You seem to to lack the brain power to critically think. "You hear that? It wasn't designed to be in the human body. Which is really how future legislation ought to be guided". Are pharmaceuticals meant to be in the human body? "Not designed to be in the human body? Make it Schedule One. It's pretty easy when you break it down like that." How do you decide what ought to be in the human body? You also seem to have no respect for personal freedom. You disgust me.
sUm_DanK : 2007-09-30 12:06:01
best kept secret in the drug community? wtf r they going on about, i can walk down to my local pk and buy that shit with no hassle and if a cop ever stopped me, ide say "yeah its a hallucinogenic drug, do something about it, thats right u cant!."
agent_of_truth : 2007-09-30 09:44:10
"wasn't designed to be in the human body for starters."

What about things like aspartame and xenoestrogens and chemical preservatives? This is an irrelevant point. Did we design milk to be in the human body? How about water, was it designed specifically to keep us hydrated?

As a side note, salvia is a very powerful drug capable of some seriously trippy shit, and as such should be used with caution.

shin : 2007-09-30 00:24:08
Of course it's no longer just a war on plant drugs, but our plant allies themselves. I'm not sure how many here are familiar with the proposed "white list" of "acceptable" plant species, but in my experience, the general population is sorely uninformed about the possibility of even their non-edible/medicinal/garden plants becoming illegal without their knowledge or input.
The proposed legislation has come and gone for years now, but always seems to get closer to becoming ratified. It's another in a long list of the ever more commonly accepted corporrupt/state ownership of "living" entities that personally i find rather disturbing.
more info can be found around the web as well as here:
teleomorph : 2007-09-29 14:11:38
"wasn't designed to be in the human body for starters."

Which is ironic cause it's wrong. Salvia Divinorum is a cultigen, selectively breeded for it psychoactive effects hundreds or even thousands of years ago. So it specifically WAS "designed to be in the human body."

Nowhere Girl : 2007-09-29 04:03:25
And what about the right to privacy? The Bill of Rights? (From what I've read it seems that "hawks of the Drug War" quite explicitly say that drug cases create an "EXCEPTION" here.) "Cruel and unjust punishment"? Democracy is more than just will of the majority, it's also about some standards, about civil rights.
And it's another problem how strong is the propaganda which says that any drug use is intrinsically evil. In this situation many people just don't dare question such policy. Example: Poland has quite harsh drug laws, it's fair to say we are following the American model. During the previous term of the parliament, however, the Minister of Health has done quite much to change the direction more towards harm reduction. A liberalisation of the law - for example posession of small amounts of "drugs" would be allowed, as before 1997 - seemed to be fully accessible, also because it was consistent with EU recommendations. The parliament was dominated by the Social Democrats... and the liberalisation failed anyway. It seems that just regardless whether it's left or right wing, the belief that the state can punish certain mental states is deeply rooted. (OK, here I'm exaggerating: in fact few people think it's about what we are allowed to experience.)
Anyway, the whole drug discourse is fascinating in all it's darkness, it needs someone who could be able to analyse it as Foucault had analysed the discourse of sexuality. I'm starting to think the discourse is based on the idea that drugs are something that makes you UNCHASTE - yes, in teh almost religious meaning - if it wasn't like that, why would Andrew Feldmar have been treated like a war criminal?
omgoleus : 2007-09-28 17:22:38
Well of course I agree with you Nowhere Girl (even though I can't seem to find you), but I think you're wrong to think this is an issue of giving up democracy. I think the drug laws in the US are consistent with the will of the majority... just like most other cases of mass oppression and injustice.
Nowhere Girl : 2007-09-28 13:17:27
Unfortunately, I believe salvia will be delegalised - actually I'm even surprised it hasn't happened yet. (At the same time I believe some day drug prohibition will be abolished, I couldn't survive as a pessimist.) The most disturbing thing for me is how ready people are to give up democracy... how almost everyone believes such laws are consistent with a generally democratic system. The "normal majority" has been told they share nothing with those demonic, evil drug users - and they believe, nobody's asking why does the state think it has the right to control a citizen's state of mind.
Oh, shut up - that's me to myself, such arguments have been repeated many times. Still this war scares me. It's no "war on drugs", it's rather a war on consciousness.
jamesk : 2007-09-28 11:39:31
It's interesting. It seems we can go for a few months with no Salvia headlines at all, and then all of a sudden we get dozens of them in the span of a couple weeks. I think there's a round-robin of dimwitted reporters out there who catch a piece on the local news and think, "I've never heard of that! It must be new!" And then there's the whole "New legal hallucinogen" line that grabs every time, even though the same exact scare story has been circulating around the nation's news outlets for about five years now.

Come to think of it, we really do need a new legal hallucinogen.

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