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March 2006
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Some sage reporting

Thanks to Bill for alerting me to this NPR story tonight on Salvia Divinorum: Legal, Herbal Hallucinogenic Draws Teens, Critics
I turned on the radio while driving home and caught the beginning…

18 year-old Justine Cavanaugh said she didn’t know what to expect when she tried smoking Salvia Divinorum last summer. She really didn’t even know what it was.

“We had just passed by a store front and saw that Salvia is sold here — I’m like ‘Oh, what’s that?'”

Cavanaugh and two friends thought that since the herb sometimes called “Magic Mint,” “ska Maria Pastora” or “Sally D” is legal, it would be harmless and weak. So they paid $50 for the strongest dose of Salvia available at the head shop, went into a nearby alley, and lit it up…

At that point, I turned it off. Go ahead, listen to the rest of it, if you’d like. It appears there’s actually some balance in the story based on the web page. But sometimes, I just get tired. And I can’t stop the thoughts running through my head.
Thoughts like

  • Great. Just what we need. Another media story about the latest drug fad. Hardly anyone’s interested in Salvia, and most people who try it don’t like it, but now everyone will be curious.
  • Great. Just what we need. Another chance for politicians to show off and outlaw something.
  • Who pays $50 for something they think is weak?
  • If you think that everything that is legal is harmless, maybe you’re ready to audition for the Darwin Awards. Kerosene is legal. And lethal. Why don’t you try huffing some of that? (But then again, could it be that part of that attitude is a result of the drug war?)
  • At least Justine Cavanaugh doesn’t need to worry about losing any brain cells.
  • Could the opening of this story be any more predictable?

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