Both Jacob Sullum and
Scott Morgan Phil Smith catch a continuing disturbing trend in political circles. It’s kind of a shoot-first and ask-questions-later approach, except this is a ban-first and study-it-later philosophy.
A couple of years ago, John Bulloch watched an alarming report on an Atlanta TV station about an exotic-sounding drug called Salvia divinorum. Bulloch had never heard of the plant, a psychoactive relative of sage that the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico, have used for centuries in healing and divination rituals. […]
Bullochâ€”a Republican state senator who represents the area around Ochlocknee, Georgia, a tiny town near the Florida borderâ€”was astounded. â€œI thought, â€˜Why hasnâ€™t somebody already jumped on this?â€™â€…â€ he told the Florida Times-Union in March 2007. â€œI hurriedly got legislative counsel to draft the billâ€â€”legislation making it a misdemeanor to grow, sell, or possess salvia. […]
Bullochâ€™s approach to salviaâ€”ban first, ask questions laterâ€”epitomizes how drug policy is made in America.
Kansas state Rep. Peggy Mast (R-Emporia) had never heard of K-2 before being approached by a local newspaper reporting on the phenomenon last week, but that didn’t stop her from being ready to criminalize it. “I would be very happy to sponsor a bill to make this illegal,” she said. […]
“I don’t think the public should have ready access to anything that has not been studied,” Mast said.
That last sentence is frightening. Where does that kind of world-view come from?
I guess we’ll just have to make the universe illegal and legalize it one item at a time. I know some of you have been asking for air. We’re working on it, and should have a definitively study from the FDA on that in a couple of years.