Pubdate: Wed, 20 Jun 2007
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2007 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Andrew Miller


While your article on salvia was generally well-balanced, the 
essential question of why the drug should be banned was never really addressed.

Contrary to Dr. Miller's assertions, there is little evidence to 
suggest that salvia is addictive. While the effects are certainly 
powerful, very few users consider them pleasant or euphoric and the 
absence of any cited evidence to the contrary is telling.

In addition, while the drug does indeed act upon opiate receptors, it 
does so in a way completely different from other opiates known to be 
addicting, such as morphine or oxycodone.

In short, salvia has yet to be linked to any health problems 
(although indigenous peoples in Mexico and Central America have used 
it for centuries if not millenia with no noted ill effects), and the 
extremely short duration and overwhelming nature of its effects 
render the possibility of its use threatening the user or others 
risibly minuscule.

Of course, none of this matters. Salvia will be banned because drug 
policy is not dictated by reasonable public health considerations, 
but rather puritanism. This drug puritanism, like any other form, is, 
to paraphrase Mencken, the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is 
enjoying himself.

Not to fear, though, the clucking busybodies at the Legislature will 
certainly save us from this noxious scourge of consenting adults 
altering their perceptions for a few minutes in the privacy of their 
own home. Thank God.

- -- Andrew Miller, Madison
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