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


Regarding the recent article on banning salvia divinorum in Wisconsin:

Unlike alcohol, which destroys lives; or addictive nicotine that 
makes you a slave to the tobacco industry; or LSD, which lasts for 12 
hours or more, here is an herb whose effects last a matter of 
minutes. It doesn't produce a rush or euphoria. It's not addictive, 
and it makes users feel anti-social, so it's hardly going to become a 
fad among teenagers (unless, of course, you heighten its intrigue by 
making it illegal).

So why are legislators considering banning this plant? Do we even 
need reasons anymore to be reactionary and ban everything we don't understand?

Perhaps the idea of people shifting their perception, even for a 
matter of minutes, is enough to frighten social conservatives. Too 
similar to free thinking, maybe?

Or maybe it's because salvia is considered a spiritual sacrament in 
some Native American religions. If Christians used this plant in 
their rituals, we would not be having this discussion.

Or is it that it holds promise for psychotherapy, particularly in 
treating mood disorders? Can't have Americans running around feeling 
good about themselves, now can we?

But then the so-called "war on drugs" has never been about common 
sense, sanity or responsibility. This is just another symptom of the 
idiotic "culture wars" that are tearing apart our nation and 
destroying more and more personal freedoms every single day.

- -- Ryan Grant Long, Madison
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