September 9, 2008

YouTube and the rise and fall of a powerful hallucinogen.

Salvia divinorum -- a mostly legal herb -- produces ecstasy, which is fun to video-record and watch on YouTube, because the person who experiences that ecstasy tends to look like an idiot. And then more people start using the drug and they too make videos, and YouTube actively propogates the drug's use.

But now:
In state after state, however, including here in Texas, the YouTube videos have become Exhibit A in legislative efforts to regulate salvia. This year, Florida made possession or sale a felony punishable by 15 years in prison. California took a gentler approach by making it a misdemeanor to sell or distribute to minors.

"When you see it, well, it sure makes a believer out of you," said Representative Charles Anderson of Waco, a Republican state lawmaker who is sponsoring one of several bills to ban salvia in Texas.
YouTube cuts both ways.

15 comments:

goesh said...

for a second, I thought this was a prelude to a snuff flick but I'm often mistaken yet waste is waste that's for sure

Bob said...

I've actually tried it, by chewing re-hydrated leaves. No effect, so either I wasn't chewing enough, or not thoroughly enough. Chewing a cud of bitter leaves for a half-hour isn't my idea of a good time, you know? Made me feel rather...bovine.

You Boomers had it easy, with your blotter acid and sugar cubes.

Peter V. Bella said...

California took a gentler approach...

That's California, the kinder, gentler, self-esteem state.

MadisonMan said...

Well, I can see why legislatures want to spring into action. We certainly can't have the general population in a state of ecstasy. Not unless it means you're voting for someone.

froggyprager said...

The headline on this article seems odd in that the medical potential is not really the focus of the article. It almost seems to suggest that the NYT wants to leave the door open on this one. A headline like "Lawmakers Outraged that DEA has Taken No Action to Regulate Hugely Popular Untested Dangerous Hallucinogenic Drug" would certainly put a nail in the coffin on this one.

peter hoh said...

Kids, figure out some way to get high off of dandelions. I need some federal help to remove them from my lawn.

Outis said...

Okay, as someone coming from the conservative side of the Ameerican political, I find efforts to criminalize this stupid. It's a plant. What next, are they going to outlaw cat pee?

Jack said...

So, now it's illegal to look like an idiot? When are they going to outlaw Star Trek conventions?

Smilin' Jack said...

Salvia divinorum -- a mostly legal herb -- produces ecstasy...This year, Florida made possession or sale a felony punishable by 15 years in prison.

It's about time. Some people have the crazy idea that they've been endowed by their Creator with an inalienable right to pursue happiness. Government needs to stomp that out right now.

RJ said...

Non-addictive, short lived high, medically safe, few side effects... sounds awful. This nation has a dreadful shortage of drug dealers and people in prison for drug offenses, so by all means, let's increase their numbers by making yet another harmless drug illegal.

blake said...

As someone who wishes we'd just concede the War on Drugs, I'd just like to point out that:

Non-addictive, short lived high, medically safe, few side effects

is pretty much what they say about "new" drugs. It seems incredible now, but Time ran a cover story (I think) in the early '80s where they said that about cocaine.

MadisonMan said...

At the time, my parents were subscribers to Time, and all I can say to your comment is Bullshit.

It is laughable to think that cocaine would be considered "new" in the 80s.

blake said...

At the time, my parents were subscribers to Time, and all I can say to your comment is Bullshit.

What, that there wasn't a cover story on cocaine, extolling its virtues as non-addictive? Maybe not; it's certainly possible I've mixed it up with another magazine.

It is laughable to think that cocaine would be considered "new" in the 80s.

"New" in the sense of "trendy".

The article, as I recall, mentioned Freud and other historical users of cocaine, but they were quite firm on it being a wonder drug, with limited side-effects and no "physically addicting" properties. (I believe that's the magic phrase.)

I would've sworn it was Time, but this doesn't look like it and the article reads more like a post-hangover version.

AlphaLiberal said...

Trying to stop people from making fools of themselves is the ultimate futility.

Darury said...

legislative efforts to regulate salvia.

Ok, you can't tell me I'm the only person that read that and thought "They're starting to regulate drool?"