Drug Policy

The New Killer Weed

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Ohio is about to become the sixth state to ban Salvia divinorum, a psychedelic member of the mint family native to Mexico, where it has been used for centuries as a medicine and aid to divination. This week both houses of the state legislature approved the bill by overwhelming margins, and Gov. Ted Strickland is expected to sign it soon. The ban was instigated by Rep. Thom Collier (R-Mount Vernon) after he was contacted by constituents in Loudonville who blamed their 12-year-old son's death on the drug. The boy was killed by a friend who apparently had tried salvia, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, "although it isn't clear whether the friend was on the drug when he shot and killed the 12-year-old." The Columbus Dispatch notes "there was no direct evidence…that the shooting was drug-related." Sadly, this is how drug policy is routinely made. Cf. marijuana in the '30s, LSD in the '60s, MDMA in the '80s, or ephedra in the '00s.

Previous reason coverage of the burgeoning crusade against salvia here.