Drug Policy

Arizona's Great Lawn Declaration

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What do John McCain, salvia divinorum, and Martin Luther King Day the Cactus Wren have in common? They're all recognized as legit in Arizona.

The drug, with it's super-hero-sounding moniker, "Diviner's Sage," has been on the rampage through YouTube and teenagers' dens all across America. Putting its victims in states of metaphysical insight and fits of laughter, the sensation has caused state legislators to go into a hysterical trance themselves. Ten states have banned salvia since 2004 and, as noted by Jacob Sullum, Nebraska recently passed a law outlawing salvia and divining ridiculous punishments for the possessed.

On Friday, however, the chair of the Arizona House Judiciary Committee, Adam Driggs, said he wouldn't hear a bill making salvia illegal to anyone under the age of 21.

His reason?

"I think it would be difficult to regulate because salvia is a common plant. It could be growing in someone's yard."

Hmmm, he's really on to something there. Just don't set up grow lamps or any hydroponic operation.

But Sean Walsh, director of out patient services at the Calvary Addiction Recovery Center in Arizona said Diggs' explaination was "side-stepping" the issue. Then again, he also said "we all know [marijuana's] dangerous so we regulate it". And perhaps, by "regulate" he meant "prosecute".

Salvia has been used for centuries by Shamans (kinda like a cosmic Swiss Army Knife), but the sight of "our children" popping their psychic tops for three minutes has legislators seeing others things, mostly red.

Before the ban becomes a national phenomenon, be sure to try this at your next salvia party: When the "diviner" begins to go under, softly and maniacally giggle like a group of children frolicking on the Playground of Nightmares. It's sure to stop salvia experimentation better than any law.

And before this makes its way through the video-sphere and into the hands of legislators, learn how to freebase caffeine.

Salvia-heads, rally before your local representatives, singing songs of love and understanding.

Jacob Sullum's post here. Reason coverage of salvia here.