Salvia divinorum, a hallucinogenic member of the mint family, has entered into public discourse, primarily because of over 5,000 YouTube videos showing people smoking the herb and getting high. Scientists are expressing interest in researching the plant's possible medical benefits, while legislators are moving to regulate or ban it. (New York Times)
What the commentators said
Most parents know about alcohol, pot, and cocaine, said Dr. Manny Alvarez in Fox News online, but teenagers are finding more creative ways to get high, putting “themselves—as well those around them—in danger." Teens can buy salvia online, and "worst of all: It’s perfectly legal."
Not for long, said Lupe Lasano in Times of the Internet. The YouTube videos have sparked the kind of public awareness that always "leads to complete prohibition." But let's not overreact just because the "idiot brigade is experimenting with salvia"—the effects "are extremely short-lived" and it’s "completely non-addictive."
Not to mention the fact that Salvia could "potentially cure serious medical conditions," said Hamilton Nolan in Gawker. But America's "hick State Senators" are going to ban it because some of the country's "dumbest teenagers” are posting “their tripping experience videos online." Why should medical research suffer because of the actions of a relative few?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- 10 things you need to know today: October 31, 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Feast your eyes on this beautiful linguistic family tree
Subscribe to the Week