Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A 5-Minute High = 15 Years in the Slammer?

What the fuck? The war on medicinal plants is entering a new phase. This time it's salvia divinorum, a member of the mint family.
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.

When you "see it?" I assume he's referring to one or more of the 5,000+ YouTube videos which have been posted by the SYA (Stupid Youth of America).

Yes, salvia divinorum does have a very pleasant effect. And unlike Representative Anderson, I've done more than just look at the plant, I've smoked it. (I haven't watched any of the YouTube videos though, so Rep. Anderson has one up on me.)

The effect lasts about 5 minutes on konagod, as it does on most users.
At a legislative hearing near Dallas in August, Mr. Anderson argued that by not banning salvia, governments were communicating that it is benign. He noted that Internet purveyors advise that salvia should be used only with a “sober sitter,” and said its legal status might encourage experimentation among some who would never consider a back-alley drug deal.

Substitute the words liquor and tobacco for salvia in the above paragraph and it's not hard to see the absurdity and hypocrisy at work here.

There is really nothing I despise much worse than lawmakers meddling in areas in which they have no understanding or willingness to comprehend, and pushing for laws to control what we do in our bedrooms, dens, living rooms and kitchens.

If possession and selling of salvia divinorum justifies a 15-year prison sentence in Florida, then it seems to me that driving under the influence of alcohol should warrant the death penalty, on the spot. And that should apply to lawmakers as well.

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