From the Cullman Times
LOCAL LEGISLATORS KNOW LITTLE ABOUT 'MAGIC MINT'
(that should mean it does not even rise to the level of acknowledgement...but somehow doesn't)
The hallucinogen salvia divinorum is legal and available in Alabama, but that may soon change.
Deborah Soule, executive director for the Huntsville-based Partnership for a Drug Free Community, said efforts are currently under way to outlaw the drug once and for all. Since 2007, Soule has personally contacted many of Alabama's legislators and Gov. Bob Riley to bring attention to the drug.
She had limited success during the last legislative session, when Sen. Roger Bedford Jr. sponsored a bill to make salvia a controlled substance. However, the bill never made it made it out of committee.
"It just got caught up in a log jam of a Republican filibuster," Bedford said.
To Soule, the real problem with the bill was the lack of education about salvia.
"The biggest problem in the Alabama Legislature is a lot of people didn't know about it," Soule said.
(Again...it must not be that big of a problem if most people don't know about it.)
In the United States, however, teenagers and college students are the ones who reportedly take advantage of the drug.
"Unfortunately it has become a designer drug for young people," Bedford said.
(BULLSHIT it's a designer drug...it isn't fun or pleasant for most people, has no potential for abuse)
A limited number of studies have reported salvia's effects, which include perceptions of bright lights, vivid colors and shapes, dysphoria, uncontrolled laughter, hallucinations and a sense of loss of body. It is typically smoked or chewed.
"It's bad stuff," Soule said. "The biggest problem is you lose your sense of gravity ... they think they can float."
When recently asked about salvia, Rep. Jeremy Oden said he had never heard of it. Once he was told it was hallucinogen, he said he would like to make it illegal.
"If it's producing hallucinogenic effects, we need to control that aspect of it," Oden said. "I would support something to outlaw it."
When Rep. James Fields was recently told about salvia, he said it would be a good idea to make it illegal.
"I would be supportive of a ban on it," Fields said. "Our young people are still our most valued commodity. If we don't deter drug use, we won't be doing our jobs as legislators."
To Huntsville resident Andrew Rawlins, who has used salvia many times over the past five years, outlawing the drug is the wrong way to go.
"Why are we making more laws to incarcerate people when we don't have enough room in our prisons now," Rawlins asked.
He said salvia is not a party drug, but instead a way to gain spiritual insight. He added that the drug is not addictive and not dangerous since it leaves the body within minutes after use.
While he is against an outright ban, Rawlins said some regulation might be helpful.
"I wouldn't be opposed to making it unavailable to anyone under 18 ... make it mandated like alcohol," Rawlins said.
Though the bill to ban Saliva did not make it very far in the Alabama Legislature, Soule is not discouraged and expects another bill to come up during the next session.
"Now they know about it," Soule said. "This bill is a no-brainer."
No brainer meaning, in this case, that one would have to be entirely lacking a brain to pass this stupid ass bill. As I said earlier in the legislative session when this bill was in the media WE HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE IN PRISON IN ALABAMA FOR USE OF NATURAL PLANTS! That means that PROHIBITION OF ANY DRUG HAS NOT WORKED. If it did we wouldn't have prisons stuffed full of people who don't belong there and we wouldn't have kids still using drugs and high school halls would be the last place on earth one might think to look for mind altering substances. But that isn't what we have is it?
So, if this bill passes then who pays the tab? I think Debora Soule should foot the bill. It's her bright idea and I do not consent to pay for it.
What about hallucingenic plants that occur naturally in Alabama? Datura for instance. Will that one be outlawed? It causes much more pronounced effects than Salvia and can actually kill you if you ingest too much. Then there are morning glory seeds which also induce a wild hallucenogenic trip that lasts for hours and can also kill. Will Ms. Soule attempt to outlaw those as well? Will we soon see Datura (jemison weed) and morning glory eradication teams zooming around the state in their helicopters, arresting grannies for what is in their gardens? If Ms. Soule has her way we will.
Ms. Soule will face some surprising opposition to this bill during the next legislative session. We have to stop this madness. You don't have to do salvia, or like salvia or care anything at all about salvia to understand that throwing human beings in a government cage for what they choose to ingest doesn't work, has never worked and will never work. Now that is a real NO BRAINER!