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Salvia salivation, and penalties

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No matter the prohibition laws, many people will still go out of their way to obtain lawful and unlawful highs, whether through scheduled drugs, frog-licking (if that even works), homemade alcohol, glue-sniffing, gasoline sniffing, and the list goes on.

Around a century ago, and on the heels of alcohol prohibition, lawmakers in the United States criminalized controlled substances with a vengeance. That did not stop LSD from being introduced in the United States initially as an unregulated substance. (See LSD founder Albert Hoffman’s fascinating account of his LSD discovery and use here.) Consider all the wasted legislative and criminal justice system energy spent playing catch-up and spending billions of dollars chasing after recreational drugs.

One recreational drug that recently came to my attention — and which apparently is not criminalized everywhere in the United States, yet — is salvia divinorum, which apparently produces a mild hallucinogenic effect. (Thanks to a listserv member for posting on salvia). The websites here and here track international and national efforts to criminalize the salvia plant. Jon Katz