Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Salvia Divinorum: Could Hallucinogenic Drugs Have Healing Properties?

By Andrea Useem

In a popular article this week, The New York Times reported on the rash of online videos showing teenagers smoking the hallucinogenic drug derived from leaves of the plant Salvia divinorum. In this video (warning: it has a fair amount of profanity), a girl named Shannon takes one hit from a bong and appears overwhelmed; she’s unable to talk and extremely disoriented. Minutes later, as the effects wear off, she says she feels scared and would not do it again.

Clips like that are hardly an advertisement for the drug, which can be legally bought online. Some states, however, have passed laws ranging from limits on possession to making Salvia illegal. But the video accompanying the Times’s article also shows another kind of user. On camera, a 29-year-old father from Waco, Texas, identified only as Nathan, smokes a pipe of Salvia, then appears to enter a state of meditation while reclining peacefully in a chair. The drug, he says, “awakens something inside you that is greater than yourself.” Read More
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