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OfflinemotamanM
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The (legal) trip of your life
    #5590088 - 05/04/06 03:24 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/05/04/44598b4e4b9ea


The (legal) trip of your life
Salvia divinorum promises a quick thrill for those with $20 and 15 minutes to spare

By Steve Aquino

May 04, 2006

After getting off the El at Belmont, I walk east toward Clark St., where I turn left and walk past a group of Dunkin’ Donuts employees smoking cigarettes by a blue U.S. Postal Service mail box. I look across the street to my right, then to my left and I stop: I see a red sign in a shop window — “SALVIA SOLD HERE.” This is what I’m looking for.

I walk in and look around for a minute or two. I’ve never seen so many bowls, bongs, pipes and hookahs in my life. I see at least five signs saying “NO SALE TO YOUTHS” or “ALL PRODUCTS FOR TOBACCO USE ONLY.” Near the entrance is the cash register, where a group of four Latinos — not one of them looks older than 18 — are waiting for the goods they came here to buy.

“Hey, you guys got that salvia stuff?” one, wearing a sky blue Yankees jersey, asks the girl behind the counter after handing over his cash.

“Yeah, we do,” she says.

“What’s that stuff do?” another in the group asks her.

“It produces an intense psychedelic experience,” she says. She walks out from behind the counter to get the incense the kid in the Yankees jersey bought and sees me standing in line.

“Can I get you anything?”

“10x salvia,” I say.

The girl with the group looks at me and asks, “What is that stuff?”

Afraid to say something like “It’s a drug,” I hesitate, but before I can answer one of the guys with her says, “It gets you high.”

I look behind the counter and see the girl — who seems to be the store’s only employee — handing me a little bag filled with what looks like finely ground coffee.

“Do you know how to use it?” she asks.

“Um, yeah,” I respond — I have no idea how to use it.

She tells me how much I owe and I open my wallet and give her the cash. She hands me my change and says, “Thanks. Enjoy.” She never asks for I.D.

Five minutes in a head shop and I left with a hallucinogen more powerful than LSD in my pocket. And it’s completely legal.

Most descriptions of what it’s like to be high on salvia go something like this:

“I took a hit, but I don’t remember passing the bong,” says Don Kotnik, 20, a sophomore at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, of his first and only experience with the drug. “Before my eyes all I could see was colors. Like the Wheel of Fortune board. You’re transformed to another world. It was nuts, but it’s only for a few minutes. You wake up and you’re like, ‘Holy shit, what just happened?’”

What happened was salvinorin, the plant’s psychoactive element and the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen, entered Kotnik’s bloodstream, traveled to his brain and agitated his kappa opioid receptors, which sent him on the “most intense” trip of his life. The other hallucinogens he’s tried — LSD and mushrooms — didn’t come close to being as intense, Kotnik says. He went so far as to say the drug should be illegal because the “high is just so intense.”

“Your motor skills, your verbal skills are just shut off,” he says. “You can probably mumble, but that’s about it.”

And the more I talk to people who have tried the drug, the more bizarre the stories about what it’s like to be high on salvia become.

“I was sitting in a chair, I hit the bong and I fell to the floor,” says Nick Trebonik, 20, also a sophomore at Ohio State. “All of a sudden, I started to dream. I woke up and I started telling everybody I wasn’t in reality. I felt like I was driving a train. I felt like I was getting pulled into the wall, but it lasts for, like, a minute. Then, I got up and that was the end of it.”

The drug is so intense because most head shops that sell salvia have it in an enhanced form. “10x salvia” means there is ten times the amount of salvinorin per gram than in the original leaf. Concentrations range from 5x to 60x. If you’re willing to spend about $20 a gram (the same amount of marijuana costs about $11, depending on its potency) for a five-minute trip, salvia can be bought at almost any head shop. Or, if you don’t feel like leaving home, it can be bought online at countless Web sites promising to deliver you the highest quality salvia leaves.

A short while ago, not many people outside of the Sierra Mazateca region of Mexico knew about the psychoactive properties of salvia divinorum. The name is Latin for “Diviner’s sage,” a name that’s traced to the indigenous Mazatec people of Mexico, who used salvia as an entheogen — an herb or other substance that heightens spiritual experience. A relative of the mint family, salvia looks like nothing more than a sage and smells like herbal tea.

A report by the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics says salvia “allows [the Mazatec healers] to travel to heaven and talk to God and the Saints about divination, diagnosis and healing.”

Salvia stayed in southeast Mexico until 1962 when it was brought to the United States. Since then, most domestic use and study of the plant has gone relatively unnoticed; the psychoactive compound was only identified 13 years ago by Daniel Siebert, the leading salvia researcher, who has been investigating the drug and its spiritual uses for more than 20 years.

Siebert runs The Salvia Divinorum Research and Information Center, a Web site where viewers can buy salvia (proceeds go to Siebert’s research), get information about the drug and share the spiritual experiences they’ve had while high on salvia. For most users, salvia use is about enhancing their spiritual experience rather than just a casual high. Siebert stresses this element of salvia use explicitly on the site.

“I had been shaken to the soul,” Siebert writes about one of his experiences on the drug. Other members of the forum describe salvia’s effects as being like “home,” exporting them back to their youth or setting their souls free to “define myself,” as one user, writing under the pseudonym, “Sage Student,” writes.

Sometime in January of this year, 17-year-old Brett Chidester bought salvia from a Web site and used the drug. On Jan. 23, he set up a tent in his father’s garage in Wilmington, Delaware, and, after putting a charcoal grill in the tent, lit the coals. Brett then went inside the tent, sealed it shut and suffocated from the smoke.

A note left by Brett described what he hallucinated while high on the drug: “How can I go on living after I learned the secrets of life? It took me 17 years, but I finally figured it out. I can’t tell you that here because that kind of information can cause chaos.”

There was no evidence that Brett was high on salvia when he killed himself, but his mother, Kathleen Chidester, was quoted in a USA Today report as saying, “When I read (the note), I thought, ‘That’s not (Brett) talking, that’s salvia.’”

The bill classifying salvia as a schedule 1 controlled substance passed both houses of the Delaware State Legislature April 13. Governor Ruth Ann Minner’s signature is all it needs to become law. State Senator Karen Peterson introduced and sponsored the bill — dubbed “Brett’s Law” — in the Delaware State Senate. The DEA lists salvia on its watch list, but has yet to officially control the substance. A bill to criminalize salvia has been introduced twice in Congress. It has failed both times.

In the United States, 50 people die every hour from smoking-related diseases, according to the American Lung Association and National Transportation Safety Board. Numbers show two people die in alcohol-related car accidents in the same amount of time. The Department of Justice has a $20.3 billion budget this year and will give about $804 million to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which is primarily responsible for monitoring illegal trafficking of firearms and, in some cases, tobacco.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that the federal government will spend about $393 per second fighting the War on Drugs — about $12.4 billion this year.

Roughly 96 cents out of every dollar spent on drug enforcement goes to investigation and prosecution of criminals, according to a Columbia University report. The other four cents go to substance-abuse treatment. The FBI estimates half of all arrests made for drug possession will be for marijuana-related violations.

There has yet to be a report of a death from an overdose of salvia or marijuana. The typical salvia trip lasts five to 15 minutes, and neither salvia nor marijuana have ever been proven as physically addictive as alcohol or tobacco.

One person dies from using a drug, so that drug should be outlawed: “That’s our policy in America,” says Kris Krane, the executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), a Washington-based group of young people devoted to ending the harms caused by drug use and the policies of the War on Drugs. SSDP has about 45 student-organized chapters at colleges throughout the U.S. “Not a single person has died from marijuana, and that’s illegal. One person dies from salvia, and that’s tragic, but that’s not an excuse for banning it; that would be the rationale.”

Krane says this kind of policy is where the War on Drugs has failed: People have the choice to use tobacco and drink alcohol, but civil liberties end there because lawmakers believe the use of drugs like marijuana and salvia — by no means a widely used drug — is harming all of society, rather than just the bodies of those who use the substances.

“The government continues to regulate personal freedoms and personal behaviors for the so-called ‘good of society,’” Krane says. “These policies are never based in science or reason; it’s just a form of government control over a person’s own mind and body.”

It’s not just the policy against salvia that seems to be unbalanced: The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in February that a church in New Mexico could legally use hallucinogenic teas containing DMT — a schedule 1 controlled substance — in its ceremonies. Last June, the Court ruled states had the authority to prosecute those using marijuana for medicinal purposes.

But Peterson says she doesn’t buy the argument that salvia and other substances are fine if used by adults or for spiritual experiences. She says she doesn’t “blame salvia for Brett Chidester’s death,” and only introduced the bill after she researched the drug and found that it can be more potent than LSD. Her main decision to try to get the drug outlawed was because it was “a public safety issue.”

“Kids think it’s safe just because it’s legal. But that’s not true. I don’t want to be driving down the road next to somebody who is high on salvia or LSD,” says Peterson, who is the chairwoman of the Combat Drug Abuse Committee in the Delaware Senate. “We don’t allow LSD to be sold, even as something that can bring a spiritual experience. If salvia is the most potent naturally-occurring hallucinogen, I don’t think it should be sold to anyone.”

This is the reason Peterson says she would not support any legislation that simply puts a tobacco-like age restriction on salvia’s use or allows it to be used by certain religions sects. “We allow children to receive wine for communion at Catholic mass, but at the same time, those kids can’t go to a liquor store and buy alcohol,” Peterson says. “And you can certainly make the argument that, if we ban drugs like salvia, we should also ban tobacco and alcohol. But tobacco and alcohol aren’t hallucinogens.”

I put the bag of salvia on my desk after returning from the head shop. It’s still there a few days later; I didn’t open it. I remember some things my friends told me when they saw it:

“Have fun with that salvia; it’s a good time.”

“You should try it. Why not? You bought it.”

“Are you going to smoke it?”

If I smoked it, I wouldn’t be doing anything wrong according to the laws of Illinois and 46 other states.

It’s getting late. I’ve got 15 minutes to spare. I pick up the baggy and open it. I smell the crushed leaves — they still smell like tea.

I turn the bag upside-down and pour the substance into my trash can. I don’t need salvia, even though some people like it. And that’s their choice.

I walk outside, flip open my Zippo, flick the wheel and put the flame up to the Lucky Strike in my mouth. Freedom of choice never tasted so good.


--------------------
http://heffter.org


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Offlineblaze2
The Witness
Male

Registered: 12/20/02
Posts: 1,883
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Last seen: 8 years, 5 months
Re: The (legal) trip of your life [Re: motaman]
    #5590547 - 05/04/06 05:50 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

How is it that the government paid "geniouses" have never yet come up with a genuine sounding peice of propaganda? You'd think they would have figured it out by now.


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"Religion without science is blind, Science without religion is lame." Albert Einstein

"peace is not maintained through force it is acheived through intelligence." Albert Einstein

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain Security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."
Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." --Thomas Jefferson


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Invisibleredgreenvines
irregular verb
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Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 28,206
Re: The (legal) trip of your life [Re: blaze2]
    #5591552 - 05/04/06 10:29 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

ironic
puff


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OfflineJack_Straw
ROC
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Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 383
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Re: The (legal) trip of your life [Re: redgreenvines]
    #5592331 - 05/05/06 02:03 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

that's it, where's my tent?


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InvisibleWIZOLZ
Poor with Needs
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Registered: 03/20/06
Posts: 290
Loc: Monte Carlo
Re: The (legal) trip of your life [Re: Jack_Straw]
    #5595696 - 05/05/06 10:56 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

“The government continues to regulate personal freedoms and personal behaviors for the so-called ‘good of society,’” Krane says. “These policies are never based in science or reason; it’s just a form of government control over a person’s own mind and body.”

This is the only part of the entire article worthy of being considered respectable. Another shamefull attempt to discriminate against a misrepresented social priviledge and personal spiritual resource.

Psychedelics are potentially risky for those who dont know how to use them or control them correctly.


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Requim for a Dream - Paul Oakenfold
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"The mis/abuse of any form of power, is the worst form of ignorance"
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WIZOLZ - Lover with a Killer's Smile


Edited by WIZOLZ (05/05/06 10:58 PM)


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OfflineEquilibriuM
dream stalker

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 2,323
Last seen: 13 years, 7 months
Re: The (legal) trip of your life [Re: motaman]
    #5595807 - 05/05/06 11:21 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

If you are so worried about the children, PUT A FUCKING AGE RESTRICTION ON IT! RETARDS.


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HELP!!!!!!!!!


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InvisibleBanez
Stranger
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Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 15,181
Re: The (legal) trip of your life [Re: EquilibriuM]
    #5595871 - 05/05/06 11:33 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

yeah i really dont understand the government at all.. i mean alcohol and tobacco are much more dangerous than some of these drugs they are "soo worried about"

i actually saw a show on the history channel the other day called "hooked: opium, morphine, and herion" and about how they became illegal.. it was a great view!!


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Banez' PF Tek For Beginners


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OfflineinoculatedGreif
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Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 663
Last seen: 14 years, 5 months
Re: The (legal) trip of your life [Re: Banez]
    #5604835 - 05/08/06 02:22 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

a leash I tell ya! the government has a leash on us, its all about control. if they dont like what they see or hear, they yank the leash tighter.


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one branch of man turns away what has made us who we are, the other,excepts it for how its made man. which path do you choose?
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Man takes advantage of who he is,nature is his home, where he evolved from. So why does he turn it down, defy, and mutalate his birth ground? why does he spread disease, murder his native animals,rape and torture his land, and still feel descent of who he is? live a life that is not true? excepts an artificial home?


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InvisibleBanez
Stranger
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Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 15,181
Re: The (legal) trip of your life [Re: inoculatedGreif]
    #5605587 - 05/08/06 06:22 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

yeah we arent nearly as free as we think we are.. big brother is always looking over the shoulder


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Banez' PF Tek For Beginners


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