Smoking Salvia Is A Senselesss Adventure
Salvia divinorum, a plant traditionally smoked for generations by Shamans and which a growing number of young people are smoking, was in the news this past week. Wheeler High School Principal Michael Susi and Assistant Principal Chris Sandford called what might be considered an emergency meeting of middle school and high school parents.
They told the parents that increasing numbers of Wheeler students appear to be using the plant. They said their biggest concerns were that people often don't remember what happens during a Salvia high. (Salvia users refer to them as trips, perhaps for their short duration). Susi and Sandford said since students are reportedly using it in groups, it could lead to injury or to some students taking advantage of others.
Salvia first came to my attention a couple of months ago when a member of law enforcement told me it was being used by local college students. The officer told me that kids smoke the stuff and don't remember what they did - or what was done to them - while they were under its influence.
I visited a Web site called [edited], which shows a few YouTube clips of people smoking the plant and the aftermath.
In one, a fellow contended he was going to demonstrate how to plant some flowers while tripping on Salvia. He smoked. He waved the trowel in the air. He curled up on the sidewalk and nodded for three minutes and woke up laughing.
Another young man, in the back seat of a car, went into uncontrolled laughing spasms. His drooling was similarly uncontrolled. The person watching, and apparently recording his episode, repeatedly cheered, “I've got to try this ... .”
I watched several. The overall theme appeared to be the users' inability to control themselves, whether it was their laughter, their motion or their drooling. One guy wandered around in the living area of a small apartment. His “buddy” who introduced the video, packed the bong and even lit it for him, watched the young man's journey to nowhere, several times saving him from falling.
The smoker also becomes entertainment for those around him, much like a staggering drunk on a city street. The fun seems to be watching the tripper.
But the recorders would not abuse a friend, or allow a friend to hurt themselves while recording.
Without the recording, who knows what someone would do to another while they have them in such a state. Who knows what someone would do to themselves if they decided to trip alone? I was waiting for the guy in the car to decide to get out to get some air. I don't know if the car was moving. But neither did he.
And sometimes the users became belligerent, throwing whatever was in their hands, shoving whatever was in their path.
I read several testimonials from people who said, weeks after their out-of-control episodes, they experienced several vivid and meaningful dreams. A man said while he was intoxicated by the plant, his old television appeared as clear as high definition.
Salvia comes in different potencies, from 5x to 60x. It can be purchased legally by anyone older than 18.
The plant has been used for generations in spiritual contexts. It is possible that those who have experience know how to use it to gain the effect they desire. However, it seems that playing with it could be a dangerous thing. Trusting someone else to regulate one's episode is equally risky, especially among a group of less-than-sober or less-than-honest people.
Beyond spiritual use, about which I am not prepared to opine, I can't see any redeeming value in the widespread use of the plant.
Legislators would do well to learn more about Salvia. In any case, its use, possession or consumption by anyone younger than 21 years old should be strictly prohibited.
This is the opinion of Chuck Potter.
And no, I did not make a typo when putting in the article title :s