Yet another US State is considering banning Salvia Divinorum. Salvia is a hallucinogenic herb that, although barely known just a few years ago, has suddenly shot into the limelight. This limelight has given politicians, reporters and writers everywhere a good reason – so they think – to demand the banning of this naturally occurring drug. Salvia is currently legal – with good reason, some would say, since there is absolutely no indication that it is at all dangerous.

The Cincinnati news site news.cincinnati.com presents a typically biased view of the situation, describing Salvia users as experiencing paranoia and panic. What it doesn’t tell us is the potential for positive benefits of Salvia. Not only does Salvia promise a trip like nothing else you’ve ever experienced, but it might also leave you with a feeling of inner peace, it might give you extra drive and motivation, and it might even concentrate your mind and body on whatever task is at hand. People use drugs like Salvia for a whole host of reasons, only one of which is getting high.

Even if people are using Salvia to ‘just’ get high, they can feel safe in the knowledge that there are virtually no toxins put into the body when using Salvia, and there are no known side effects. Mazatec Mexican shamans have been using Salvia to get in touch with their spiritual side for centuries; they do not appear to believe that there is anything wrong with it.

If Cincinnati does decide to ban Salvia then it will be in fairly good company: the number of States now banning Salvia — or at least controlling its use in some way — has gone into triple figures in recent months.

You should ask yourself this: is it worth sacrificing my civil liberties for the sake of an easy vote, an easy house bill, or an easy story for the journalist? Of course it isn’t. Banning Salvia is the first step on a slippery slope that can only end in disappointment.