In a brave move, the Drug Policy Alliance – DPA – have publicly come out against the banning of Salvia.

The catalyst for this public move appears to be the attempt by Maryland legislators to make the drug illegal, and to impose a maximum sentence of 20 years to anyone found selling it. That is 20 years for selling a drug that is, as far as we know, entirely safe; 20 years for selling a drug that is actually entirely legal on a Federal level.

Politicians are getting many of their cues in this area from the media. In particular in makes this writer laugh when he sees quotations such as this:

“It’s nothing short of disturbing,” said Sen. Richard Colburn (R- Wicomico), the bill’s sponsor. “Watch it for yourselves. See how they lose all coordination, experience emotional swings, dizziness and nausea. Now, imagine that person is your child or grandchild.”

So now it appears that experimenting, losing control a little bit, is a bad things. Alcohol, anyone? If someone doesn’t want to experience these things then they don’t have to try Salvia. One thing the ban definitely does do is to give salvia a kudos that it never had before. Now people will want to try it just to see what all the fuss is about.

But of course a ban is more than just that. A ban is, for many, affirmation that the state does not trust the people to make up their own minds. It is affirmation that we are not being treated as the sensible adults that we are. Still more than this it confirms the suspicions many people have that our politicians are tragically out of touch with the real world.

Banning Salvia is going to achieve nothing at all. All it does is make the politicians appear to be doing something positive. If they actually went out and did do something positive, then we would be impressed. This is pseudo-politics at its worst.