Salvia Divinorum — Sally D, or the so called “Magic Mint” — is, apparently, “wreaking havoc”. This according to one Australian report online. The typically sensationalist report from the news outlet tells readers that Salvia is ruining the lives of over 2 million young people who have decided to take the drug. Australia is one of only a tiny number of countries that have actually banned Salvia‘s use as a drug.

In a rare moment of sanity, the article briefly notes that YouTube videos are causing hysteria amongst the media, politicians and lawmakers and could be responsible for giving Salvia a worse name than it already has. As they rightly point out, the banning of Salvia‘s use would curtail any attempts to examine the drug for any medical benefits that it may provide. Salvia affects just a single receptor in the human brain and this behaviour is fairly unique. The benefits of Salvia‘s use could be anything from a calming influence for those with psychological problems, to a help in the quest for a cure for systematic diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Salvia is not a dangerous drug and the calls for its banning are generally from those wishing to score political points. There have been no deaths that have been proved to have resulted from the use of Salvia, though a Delaware teen did commit suicide after using what his mother had described as massive amounts of Salvia.

Blaming Salvia for a nation’s ills seems a little silly, if not a little immature. Whatever drug is ‘fashionable’ at any one time will be the one that is blamed for things going wrong. If lawmakers decide on a Federal ban on Salvia then something will almost surely take its place; this ‘something’ could well be more dangerous than Salvia. Is it perhaps a time to consider ‘the devil you know’?