Nebraska is the latest State to join the growing number who are voting to ban salvia divinorum and its active psychotropic molecule Salvinorin A. Legislative Bill 123 was passed with a unanimous 44-0 vote last Friday, to the glee of Attorney General Jon Bruning.

Bruning had valiantly tried to have Salvia banned last session but it died in committee; the bill was recently resurrected by Senator Russ Karpisek of Wilber.

Here’s where it all gets a bit silly again: the supposed ‘reasons’ behind banning Salvia. Jon Bruning told us that: Salvia “was an extremely dangerous drug and public safety demanded it be banned. What utter rubbish. I would be interested to see where he got the idea from that it is ‘extremely dangerous’, especially when a number of eminent scientists had said quite explicitly that it is not.

Bruning went on: “I think it is important that Salvia not be allowed to be used by members of the public”. What? Why do politicians assume that because they’ve been fed some nonsense by the media and by their fellow politicians they know best? Utter crap.

It is this over-protectionist mentality that drives people out of the societal norms: when people can’t stick to the rules any more they just go wild. Overbearing – and completely arbitrary – laws like this are most of the reason why that happens.

I am all for democracy, but when it is forced upon us by legislators who have not been made aware of the realities of the situation, it does make me wonder where this country is headed.

Fortunately for us, Salvia remains legal on a Federal level. But for how long? A growing number of statesmen are making it their sworn duty to ban the innocent plant, so a move to take it national must only be a matter of time. Enjoy it while you can.