Salvia‘s continued dominance of the news might give some indication of the the general populace’s feeling towards it. More likely it is just a juicy topic that journalists can easily glean something newsworthy from. YouTube is being blamed for aperceived sudden explosion in popularity and this is something that I take issue with.

You didn’t ask for my opinion on the matter but, naturally, I’m going to provide it anyway.

Firstly, how do these media pundits know just how popular Salvia was before the days of You Tube? Or are they judging increased usage by the increased number of videos on the ‘net? I suspect the latter; an approach which clearly defies logic. There isn’t necessarily an increase in Salvia use, just an increase in videos about it. It’s entirely possible that the two are not even linked!

Secondly it is not the YouTube videos that people see the most of, but the rants and raves contained in the newspapers and TV reports. If anything the media themselves are bringing Salvia Divinorum into the mainstream by complaining about how mainstream it is! The media have started — and continue to perpetuate — a self-fulfilling ‘problem’ of Salvia recognition and branding. The more the media comment on YouTube videos the more people will be inclined to seek fame and fortune by filming themselves to gain attention.

All this ignores that fact that the use of Salvia Divinorum as a psychedelic and hallucinogenic drug is decades old: if it’s got a good pedigree in the US then it’s worth considering that the Mazatec Indians in Mexico have been using it to explore their spiritual side for even longer.

Salvia is not a new drug, and the ‘problem’ that encourages its use is not YouTube. These are just easier to accept and attempt to explain that addressing the real issues.