Part of the recent media and legal furore about Salvia has been caused by politicians and lawmakers finding videos of Salvia users on YouTube. These videos show users — some real, some faked — in various states of disrepair after taken what appears to be (and indeed what is alleged to be) Salvia. Unlike many other hallucinogenic drugs Salvia is legal so the videos tend to remain on YouTube.

The users reactions to the drug are perhaps what alarmed politicians and lawmakers the most: intense giggling, screaming, and invariably a state of complete confusion on behalf of the user all seem to play a part in a lot of the videos. Users often, once the come around, say that they enjoyed the trip but that it was ‘different’ from anything they’d ever felt before. This is a common description of the effects of Salvia which has always been termed a ‘subjective drug’ because every person willexperience a different trip.

These videos — obviously discovered by the politicians by accident when trawling the interwebs for new policies — have been a huge catalyst for the high horses that those in power so often love to ride. Whether making policy based on dubious YouTube videos is the right way to run a country is open to debate (but I know on which side I’ll be standing!).

One video shows a young girl sat on some grass with her friends. She appears to be stroking her chin repeatedly. It is not clear what she thinks is there. Another video shows a man in glasses giggling inanely for a few minutes explaining how this is ‘Serious, man’. His (apparently sober) friend giggles almost as much.

Whatever you think about the Salvia videos on YouTube, you must see that basing US policy on a bunch of videos like this is just a really stupid way to make decisions. In fact it’s downright scary. If thepoliticians were actually able to back their attempted banning of Salvia up with some concrete evidence as to why this is a good idea then at least we would have something to argue about. As it is, it’s all posturing and annoying rhetoric. Sort it out!