Nebraskans who smoke may be in luck: Sen. Russ Kapisek of Wilber introduced a bill (LB611) that would allow cities, towns and villages opt of the smoking ban that goes into effect on June. The statewide ban was passed by lawmakers last year.

Those responsible for the original bill did consider an opt-out clause, but the idea was comprehensive rejected at that point. It will be interesting to see whether Karpisek and his supporters can give this idea some extra legs this time around. Certainly current smokers will hope so.

Given the above information, it is interesting to note that the same Sen. Russ Karpisek has introduced a bill (LB123) which would make it illegal to sell or possess salvia divinorum, with selling it carrying penalties of up to 20 years in prison. Salvia fans and users will be pleased to know that a similar bill was introduced last year but didn’t quite make the final voting stage. Let’s hope it stays that way, for the sake of freedom-loving Nebraskans everywhere.

In a discussion over the bill, Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Corey O’Brien showed his ignorance of the substance by telling the Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Corey O’Brien that Salvia is similar to LSD. He went on to announce that it can make people dangerous to themselves and others. Smells like a lot of unfounded scaremongering, to me, and is typical of the uneducated way in which politicians and authorities are approaching the subject of Salvia Divinorum.

How you can hope to ban something without fully understanding it is a little bit of a mystery to me. Salvia is not regarded as dangerous by anyone who knows about it; impartial scientists can confirm that the drug is not like LSD. Where do these people get their ‘information’ from? Rejecting something because it is ‘different’ is a very slippery path, and one which the US has been guilty of in the past on a number of very tragic occasions.