A recent article in the Washington post (September 22nd) is the latest press release to advocate the Federal banning of Salvia. It calls for the Drug Enforcement Administration (the DEA) and the Food and Drug administration to “take the drug seriously”. Not exactly impartial reporting there. The administrations, the article says, “should conduct a formal review to determine whether access to it should be restricted or banned.”

The article continues, admitting that some academics have found reason to believe that Salvia can be beneficial to some people suffering from severe depression or in pain. It doesn’t mention that studies show that Salvia could be useful in understanding — and better treating — Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative afflictions. It appears to conclude that since there is no evidence of any effects on the body in the long term or the short term that the drug is bad for you. This assertion simply defies belief: if it’s bad for you then that is reported, if it does no bad or (documented) good then it’s bad because it can’t be good! Where is the logic?

The throwaway comment that the Washington Post inserts at the end of the article is again testament to the fact that the author — and by implication the paper — has already made up his or her mind about Salvia: “Not all substances that can cause harm should be banned. After all, many common products — from aerosol sprays to over-the-counter medicines — are all too often misused by those seeking a cheap high, sometimes with devastating results.” Talk about guilty by implication. The fact that the article mentions these things that “cause harm” means that readers — despite what they’ve just read — are going to associate Salvia with harm.

This is, shamefully, yet another stunning example of unbelievably biased reporting against Salvia.