Crabby loves newspaper articles like this one:
"Legal, Intense Hallucinogen Raises Alarms!"
What's so great about this investigative report? Well, it's informative and interesting, and it tells Crabby all about something she's never heard of--a legal hallucinogen that goes by "Salvia," or, the more colorful "Magic Mint" or "Sally D."
But that's not why the article piqued Crabby's interest.
Why then? Because the whole point of the piece is that there's a Possibly Scary drug out there that's unregulated, that can cause brief but intense hallucinations, and could be a health concern if lots of young people start using it. But it hasn't been much of a problem--mainly because not that many people know about it yet.
Hmmm. So how do we keep curious teens from finding out about it and trying it?
We write a front page news article telling them how freaky it will make them feel and how easy it is to get some!
Now of course Crabby is doing the exact same thing. But she has reasons. Excuses. Rationalizations. Whatever. Anyway, here they are:
1. Cranky Fitness is a tiny blog, not a big metropolitan newspaper;
2. The stuff actually doesn't sound all that dangerous, compared to other things out there;
3. Anyone who finds this blog post by Googling Salvia Divinorum already knows about its supposed hallucinogenic effects--otherwise why would they be Googling it? But most importantly:
4. Regular readers of Cranky Fitness do not tend to be teenage recreational drug users.
(In fact, on that last point: Apparently the title of this blog, "Cranky Fitness" has led the folks at Adsense to believe you are all quite elderly and in need of modified exercise equipment and lots of milk. Crabby is going to boot out Adsense in favor of something else, anything else, in the very near future. But she believes they may be right on one point: most of you are not impulsive teenagers looking to score).
So here's a little more info on Salvia Divinorum, courtesy of the S.F. Chronicle:
It's a plant from Mexico that has been used by shamans in religious ceremonies. When chewed or smoked, it can causes intense hallucinations. Sold in smoke shops, herbal stores, and over the internet, it costs about $15-$50 a hit. The high is "a dream-like state" that can cause out of body experiences. It typically lasts anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour.
The drug has been outlawed in a few states already, and no one knows if it's truly safe or not. However, medical researchers haven't found negative side effects yet and it doesn't appear to be addictive. What concerns folks the most is the potential for trouble when people are hallucinating and try to drive or whatever. (There was even a murder and a suicide supposedly linked to Salvia use, but others were not convinced there was any connection).
The feds want to ban it of course, but researchers say salvia might also have beneficial effects and they want to study it.
And Jodie Trafton, an addiction specialist, didn't see the need for regulation. "People who use this aren't going to continue using it," Trafton said. "You're never going to get more than low-level use. The effect is too short, so by the time somebody starts freaking out... it's over. It's not something that's going to bombard emergency rooms."
Crabby would be way too chicken to try any "intense hallucinogen," as her brain functions weirdly enough as it is. But she tends to take a "lets license and tax the sh*t out of it but not ban it" stance on many recreational drugs. She wonders if readers have any thoughts or relevant experiences. And in particular, if readers who are parents might have different opinions than those who are not.