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MAPTalk-Digest Thursday, December 30 2010 Volume 10 : Number 064

001 US: Salvia Raises No Safety Flags In Small Test
    From: Allan Erickson <>
002 POLL: What to do with Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
    From: "Herb" <>


Subj: 001 US: Salvia Raises No Safety Flags In Small Test
From: Allan Erickson <>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2010 18:44:49 -0800

Salvia Raises No Safety Flags In Small Test 

For centuries, shamans of the Mazatec people of Oaxaca, Mexico, have  
used a plant called Salvia divinorum in their religious practices.

Salvia is a member of the mint family. Smoking it gives you a blast of  
Salvinorin A, a psychoactive substance.

More recently, recreational drug users of the American people of North  
America have been using the drug in a variety of social settings. Now,  
medical research people at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine  
in Baltimore have taken a scientific look at salvinorin A. Their  
conclusion from a small safety study: it packs a punch that can mess  
with your mind, but probably won't hurt your body.

Hopkins' behavioral pharmacologist Matthew W. Johnson and his  
colleagues administered the Salvinorin A to four volunteers, picked  
because they were psychologically and physically healthy and had plenty  
of experience with hallucinogenic drugs. The volunteers inhaled various  
doses of the chemical or a placebo 20 times over a couple of months.

As he reports in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, subjects  
experienced few if any physical side effects, but all subjects reported  
intense psychological experiences with the drug.

Johnson has quite a bit of research experience with psychoactive drugs.  
He's been studying the hallucinogen psilocybin for a decade. He says  
the high from Salvinorin A is quite different.

Although someone's perceptions are altered on psilocybin, "people still  
report being in this world, so to speak" Johnson tells Shots. "They can  
interact with friends. They can pick up objects. They might have a very  
different experience of the world, and they might feel that they're  
having experiences beyond this world. But in some sense they're still  
'here.' "

At the height of a Salvinorin A trip, people are practically comatose,  
and they experience a completely different reality. "They say they're  
interacting with things they're calling 'entities' or angels of some  
type," Johnson says.

The Justice Department says three-quarters of a million people try the  
drug each year.

Part of salvia's popularity may be due to the fact that it's not a  
federal crime to possess it, although DoJ says that as of October 2009,  
14 states had passed laws controlling its use.

Johnson didn't conduct his study of Salvinorin A to reassure stoners.  
He says the drug acts on a brain pathway that's been implicated in some  
dementias, so it's possible the chemical or some drug like it may have  
a therapeutic future.


Subj: 002 POLL: What to do with Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
From: "Herb" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2010 10:28:52 -0800

What to do with Medical Marijuana Dispensaries 


End of MAPTalk-Digest V10 #64

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