Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 2009
Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Copyright: 2009 The News and Observer Publishing Company
Author: River Dave Owen


A bill proposed last week by state Sen. Bill Purcell, a Laurinburg
Democrat, is a misguided attempt to control a unique plant that grows
in the mountains of southern Mexico (Feb. 17 article "Lawmaker finds a
cause in a hallucinogenic mint").

From Dr. Purcell's perspective, I suppose that It doesn't matter that
100,000 people die in the USA every year from the mismanagement of
synthetic prescription drugs made by our modern pharmaceutical companies.

But we are being asked by this legislator to believe that
criminalizing the use of Salvia divinorum in North Carolina is somehow
going to make our state a safer place.

Even a cursory reading of the scientific data regarding this natural
medicinal plant medicine points to the fact that its use is not
addictive and has no relationship whatsoever to the problems
associated with the modern abuse of synthetically produced
methamphetamine. Perhaps there is much that North Carolinians could
learn by having this plant continue to be available to us. Perhaps
there are divine mysteries to be fathomed by giving some attention to
this Mexican mint that may connect us in a deeper way to our planet
and inspire us to be better stewards of her resources.

River Dave Owen

Resident Field Naturalist West Point on the Eno Park Durham
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin