Yesterday I noted the progress of AB 259 — a bill that would criminalize the sale of
Now one of the reasons for my hesitation becomes evident in a press release from the “Wonderland Treatment Center,” one of the proponents of AB 259. Here are the first three graphs of the release, with some of the more interesting claims
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ — Howard C. Samuels PsyD, Executive Director and co-founder of Wonderland Treatment Center in Los Angeles, has won a major victory in his crusade against the hallucinogenic plant “Salvia Divinorum.” On a 7-0 vote cast just yesterday, the California Assembly Committee on Public Safety passed Assembly Bill 259, introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia), which would make the sale or distribution of Salvia to any person under the age of 18 a misdemeanor in the State of California. Samuels had recently petitioned the Assemblyman on the cause, which found widespread support on behalf of state, county, and local law enforcement agencies among many others.
“Young people are dying from this drug,” said Samuels. “Making a substance illegal may not always succeed in making it impossible to get, but it makes it much, much harder to get, especially for kids and teenagers. This is a vitally important first step for our kids and our community.”
Salviais a naturally grown, mint-like leaf which has been equated to providing users with experiences similar to that of the mind-altering drug LSD. Side effects include uncontrollable hysteria, an out of body experience, and a feeling of total confusion or near-madness.
There are several problems here. The claim that “young people are dying” from
Similarly, the description of the “side effects” of
When I see (what I consider to be) misleading language like this, it really gives me pause about supporting AB 259 — not because I disagree with the basic idea of prohibiting the sale of