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Author Topic: Legislative Guide for Salvia divinorum  (Read 10105 times)
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Paradoxic
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« on: April 05, 2008, 07:02:41 pm »

Well, things have been getting pretty sticky with Salvia divinorum in the legislatures lately...therefore I have decided to make this sticky topic. Over half of the states in the country have proposed a ban on our sacred plant (thankfully, very few have passed). Right now it is critical that we get together and push our support to keep Salvia divinorum legal or perhaps institute an age restriction rather than an outright ban. As a community we should start putting together a through, easy-to-read document that promotes positive aspects of Salvia. It should be written in a very professional manor, and should avoid directly encouraging usage (and clearly condemning recreational use).

Here are the main categories we should cover:
  • Why Salvia is NOT a recreational substance and cannot be grouped with LSD, mushrooms, ecstasy, marijuana, etc. (ex: not addictive, short-acting, non-toxic, unappealing/unpleasant as a recreational substance)
  • Medicinal potential (Paradoxic)
  • Scientific potential (Paradoxic)
  • Salvia as a legitimate houseplant
  • Age restriction instead of outright ban (example arguments: impossible for law enforcement to fully control, teens most likely to abuse, etc)
  • Potential risks and how they can be avoided
  • Ways to take action
  • Success stories (ex: Maine 18+ ban)
  • Internet resources
  • References (format: Author(s). Year. Title. Publication. Issue/Volume/Page numbers.
  • More...?

Please volunteer for the parts you are willing to help write.

There have probably been many documents and articles written up about a lot of this stuff, so if we can find them and incorporate them into our document (with the authors permission) then the workload will be reduced. Here are some resources that we can use in our document:
Wikipedia page on Salvia divinorum
Daniel Siebert's Letter
GREAT resource with arguments and strategies to keep Salvia legal
Yossaria'a General Template letter: RTF version; HTML version

**NOTE: in order to make our case legitimate we must cite all of our claims, so make sure to keep that in mind.

It would also be useful to come up with a list of online (and perhaps local) Salvia vendors to distribute this document to. Here is the list (please suggest additions):
shop.grasscity.com/shop/grasscity/hdsdj.html
canaseed.com
salviadivinorumstore.com
club13.com
salviasupply.com
thebestsalvia.com

This is important and the time is now to act. Forget the pessimists that say Salvia will inevitably become illegal because the truth is in the United States if we make enough [positive] noise we can beat the ban. I ask that everyone who reads this contributes to this project for the good of us all. If you do not want to write parts of it you could help by posting links to this post all over the net (other forums, blogs, etc). Also please post any resources that might help in writing this document.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 12:57:39 am by Yossaria » Logged
skagardener
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2008, 07:52:23 pm »

is this a branch of my earlier discussion? im glad to see others are interested in taking action. thanks paradoxic, and i will be starting something up very soon, will keep in close contact and keep you informed on my every step!
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2008, 07:58:20 pm »

I'm updating my web page and posting the cleaned up copy here.

   http://members.cox.net/sageseeds/noonab259.html   


The rough source draft ...
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2008, 08:55:11 pm »

I know that I have not posted up on this website yet, but I am a follower (as I like to call it) of the Divine Sage. I know about all of the trouble brewing, and about the terribly false statements made about it. I have hundreds of reasons why it should not be made illegal and I will contribute all I can. I will post up as soon as I compile it all... many thanks for organizing this.

I added a post up in the keep it legal section explaining what I am compiling, school is stacking up on me though, so I am a little busy with that also.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 09:53:03 pm by divinorum » Logged

And the sage goddess opened her arms and showed me all of the wisdom of the world, all that is, and all that will be, and filled my life with purpose and meaning...
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2008, 05:50:22 am »

The only thing I can contribute right now is my url (http://www.coffeesh0p.com) for your retailers section.

Oh, and I also have access to pubmed/jstor/etc if no one else does. Send me a PM if anyone needs any relevant papers.

Also, may I suggest a wiki style setup for producing this article, with a handful of users being able to edit the document itself, and anyone else making suggestions on the forums.

And, I'll be happy to make news posts linking to the project once it gets going, and publish the article on my site if needs be.
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2008, 10:00:00 am »

- Religious use. History dating back thousands of years of indigenous use and decades of contemporary spiritual use. Without apparent harm or addictive tendencies.
- SALVIA IS NOT A PROBLEM: No emergency room admittances, no drug counseling or addiction services admittances, no salvia related crime being reported by LEO, no superintendents speaking out against it. No deaths, and poison control rates it as a very low priority. Salvia has been around for a couple decades, or at least as long as the current meth plague--if salvia was going to be a widespread problem, it would have been by now.
- Arguments against rest almost exclusively on hearsay: unsubstantiated internet videos (search on alcohol and compare the number of vids...), and the marketing claims of unscrupulous sellers.
- Salvia is a hallucinogen, but if that's the basis for a ban, how about other currently legal and easily accessible hallucinogens like whipped cream in a can and nutmeg? Not to mention OTCs like benadryl and cough syrup.
- Salvia bans fail more than they pass (will need pretty heavy duty research to back this up)
- Salvia bans fail every time people speak out against them at public hearing (I haven't heard otherwise, but haven't done the research on this claim...)
- Access to salvia is currently a Right enjoyed by us--not a priviledge, a right. Granted to us by the founding fathers, protected by dead soldiers throughout the ages, up to and including those brave troops defending our freedoms in Iraq right now. How dare anyone try to take that away based on fearmongering misrepresentation?
- Bipartisan opposition--Lefty drug legality peeps don't like bans; Righty constitutionalists don't like it.
- Ban bills are far from easy legislation--rabid opposition means more bans fail than pass--ask a bill sponsor if they are willing to spend political capital on what could turn into a contentious non-issue.
- Do research in your own state. Go the your state DEA or Office of Substance Abuse website and dig around a bit. Find out how much it costs to arrest, prosecute, and jail per person for drugs crimes and include that figure in your arguments against a ban. The ME financial report associated with a ban indicated minimal fiscal impact, but using their own reported figures, it turns out that it costs near $60,000 for each successful drug crime prosecution.


I've posted a bunch of letters I sent over on entheogen.com. The latest one was to a MA rep who was cornered by media and conned into pledging a salvia ban. Last year, the same thing happened and I wrote a similar letter--that Rep never introduced legislation. Whether it was my letter, a barrage from his constituents and others interested in keeping it legal, or some fluke, who knows. But it never hurts to write.

What can I do?

Stay informed. If a news article appears, refute misinformation any way you can, whether as a letter to the editor or producer, or any online comments. Check your state's .gov website periodically--find the Bill search engine (it's on there somewhere) and search on keyword "Salvia". Google "Salvia [your state]" every now and then to pick up on news articles and/or legislation. Do both these once a week and you won't be surprised by ban legislation if it appears in your state. Is salvia freedom worth 15 min searching every week? If ban legislation does show up, track it online through the Bill history, and if you're not getting the answers you need online, call the statehouse--they're usually happy to answer questions if you tread politely as not too many people take an interest in state legislation...

Take action. When something shows up in the news and it's bad, write a letter to the editor. If they drag some unwitting and ignorant State Rep into it, write then and explain how they are being totally played by the press hyping up something that isn't even a problem in their state. If the ban is brought up for consideration, write the sponsor again and cc your own Rep and Sen. When it goes to committee, write all the committee members, cc the sponsors and your Rep. And when it comes up for public hearing, attend the meeting and speak out publicly against a ban. I highlight this because it is the most important--it is the only thing proven to work in every single ban that's been shot down or changed to regulation.

Communicate. Get on internet forums, boards, and groups. Get the word out about pending legislation. Organize in your state. Post updates about your actions and correspondence you send to inspire others and give them stuff to crib from in their own battles. And when you beat a ban, let others know how easy it was for just a few individuals to influence committees and thus legislative actions. Inspire others and encourage and exhort them to get out and oppose bans. Do not waste time with legislators going off on general rants about personal freedoms, the uselessness of the Drug War, or your views on entheogens/entheogenic freedoms, keep it to the point and focused on Salvia with real world info and arguments. Keep in mind that if you're reading this here, you are a "Salvia expert"--you will know 95% more about Salvia than anyone else in the room during a committee hearing.

Do not think anyone else will do it for you. MAPS won't help. CCLE won't help. NORML won't help. Daniel Siebert will not fly to your state to speak out against it. Vendors apparently don't care enough about their own business to show up. Most people who say they will show anywhere, won't. Salvia legality in your state is up to you, personally. How much is your entheogenic freedom worth? A day off of work, travel to your state capital, and about as much research as a high school research paper is all it takes...

Why should I fight a ban?

No one else will do it for you. Salvia's worth it, otherwise you probably would not be reading this here. And maybe most important of all, because Salvia is the current front line, the current bleeding edge of entheogenic freedom in general. Even if you don't care specifically about salvia, if you give  even the barest of shit about ending the drug war and decriminalization, you should step up and argue against salvia bans. Salvia is one of the easiest to defend because it appears to be so innately harmless and unlike most other scheduled substances. Already there has been wild success shooting bans down and getting bills amended to regulation. Speaking out against a Salvia ban is supporting entheogens in general, and regulatory legislation is precedent-setting and a marked change in attitude. If regulation of salvia can be shown to work, maybe it will get people thinking about regulation of other currently scheduled entheogens. Weed comes immediately to mind... On the other hand, Salvia is now repeating a very overdone history of prohibition--first state and local bans, then consideration of a Federal ban. It happened with alcohol, then later marijuana and opium, in the 60s and 70s with LSD, shrooms, and peyote, and more recently with MDMA, analogs, and various research chems. And now salvia. It is easily defendable and opens discussion--gov't arguments boil down to "hallucinogens are bad," but salvia shows that this is not a black and white issue. The sheer absurdity of prohibition manifests in salvia at the border of the straight face test, just beyond which lies jenkem, dihydrous monoxide, and "cheesing."

This is a bunch. I'll add more if I come up with it and start migrating some previous correspondence over here or archiving it somewhere as templates.

« Last Edit: April 06, 2008, 11:36:49 am by mconlonx » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2008, 12:29:54 pm »

I think a wiki for this sounds like a great idea. I can't really think of anything I could add that hasn't been covered already, but I would be glad to send whatever the final result is to my local legislators here in Minnesota, as well as the author of the MN salvia ban.
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2008, 02:49:17 am »

Check out
http://members.cox.net/sageseeds/legal.html please ...
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Ghenghis_Green
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2008, 10:17:19 am »

I as well don't know how much i can add that has not been covered, but i will slap links on every public page that i possibly can. 

I agree that we need to cut this problem at the knees before it cuts our plants at the stalks....

I will never give up S.D. 
Especially to a government that does not care one wink about its own people.  The only green thing they care about is the dollar...  and THAT should be banned. 

If anyone is interested in it, and maybe learning a few new things, heres a link to a rude awakening.

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/

But like i said, every forum, every site i can post it on, i will link to the truths of S.D.

Good luck all.
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Ghenghis_Green
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2008, 10:44:26 am »

Sorry if im up in arms about this, but its just another thing used to blind people from the truth....

just want to add a few quotes from a one of the few presidents worth recognition...

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), U.S. president. Speech, December 18, 1840, to the Illinois House of Representatives.

I think our Forefather speaks wise and true.
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2008, 12:24:35 pm »

OK: I need your help.

I'm dyslexic (thank Goddess for the built in spell-checker in Firefox and Safari!) and have problems with capitalization punctuation and grammar.

Would SOMEBODY Please help edit and proofread this latest non-California version of the letter I sent to the California Assembly in opposition to AB259 
http://members.cox.net/sageseeds/ab259.html ?

The links to the revised Salvia Divinorum advocacy letter are at http://members.cox.net/sageseeds/legal.html and http://sageseeds.info/legal.html

Quote
All the facts that the reporters didn't feel like mentioning. 
CopyLeft by Carl P. McCall     (This text my be freely copied and used.)

April 4th, 2008. San Diego, California.

Esteemed Lawmaker,

I am writing you concerning the legal status of the medicinal and sacramental plant Salvia divinorum. I am concerned that draconian and needless penalties are to be imposed upon this states' gardeners and responsible adults.

I began researching this interesting and lovely plant about four years ago, and in those years I have come to be considered one of California’s leading researchers into the botany of this unique plant.  The truth is, when used by responsible adults in the privacy of their own homes, there is absolutely no harm in this plant. 

In fact, this plant shows great potential for producing many new medicines, including: painkillers, new treatments for depression, diarrhea, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and even a possible treatment for methamphetamine and cocaine addiction. Certain spiritual explorers and Shamans also use it as a religious sacrament. This plant is also very ornamental, making a wonderful privacy hedge, and is grown by thousands of people across the nation as a landscaping plant. 


   Some of the reasons Salvia divinorum should not be a schedule I substance include:

•  It is a lovely ornamental plant often used in landscaping.  Common gardeners should not have to tear up their landscaping or become felons.  Even the state of Tennessee, in their public chapter number 700, provided that “it would not be a criminal offense to possess, plant, cultivate, grow, or harvest salvia divinorum for aesthetic, landscaping, or decorative purposes. Also, this amendment does not apply to any dosage that is legally obtainable from a retail establishment without a prescription when it is recognized by the FDA as a homeopathic drug.” (1) Likewise, the states of California, Maine, or Georgia do not prohibit gardeners’ from landscaping with this plant.

•  This plant has great potential therapeutic value.  (2),(3)  Recent research has indicated compounds in this plant may be the key to understanding and finally breaking the cycle of cocaine addiction.  (4) Exciting new research into the KOR properties of salvia divinorum may lead to a major victory in the war on drugs, with a cure for the intense cravings cocaine holds its victims in thrall with! In fact, there is a team of doctors at the University of Iowa, under Dr. Thomas Prisinzano, with funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), that are now studying salvinorin A and attempting to develop derivatives that could be useful for treating methamphetamine and cocaine dependence. (9)

• This plant is non-addictive. No one has ever died of an overdose.  It is a natural healing sacrament with hundreds of years of a history of being used by spiritual seekers in religious settings. (5) A small church in New Mexico (UDV) recently won a Supreme Court case upholding the use of certain other plants as religious sacraments. "The religious freedom restoration act was adopted by congress to ensure that the government does not interfere with religious practices absent a compelling justification," (6)

•   The American civil liberties union, in conjunction with their center for cognitive liberty and ethics, has published a thoughtful and well reasoned PDF pamphlet explaining why salvia divinorum is not suitable for scheduling. There is no significant public health hazard from Salvia divinorum. (7) http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/pdf/salvia_dea.pdf

• This state does not have the millions of extra enforcement and tax dollars to spare for making its law abiding citizens into criminals.  The state loses a taxpayer for each felon any new laws make and incarcerates – and extra taxes will be spent to house him or her: causing a double burden on the states coffers!
 
• This plant could help us WIN the war on drugs if research continues for 5 or 10 more years. Or do YOU wish to be the lawmaker that makes a possible cure for Meth and Cocaine cravings a felony - in the name of the war on drugs? (8 )


I now will quote from Sage Wisdom: the most respected and complete web site involved in research & acting as a clearinghouse for facts on this novel plant – http://www.sagewisdom.org/legalstatus.html

“Salvia divinorum is a valuable medicinal herb that is rarely abused. The profoundly introspective nature of its effects makes it unsuitable for recreational use. It is not habit-forming, not addictive, and does not present a significant risk to public health or safety. Because it is a powerful consciousness-altering herb, some regulation of sales is sensible and appropriate, but criminalizing possession certainly is not. It is appropriate to prohibit delivery to minors. It is also appropriate to prohibit reckless use, such as driving a vehicle while inebriated. It is reasonable to require that vendors provide detailed safety information and guidelines for responsible use. There are many already-existing non-drug-specific laws that can be enforced against reckless salvia users (e.g., laws that prohibit public endangerment, public intoxication, reckless driving, etc.). Legislation should only penalize irresponsible use, not all use. Legislation that imposes punishment for possession of Salvia divinorum is neither useful nor humane. A sensible approach would be to regulate salvia divinorum in a similar manner as alcohol and tobacco.”  Daniel Siebert (emphasis mine.)

As an example of “a sensible approach” look to the legislation of the states of California and Maine. “(Maine Legal Document LD66) was approved in an 8 to 4 committee vote by lawmakers on the criminal justice committee. The amended bill would regulate salvia in the same way tobacco products are regulated in Maine. Adults 18 and over could legally purchase and use the material. Selling or providing salvia divinorum or salvinorin A to anyone under the age of 18 would be a criminal offense. Possession by a minor would be a civil violation, punishable by a fine, community service, or both.” California Section 379 likewise has reasonable peanalties - nobody need become a felon or have their life ruined over a harmless plant.

Maine is regulating it under their existing state tobacco regulatory structure. Both these states will not declare common gardeners to be felons. Both will be saving hundreds of millions of dollars in enforcement funds, as well as saving on prison costs. Maine & California realize that there is no significant risk to public health or safety.

Several states have simply addressed the real problem underlying the media furor: somehow minors are getting access to these ‘adults only’ materials. Make whomever is selling this to our children the criminals, PLEASE, and do not legislate the gardens, or spiritual pursuits of ordinary people.


I urge you, as a scientist concerned for the public good, and also as an active voter concerned about the erosion of personal freedom in America, not to make adult use of Salvia divinorum a felony. I wholeheartedly agree with the laws of the states of Maine and California: Selling or providing Salvia divinorum or salvinorin A to anyone under the age of 18 should be a criminal offense. Possession by a minor should be a civil violation, punishable by a fine, community service, or both.

I am not against laws being passed in respect to the regulation of this plant. California and Maine have addressed the problem without spending millions jailing and persecuting gardeners. I wanted to give you a friendly heads up that this plant could actually be a useful tool in the war against drugs! I only wish for you to have the most complete set of facts with which to make the best laws with. TV sound bites are a poor excuse to make ordinary citizens into felons.

Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns for the future of this state!
Regards,  Carl McCall   – salvia researcher.

http://sageseeds.info/


Like any good facts based essay, I will now cite some of the legal & scientific research papers used by me in compiling this necessarily brief report.

(1) Gardeners should not be made felons! From the text of Tennessee public chapter number 700. http://tennessee.gov/sos/acts/104/pub/pc0700.pdf

(2) Antidepressant effects of the herb salvia divinorum: a case report.
By Karl R. Hanes, PhD. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology (2001).
http://www.sagewisdom.org/jclinpsych.html salvia shows potential in fighting depression!

(3) Salvia has painkilling potential/ help for mood disorders
Salvia divinorum: clinical and research potential.
By Hanes KR. Maps bulletin 13(1): 18–20 (2003). This paper is in pdf format.
http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v13n1/13118han.pdf

(4) Salvia could help end dependency on cocaine!
Salvinorin a: from natural product to human therapeutics.
By Vortherms TA and Roth BL. Molecular interventions. Vol.6 no.5 (2006).
This review article is in pdf format.  http://www.sagewisdom.org/vorthermsandroth.pdf 
“These observations have led, in part, to the hypothesis that modulation of KOR signaling
Pathways will be useful for the treatment of depressive behaviors.  There is also significant evidence to support the involvement of KOR signaling pathways in the dependence of cocaine.
[For review, see Hasebe, K., Kawai, K., Suzuki, T., Kawamura, K., Tanaka, T., Narita, M., and Nagase, H.
Possible pharmacotherapy of the opioid kappa receptor agonist for drug dependence.
Annals of the New York academy of sciences. 1025, 404–413 (2004). http://www.nyas.org/annals/detail.asp?annalid=764 ].”

(5) This plant has known spiritual uses: http://www.sagewisdom.org/shepherdess.html - this plant has a long history as a medicinal & healing plant!

(6) The supreme court holds up religious plant use by O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal (UDV): http://www.aclu.org/scotus/2005/21252prs20051101.html “The religious freedom restoration act was adopted by congress to ensure that the government does not interfere with religious practices absent a compelling justification,”

 (7) The ACLU has published a PDF pamphlet explaining why salvia divinorum is not suitable for scheduling. http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/pdf/salvia_dea.pdf

(8 ) Quoted from a discussion about the latest promising medical research: http://www.salviasource.org/forum/salvia-law/a-letter-to-california-legislators-from-daniel-siebert/0/

(9) From a discussion of the medical benefits of Salvia divinorum: http://www.salviasource.org/forum/index.php?topic=559.0

You can read more facts about the possible therapeutic uses of salvia divinorum, if you want to, here:  http://sagewisdom.org/ .  It is my concern that you know this plant has great potential medicinal value (and makes a nice hedge, too). And please do not stop the research into a cure for cocaine addiction! We need to WIN the war on drugs in our lifetimes or I fear it shall be lost forever. Thank You!
Some redundancy - lots of punctuation errors! Anyone wanna help me proofread it before we send it to the world?

Thanks guys! We influenced the outcome in Oregon and California and Alaska by speaking up and informing our lawmakers (In California it went as best as it was possible to go! From 'proposed felony' to 'misdemeanor to sell to minors').   And proper Advocacy in each state may produce similar outcomes.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2008, 12:26:30 pm by Sea Mac » Logged
guitarplayer
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2008, 03:00:19 pm »

I could take a look at it for you Sea Mac. And about the "What the reporters didn't tell you" letter, is that something you were planning on sending to lawmakers yourself, or would it be alright if I just copied it into an email and wrote my own little introduction to it?
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2008, 06:43:19 pm »

Ooooops! I forgot to mention that I hated the title and wanted a good one.

Yeah, It's a rough draft - meant to be a source of arguing points mostly - you're to introduce it and use what you need.

The Document I needed proofread is here: http://sageseeds.info/legal.html

I already sent the letter you see here
http://members.cox.net/sageseeds/ab259.html
just before they changed the text of the law ....

But that one was to sway California assembly persons ...

(And it worked)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2008, 06:50:00 pm by Sea Mac » Logged
Paradoxic
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2008, 08:02:56 pm »

Ooooops! I forgot to mention that I hated the title and wanted a good one.
The title of the document...I thought it was pretty good. But it certainly isnt set in stone. Any other suggestions? Maybe we will have a vote.

Sea Mac, I read through your document and I definitely like it, we can surely use some of that information. However, in parts you are a little too opinionated and sarcasticish. You must remember our audience will be composed of people with very different views and political orientations. Sometimes the way you wrote it made it seem like you were talking to someone who already agreed with you. We must make this as unbiased as humanly possible (like a Wikipedia page) because we must make sure not to alienate anyone who would be reading it.
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2008, 10:51:35 pm »

Good Points!

I opened Kompozer and Chopped and Whittled out a few argumentative points.

My Documents, as linked to above, now read as:

"All the facts that the reporters didn't feel like mentioning. 
CopyLeft by Carl P. McCall     (This text my be freely copied and used.)

April 8th, 2008. San Diego, California.

Esteemed Lawmaker,

I am writing you concerning the legal status of the medicinal and sacramental plant Salvia divinorum. I am concerned that draconian and needless penalties are to be imposed upon this states' gardeners and responsible adults.

I began researching this interesting and lovely plant about four years ago, and in those years I have come to be considered one of California’s leading researchers into the botany of this unique plant.  The truth is, when used by responsible adults in the privacy of their own homes, there is absolutely no harm in this plant. 

In fact, this plant shows great potential for producing many new medicines, including painkillers, new treatments for depression, diarrhea, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and even a possible treatment for methamphetamine and cocaine addiction. Certain spiritual explorers and Shamans use it as a religious sacrament. This plant is also very ornamental, making a wonderful privacy hedge, and is grown by thousands of people across the nation as a landscaping plant. 

  Some of the reasons Salvia divinorum should not be a schedule I substance include:

•  It is a lovely ornamental plant often used in landscaping. Even the state of Tennessee, in their public chapter number 700, provided that “it would not be a criminal offense to possess, plant, cultivate, grow, or harvest salvia divinorum for aesthetic, landscaping, or decorative purposes. Also, this amendment does not apply to any dosage that is legally obtainable from a retail establishment without a prescription when it is recognized by the FDA as a homeopathic drug.” (1) Likewise, the states of California, Maine, and Georgia do not prohibit gardeners from landscaping with this plant.

•  This plant has great potential therapeutic value.  (2),(3)  Recent research has indicated that compounds in this plant may be the key to understanding and finally breaking the cycle of cocaine addiction.  (4) Exciting new research into the KOR properties of Salvia divinorum may lead to a major victory in the war on drugs, with a cure for the intense cravings cocaine holds its victims in thrall with! In fact, there is a team of doctors at the University of Iowa, under Dr. Thomas Prisinzano, with funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), that are now studying salvinorin A and attempting to develop derivatives that could be useful for treating methamphetamine and cocaine dependence. (9)

• This plant is non-addictive. No one has ever died of an overdose.  It is a natural healing sacrament with hundreds of years of a history of being used by spiritual seekers in religious settings. (5) A small church in New Mexico (UDV) recently won a Supreme Court case upholding the use of certain other plants as religious sacraments. "The religious freedom restoration act was adopted by congress to ensure that the government does not interfere with religious practices absent a compelling justification," (6)

• The American civil liberties union, in conjunction with their center for cognitive liberty and ethics, has published a thoughtful and well reasoned PDF pamphlet explaining why Salvia divinorum is not suitable for scheduling. There is no significant public health hazard from Salvia divinorum. (7) http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/pdf/salvia_dea.pdf

• The state loses a taxpayer for each felon any new laws make and incarcerate – and extra taxes will be spent to house him or her, causing a double burden on the states coffers!

I now will quote from Sage Wisdom: the most respected and complete web site involved in research & acting as a clearinghouse for facts on this novel plant – http://www.sagewisdom.org/legalstatus.html

“Salvia divinorum is a valuable medicinal herb that is rarely abused. The profoundly introspective nature of its effects makes it unsuitable for recreational use. It is not habit-forming, not addictive, and does not present a significant risk to public health or safety. Because it is a powerful consciousness-altering herb, some regulation of sales is sensible and appropriate, but criminalizing possession certainly is not. It is appropriate to prohibit delivery to minors. It is also appropriate to prohibit reckless use, such as driving a vehicle while inebriated. It is reasonable to require that vendors provide detailed safety information and guidelines for responsible use. There are many already-existing non-drug-specific laws that can be enforced against reckless salvia users (e.g., laws that prohibit public endangerment, public intoxication, reckless driving, etc.). Legislation should only penalize irresponsible use, not all use. Legislation that imposes punishment for possession of Salvia divinorum is neither useful nor humane. A sensible approach would be to regulate salvia divinorum in a similar manner as alcohol and tobacco.”  Daniel Siebert (emphasis mine.)

Look to the legislation of the states of California and Maine as an example of “a sensible approach”. “(Maine Legal Document LD66) was approved in an 8 to 4 committee vote by lawmakers on the criminal justice committee. The amended bill would regulate salvia in the same way tobacco products are regulated in Maine. Adults 18 and over could legally purchase and use the material. Selling or providing salvia divinorum or salvinorin A to anyone under the age of 18 would be a criminal offense. Possession by a minor would be a civil violation, punishable by a fine, community service, or both.” California Section 379 likewise has reasonable penalties – it is a misdemeanor to provide Salvia to anyone under 18.

I urge you, as a scientist concerned for the public good, and also as an active voter concerned about the erosion of personal freedom in America, not to make adult use of Salvia divinorum a felony. I wholeheartedly agree with the laws of the states of Maine and California: Selling or providing Salvia divinorum or salvinorin A to anyone under the age of 18 should be a criminal offense. Possession by a minor should be a civil violation, punishable by a fine, community service, or both.

I am not against laws being passed in respect to the regulation of this plant. I wanted to give you a friendly heads up that this plant could actually be a useful tool in the war against drugs! I only wish for you to have the most complete set of facts with which to make the best laws with.

Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns for the future of this state!
Regards,  Carl McCall   – salvia researcher.    http://sageseeds.info/

Like any good facts based essay, I will now cite some of the legal & scientific research papers used by me in compiling this necessarily brief report.

(1) Gardeners should not be made felons! From the text of Tennessee public chapter number 700. http://tennessee.gov/sos/acts/104/pub/pc0700.pdf

(2) Antidepressant effects of the herb salvia divinorum: a case report.
By Karl R. Hanes, PhD. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology (2001).
http://www.sagewisdom.org/jclinpsych.html salvia shows potential in fighting depression!

(3) Salvia has painkilling potential/ help for mood disorders
Salvia divinorum: clinical and research potential.
By Hanes KR. Maps bulletin 13(1): 18–20 (2003). This paper is in pdf format.
http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v13n1/13118han.pdf

(4) Salvia could help end dependency on cocaine!
Salvinorin a: from natural product to human therapeutics.
By Vortherms TA and Roth BL. Molecular interventions. Vol.6 no.5 (2006).
This review article is in pdf format.  http://www.sagewisdom.org/vorthermsandroth.pdf 
“These observations have led, in part, to the hypothesis that modulation of KOR signaling
Pathways will be useful for the treatment of depressive behaviors.  There is also significant evidence to support the involvement of KOR signaling pathways in the dependence of cocaine.
[For review, see Hasebe, K., Kawai, K., Suzuki, T., Kawamura, K., Tanaka, T., Narita, M., and Nagase, H.
Possible pharmacotherapy of the opioid kappa receptor agonist for drug dependence.
Annals of the New York academy of sciences. 1025, 404–413 (2004). http://www.nyas.org/annals/detail.asp?annalid=764 ].”

(5) This plant has known spiritual uses: http://www.sagewisdom.org/shepherdess.html - this plant has a long history as a medicinal & healing plant!

(6) The supreme court upholds religious plant use by O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal (UDV): http://www.aclu.org/scotus/2005/21252prs20051101.html “The religious freedom restoration act was adopted by congress to ensure that the government does not interfere with religious practices absent a compelling justification,”

 (7) The ACLU has published a PDF pamphlet explaining why salvia divinorum is not suitable for scheduling. http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/pdf/salvia_dea.pdf

(Cool Quoted from a discussion about the latest promising medical research: http://www.salviasource.org/forum/salvia-law/a-letter-to-california-legislators-from-daniel-siebert/0/

(9) From a discussion of the medical benefits of Salvia divinorum: http://www.salviasource.org/forum/index.php?topic=559.0

You can read more facts about the possible therapeutic uses of Salvia divinorum, if you want to, here:  http://sagewisdom.org/ .  It is my concern that you know this plant has great potential medicinal value (and makes a nice hedge, too). And please do not stop the research into a cure for cocaine addiction! We need to WIN the war on drugs in our lifetimes or I fear it shall be lost forever. Thank You!"

I cut it back a bit more but it's still not neutral POV ...
Your feedback is welcome!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 01:02:59 am by Sea Mac » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2008, 11:37:44 pm »

I've found a LOT of research over at http://sagewisdom.org !

The secondary list is posted here:
http://www.salvia-community.net/index.php?s=2fcc716c681792c902b1be4caa85592d&showtopic=7728
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 04:49:16 pm by Sea Mac » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2008, 01:00:12 am »

After another round of Grammar checking and a few more edits I've reposted it. I've changed the last version I posted here to reflect it.
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2008, 03:15:47 pm »

Hey Sea Mac, would you mind removing all those papers, we really dont need the whole list when we can just go right over to SageWisdom. But what we should do is provide a list of papers that will be directly useful to cite in our document. This will be papers that mention Salvia therapeutic potential and other things like being non-toxic.
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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2008, 06:01:26 pm »

Then add these to the list:

Antidepressant Effects of the Herb Salvia divinorum: a Case Report.
by Karl R. Hanes, PhD. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology (2001).
http://sagewisdom.org/jclinpsych.html

Salvia divinorum: Clinical and Research Potential.
by Hanes KR. MAPS Bulletin 13(1): 18–20 (2003). This paper is in PDF format.
http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v13n1/13118han.pdf

Salvinorin A: From Natural Product to Human Therapeutics.
by Vortherms TA and Roth BL. Molecular Interventions. Vol.6 No.5 (2006). This review article is in PDF format
http://sagewisdom.org/vorthermsandroth.pdf

Acute Physiologic and Chronic Histologic Changes in Rats and Mice Exposed to the Unique Hallucinogen Salvinorin A.
by Mowry M, Mosher M, Briner W. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 35(3): 379–382 (2003). This paper is in PDF format.
http://www.sagewisdom.org/mowryetal.pdf
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 08:57:17 pm by Paradoxic » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2008, 09:20:04 pm »

I added one paper about the toxicity of Salvia to Sea Mac's post. I was thinking, everyone who writes a piece or a letter should always hold onto it because even if we dont use parts or edit things for the final version, I think it would be useful to have a bunch of other unique letters that as many people as possible can send themselves.

I'm thinking the main version will be sent with the signatures (or e-signatures) of everyone who has contributed and perhaps others as well. It would be great to get prominent scientists to sign as well. I can definitely get Dr. Gang in my lab and probably some others to give their endorsements. It might also be useful to email other scientists who have published papers on Salvia to get their support as well.
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