Thursday, August 23, 2007
From chron.com: A drug discovered by Mexican shamans has hooked both scientists and the YouTube set.
These groups, among others, are cautiously tracking moves to ban Salvia divinorum, an herb-based hallucinogen used spiritually by Mazatec Indians from the Oaxaca area, and increasingly popular among teens and college-age students, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Scientists hope the drug, sometimes referred to as "diviners sage" and "magic mint," might lead to new treatments for some of the world's worst diseases.
Available at smoke shops and from Internet distributors, including one based in the Heights, Salvia has been spotted in Texas school districts, including in the Waco area where a state lawmaker has vowed to outlaw it, and at area college campuses, according to Drug Enforcement Administration officials in the Houston region. It is still legal in most places.
So far the drug has stayed below the radar of local schools, but as classes start next week, administrators say they are prepared to treat Salvia as they would any other drug banned from campus. And if social networking sites are any indication, at least some Houston-area teenagers are using it.
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]