Hallucinogenic Plant's High May Knock Medical Use Down

States try to crack down on promising herb
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2008 7:47 AM CDT
The US Drug Enforcement Administration considers salvia divinorum a drug of concern.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A hallucinogenic herb pharmacologists believe holds great promise for pain relief and mental health treatment is facing tough restrictions thanks to thrill-seekers, the New York Times reports. Users of the highly potent psychedelic Salvia divinorum—dubbed "Magic Mint" by users—have been posting videos of their trips on YouTube, which often become Exhibit A when states seek to ban it.

"They’re not really taking it as a tool to explore their inner psyche,” complained a Californian who pioneered the production of salvia extracts. “They’re just taking it to get messed up." Scientists believe salvia should be regulated but fear that criminalization—a move backed by a growing number of lawmakers—will block research into the subject when information is still scarce.