A reader writes:
Have you picked up on the fact that Loughner used Salvia Divinorum? As you might gather from my previous emails on hallucinogens, I'm in favor of legalizing them. But salvia is a totally different story. I used it on a number of occasions, and I can say there were no positive qualities associated with it.
It makes you entirely dissociative and causes powerful hallucinations. The "come down" kind of feels like going from insane => sane. I couldn't describe it any other way; your thoughts are jumbled, you don't know where you are or what matters. If you speak, it's generally nonsensical to the sober people around you. Unlike mushrooms or LSD, there is no insight, no feeling of empathy - just a powerful feeling of alienation and jumbled, dissociative thoughts. I can easily see a young mind, susceptible to mental illness, being snapped by a couple salvia trips.
I'm not saying this should turn into a witch hunt against salvia, but if there was ever a drug that I felt young people should not be able to get their hands on, salvia is the one. Frum's cannabis argument is pretty specious, but I'm telling you, salvia is a psychologically dangerous drug, especially when smoked as an extract, and especially for young, or mental-illness-prone minds.