I had never even heard of the drug Salvia until reading this reason story - yes, I am way behind - by Jacob Sullum, author of Saying Yes. Salvia is, of course, the new heroin/crack/etc. despite any serious evidence of it having actual ill effects on people who use it.
The story is notable for two things. The first is that Sullum actually takes one for the team and gives a first hand account of trying Salvia, both via tincture and via water pipe. The second is its portrayal of state legislators, quite a number of whom, from many states, Sullum interviewed for the story. One sort of knows intellectually that the sort of people who sort into state legislatures are not very clever, nor particularly concerned with, or even good at dealing with, empirical evidence. But this story just rubs you in the face with their willingness to ban substances about which their only knowledge is a youtube video or some remark by a relative.
The real bad drug here is government. It truly is amazing that we have any freedom left at all.
Who was my favorite student this term?
1 year ago