Salvia Is Not Your Bud

In 2002, by way of public service, Patrick "Buzz" Williams and I taste-tested various flavors of legal highs, among them salvia divinorum, then a burgeoning novelty in your finer lifestyle accessory shops. The result: moving colors and fits of laughter, which lasted two minutes, and the hellacious headache that followed for a full hour, at least. Said the grinning, head-shaking clerk who sold us the icky-icky: "If it were any good, they wouldn't let us sell it." Amen, brother.

Took, oh, six years for the not-pot to wind up on the front page of The New York Times in a story datelined Dallas, chiefly because this is where 27-year-old Christopher Lenzini lives. He's the dude behind this high-larious YouTube sensation that dates back to '06. And The Times says Lenzini and other underage recreational users of the Mazatec shamans' consciousness-raising mint-family leaf are gonna ruin it for folks who need it -- like, say, those suffering from depression. (Because, seriously, the headache will totally make you forget you're depressed.) Some Texas legislators are trying to outlaw the stuff -- which, of course, will only make it more popular than ever. --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky