Salvia Sucks

A newly illegal drug takes us on a short, bumpy trip.

My arms seem like they're being pulled, endlessly, like a Stretch Armstrong doll. I point at the skateboarding character Ezra is playing on the TV screen. Wherever the character moves, my finger follows. It's as though virtual skate guy is tugging me.

Then as quickly as the hallucination began, it ends — resulting in a major downer.

As John and I head outside for a smoke, he says, "I feel fine now, but I could probably use a nap." I feel less fine. Every joint in my body feels like magnets flipped around so they're polar opposites and repel each other. Then I think of Brandenburg's statement that salvia attracts "young teens."

Wardell Brown

So around 1 a.m., high on nothing but gloom, I hit up some youngsters in front of a 24-hour convenience store in Pinecrest. Chilling in the bed of a pickup truck, the group consists of long-haired kids, many dressed all in black, who are mostly headbanging to a song blaring from the truck's speakers.

"Any of you guys ever heard of salvia?" I ask.

Most look blankly at me. "I have," says one 16-year-old, Jorge, who sports a horde of hemp bracelets. "And I've done it. It sucks that it's illegal now. I've had many beautiful experiences on it." He's also quick to add that "none of my friends would do it with me. They saw YouTube videos of people flipping out on it and got scared. And the ones who tried it once hated it so much that they didn't want to do it again."

"Is it a gateway drug?"

"No. Most kids I know start out with things that are legal, like caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol."

To our law enforcement friends: New Times found this article in a bottle washed up on the shores of Biscayne Bay.

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