Stoner Science

Our staff risks all to determine if a plant will get them high or if it's just another Internet lie

I hit it again, but the bowl was empty. This failure lessened my buzz, as if I was being punished for being greedy.

My neighbor began to complain about Baraka, saying he wanted to watch baseball instead. I couldn't really blame him. After all, it was the ninth inning of a World Series game.

I was quickly losing my buzz. I packed another bowl for my neighbor and then announced that I was going to lie down in my darkened bedroom to smoke my last bowl without distraction. As I got up, I joked that maybe I should sit down in the closet instead. We giggled. He suggested that I stand on my head in the closet, or spin around, and we giggled again.

Two plants, some extract and some other paraphernalia completed our equipment needs for our science project.
Monica Fuentes
Two plants, some extract and some other paraphernalia completed our equipment needs for our science project.

I entered my room, smoked the last bowl, closed my eyes and sprawled on the floor. I instantly became bored. I recall wondering how I slept in such a warm room every night. I stood back up and fled to the air-conditioned living room, where I hung out with my neighbor and watched the rest of the ball game, feeling slightly more relaxed than usual.

All in all, the experience was very light. It seems to be a capricious substance, one that requires the user to keep working to maintain a buzz. It always had a fleeting sense to it, as if it couldn't be enjoyed fully because the feeling was always moments away from leaving. Though its moments were occasionally powerful, I was nowhere near having any sort of religious experience, pseudo or otherwise. -- Keith Plocek

After all this, I called the local office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The guy who was handling calls on Friday hadn't heard of Salvia divinorum. I spelled it for him and he said they were going to have to do some research. I felt really edgy. Were we ahead of the DEA on this one? Maybe just in Houston. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last December that the DEA "considers salvia one of its 'drugs and chemicals of concern.' "

Nearly everyone at the Press said the scientific testing was fun but they probably wouldn't try salvia again. Its most definite plus is that it is legal. But that headache thing was hard to get around. And the next day several people said their sleep had been disturbed by nightmares. One pointed out that not enough testing has been done on salvia, unlike marijuana, which has been tested for decades and never killed anyone. Overall, salvia seemed like a lot of work for a fleeting return.

But as lab-rat work goes, this wasn't bad.

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