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Salvia Divinorum and "Brett’s Law"


TRIBE Member
Salvia Divinorum and "Brett’s Law":

A message to those that loved Brett and to those that love Salvia

HISTORY: On January 23, 2006 Brett Chidester, a 17-year-old straight-A high-school senior, residing in Delaware, committed suicide months after trying Salvia Divinorum. According to Kathy Chidester, Brett’s mom, " … he might have had some mild depression and, combine that with salvia, it was a lethal combination." In direct response to Brett’s actions, Senate Bill 259 is well on its way to becoming law in Delaware, making it the third sate, along with Missouri and Louisiana, to criminalize Salvia. This law will categorize Salvia as a Schedule I controlled substance, putting it in the same category as heroin and LSD. More information about the cause and effects of this law is available on the net.

I would like to state that I understand the pain and anguish, the complete chaos and rage, and the hatred and loneliness that comes from loosing a family member. I have gone through it twice and I would like to convey words that would comfort those who loved Brett but there are non. There is no escape, there is no relief and there is no release from what you feel. The only way to deal with what has occurred is to try and understand what led to the tragic event.

My only suggestion to family and friends is that once you have dealt with the immediate anger, and this may take some time, months if not years, then you should actively seek understanding of Brett’s love for Salvia and look for other possible reasons for the choice he made. For those that were and are closest to Brett, the best way to approach this task, and begin this long journey of peace, is to actively try to experience the reality that comes from Salvia and convince yourself that she was the least likely source for what transpired. For some this may be the controlled use of Salvia, for others it may involve travel to Oaxaca Mexico, the birth place of Salvia, where this beautiful plant has been used for healing and divination for centuries by the indigenous peoples.

The wrong thing to do is to lash out in anger, trying to attach blame to a plant by misrepresenting its true essence. Destruction is an immediate escape that lasts only as long as there is something to destroy. Once the task has been completed, there will be no relief from the pain. There will be a complete physical and mental collapse of the destroyer, with an emptiness that only comes when there is nothing left. I urge those that have set this machine in motion to prevent it from destroying what Brett loved. The last thing that those who have experienced Salvia would desire is to have a law passed in their name to prevent others from knowing and experiencing her. Incarcerating innocent people who cherish wisdom and refuse to succumb to fear, in Brett’s name, is not a legacy to look upon with pride.

Thanks to misconceptions, the war against Salvia has begun in the United States of America and the anguish it will unleash will be devastating. The enforcement of this law will not only result in the death, but also in the incarceration of thousands of people in a prison system that thrives on consuming everything in its path. The number of lives that will be shattered and the number of families that will be torn asunder will be unimaginable. The legacy left by what is occurring will bring hatred to the name and memory of Brett. So please stop destroying what you do not understand and what, in your ignorance, you condemned. It is difficult to look in the mirror for answers, but usually accepting that a mistake was made by ostracizing something you did not comprehend is the first step towards reconciliation, however painful the process may be.

The immediate winners in this judiciary scenario will be the rightwing zealots that are most likely surrounding the grief stricken family, directing them on a path which directly opposes the wishes of their loved one. The only people that can prevent this from happening is the immediate family, and I urge those that where close to Brett to approach his parents and try to make them understand the mistake that is being done in his name. One of the first things that anyone that has experienced Salvia does is to share the information. It is almost a given that Brett must have shared Salvia with his closest friends. Some would have been struck by fear and would refrain from using Salvia again, the wise however would have recognized her as what she truly is and embraced the knowledge. To those who shared Brett’s journey, I ask of you to break your silence and approach the family. To show your respect and love, help his family try and deal with the situation at hand. It is the least you could do for someone who mattered.

To those who are filled with joy that they are now able to pass a law to protect their ruthless way of life by feeding on the pain of a family, I can only say that you will lose this battle and your gains will be pathetic at best. It is your brothers and sisters, your neighbors and your family which you are crimilazing and whom you will be incarcerating. The pain caused by your action will come back to haunt you and your children for generations to come. That is one of the principle lessons of the circle of life and you would be well advised to learn it.

To the Salvia community: We can let things unfold the way they will, with or without our participation. I for one am choosing direct education through communication. It is the path that I see set before me. I believe minor obstacles such as this, a simple voice of reason, is the least that can be done to protect nature. I can only hope that it is perceived in a positive light.

To the family, I apologize if this information brings you pain, but no matter how much grief you are experiencing it gives you no right to think that your pain justifies your actions. Salvia Divinorum is a spiritual plant that has been used for centuries by the first peoples of this land and there is no justification for allowing you to destroy nature in the search for retribution. It is my personal hope that this letter does not bring you pain but direct you on a path that will help you to understand what has happened and what is happening. Just remember that it is never too late to turn back from the wrong path and try to undo the damage done, to a certain point.

As in regards to our journey; it is about experience, knowledge and growth. It should last as long as we can make it last and should never be cut short because of an immediate need for escape or release. If we are still in this physical form then it means that we still have much to learn and enjoy before moving on. There is no need to cut a journey short because we are anxious to see the next phase or exhausted of dealing with this one. Time is a truly fictitious concept and will move as fast or as slow as is required for us to grasp its irrelevance.

This crusade to demonize Salvia Divinorum by enforcing "Brett’s Law" in the name of protection of the innocent is beyond ignorant and selfish, it is at best an immediate escape from the grief felt by a community, and borders on the realm of stupidity. Destruction only begets destruction, and unjust laws only criminalize the innocent spreading fear and hatred.

Salvia is about knowledge and love and it is my personal hope that those who love Salvia will be able to educate and show compassion to those who loved Brett.

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