The Minister for Justice, Brendan O’Connor, is taking submissions on the proposed legislation, which is on "issues relating to the implementation of model drug, plant and precursor schedules for Commonwealth serious drug offences." Submissions close on March 11.
As www.gardenfreedom.com explains,
The proposed new schedules will include:All that may sound rather obscure if you don't understand what species are involved. Let's explain.
8. any plant containing MESCALINE including any plant of the genus Lophophora
9. any plant containing DMT including any plant of the species Piptadenia Peregrine
10. Salvia divinorum (Diviners Sage)
11. Mitragyna speciosa (Kratom)
12. Catha edulis (Khat)
13. Any species of the genus Ephedra which contains ephedrine
14. Any species of the genus Brugmansia
15. Any species of the genus Datura
DMT, a hallucinogen, is very common in nature. Common pasture grasses, natives like wattles (acacias), and many common garden plants fall under this category. For example, Sturt's Desert Pea (South Australia's floral emblem) and screwpine. Hell, even the human brain makes small quantities of DMT! The traditional hallucinogenic drug ayahuasca - basically DMT - has been legalised in Brazil, with studies indicating that it helps treat depression by permanently raising seratonin levels.
Many cacti contain mescaline, in small quantities, including many species popular with gardeners and collectors. Only a few have amounts that can be turned into a drug. The genus Lopophora contains some plants that have no mescalin, but they are all banned under this law!
Salvia Divinorum (Diviner's Sage) is also to be banned (why bother, it's already illegal under all state laws!). I wonder if the reasons for this madness aren't to be found in the comment at gardenfreedom regarding Diviner's Sage:
So go to www.gardenfreedom.com and get informed, and write a letter to the minister, and the papers, and anyone who cares. If this one gets through we could see native species eradicated, innocent gardeners prosecuted, harmless hippies gaoled, and possible natural cures for depression languishing unresearched.
Salvinorin A, the active constituent in Salvia divinorum has been shown to have strong antidepressant properties. Various research teams around the world are investigating this. In Australia such research is hindered by the scheduling of this herb as a drug, but researchers nonetheless manage to apply for exemptions via the state health departments. Adding an extra level of federal scheduling will not add any further protection to the community, but will make such research even more difficult.
Still legal in many places