So is this @Henry ? I love these photos. In regards to Vice, Hamilton's Pharmacopeia is one of the best shows ever made, and he created it to combat a lot of the drug-scare nonsense that was on the platform in its earlier days. Well, drug is a word with lots of negative connotations; however, given the definition of the term, kava is a drug.
Terence McKenna preferred to use the term spices for mind altering substances. The idea being that every person had the right to change their own state of consciousness and it was comparable to flavoring a dish with a spice. I highly recommend his book The Food of the Gods which is devoted to this topic.
It is unlikely worth getting into a debate about this. I think at least my Webster would disagree as would the UN, FAO and WHO which classifies kava as a food/beverage.
Lebot's Yale University Press book morphed from "drug" to elixir then to beverage .
Arguably kavalactones can be drugs? maybe, but not the aqueous beverage.
Debates are always worth, it makes both parties consider alternate view points. I think you are correct on this one. But, I would argue that kava is a beverage which contains kavalactones that do indirectly effect the way neurotransmitters in the brain work, so it is a beverage that contains a drug. Like tea isn't a drug, but it is a beverage that contains caffeine, which is a drug. I think the problem is that the term drug carries a lot of baggage when it shouldnt. In fact, I would argue that western culture in general places a moral condemnation on all psychoactive except a few sanctioned exceptions that promote industrialization.
As someone with familiarity to food and drugs, kava can be both. I would be happier to see it classified in any way other than Drugs on the Vice forum, but hey, what do you expect from Vice?
Thank you Henry Todd for the photographs of Kava Ceremonies from the solomon islands, vanuatu, and tonga!