Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely no

By chillinwill · Dec 15, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    My North Shore pal held out a tiny plastic bag containing a greenish-black granular substance she had confiscated from her 15-year-old.

    "What is this?" she asked. "Hashish?"

    As the author of Bud Inc.: Inside Canada's Marijuana Industry, I'm her idea of a drug expert. Not wanting to let her down, I hesitatingly fired-up a pipe with images of Kevin Spacey in American Beauty dancing in my head.

    Immediately, I was on another planet -- audio hallucinations, vibrant colours, vivid three-dimensional visions, a dissociative state of mind . . . .

    I realized that Mr. Expert had just done one of the stupidest things in the world: This was no cannabis product!

    My big concern was how long I was going to be part of the landscape speaking in tongues. Thankfully, the overwhelming Magical Mystery Tour effects lasted only a few minutes.

    It was Salvia divinorum, the diviner's or seer's sage and a craze among young people who refer to it as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia.

    Forget psilocybin mushrooms or the peyote cactus, Salvia reputedly contains the most potent, naturally occurring psychedelic on Earth.

    Such was the local buzz about Salvia, the teen told me later. She and four friends purchased a package of plant extract and had planned to try it out.

    I'm glad her mum spoiled the experiment.

    Along with the Beatles, a long time ago I tried LSD and, during a trip to Peru, I once consumed the Amazonian hallucinogen, ayahuasca, so I realized what was happening when I melted into the floor.

    Used ceremonially by Oaxaca's Mazatec Indians, when smoked, Salvia induces an almost instant altered reality a la Carlos Castaneda.

    Its opponents warn the Mexican plant is cheaper than pot, stronger than LSD, faster acting than crack and -- here their united voices rise in falsetto -- LEGAL!!!

    Kids can mail-order it. There is a raft of material on the Web and myriad videos of users on YouTube.

    LSD was legal once too and the parallels are obvious: If you stumbled upon someone under the influence of either LSD or Salvia, you would think they required psychiatric intervention and care.

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration labelled Salvia a "drug of concern" in 2003 and, since then, more than a dozen states have outlawed it with punishment for possession ranging from a modest fine to prison time.

    More are contemplating a Brett's Law, the name given these statutes that grew out of a campaign launched after Salvia was blamed in the 2006 suicide of a 17-year-old Delaware student.

    As with marijuana, I think criminalization is the wrong approach, but Salvia and its sudden suburban accessibility is something we better think about.

    One of the reasons that Salvia has flown under the anti-drug radar is it has a very recent history.

    Western ethnobotanists, the Serpent-and-the-Rainbow crowd, brought attention to the plant -- a.k.a. 'the herb of Mary,' 'the leaf of prophesy' -- in the early 1990s. Their work, like that of the early LSD researchers, attracted those who were into exploring altered states of consciousness.

    Daniel Siebert, who runs the Salvia Divinorum Research and Information Center, has become the plant's Timothy Leary promoting it as a "philosopher's tool."

    Still, only in the last decade has commercialization created concentrated Salvia-extract products that exponentially increase its psychotropic potency and are available on the Internet.

    That's brought a much wider audience -- including teens -- and greatly upped the societal ante.

    Whatever it may be, unlike alcohol or pot, Salvia is not a social drug -- it does not necessarily enhance any experience and it can render the user delusional.

    As a parent, I say steer your kids away from it and tell them it's an experience they can do without -- watch some of those nightmares on YouTube.

    After all, who really wants to end up barking like a dog?

    Surprisingly, the 15-year-old asked her mum for the bag back, arguing stridently that Salvia was legal.

    Maybe she was hallucinating -- but that wasn't going to happen even in her wildest dreams.

    "As for you," my pal said turning to me, "forget American Beauty -- this was more like Dumb and Dumber."

    December 14, 2009
    Vancouver Sun

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  1. ninjaned
    Re: Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely

    1. It is not cheaper than pot. At least not in swim's area or anywhere he has heard of.
    2. It is idiotic to classify any hallucinogen as simply stronger than any other, they are all quite potent(and some may argue magical).
    3. While it may be faster acting than crack(which I'm not sure if it is, can I have a fact check?) it is not addictive like crack is.
    4. Of course it's legal it's not for human consumption right? Right.

    Also, I thought DMT took the cake on this one if anyone is trying to classify psychedelics? It is naturally occurring after all...
  2. Abrad
    Re: Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely

    Salvinorin is far more potent than DMT.
  3. gregzy
    Re: Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely

    mod edited, price discussions are against the rules


    Cheaper than pot?

    Salvia is between £xxx & £xxxxx a gram!!!
  4. braddubya
    Re: Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely

    more potent physically it may be but as far as the experience swim would have to say that DMT gives a more potent crisp visual trip by far where as salvia removes ones mind from their body and then proceeds to rip it apart.

    But yes swiy is correct that Salvinorin A is unmatched chemically for a natural hallucinogen.
  5. rawbeer
    Re: Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely

    It's frustrating how 'potency' is so misused here - to say, for example, that LSD is 100x more potent than mescaline gives the misimpression that the trip is 100x stronger. A salvia trip is not qualitatively stronger than LSD or DMT (how much LSD? How much DMT?) - comparing a drug that last 5 minutes to one that lasts 12 hours is ridiculous anyway - and the crack comparison? Well ammoniated nicotine acts as fast as crack, too. I expect better from Canadians.
    This is just like the assholes who say modern pot is more dangerous because it's stronger, which is the opposite of true - people smoke less so it's better for the lungs.
    How many people commit suicide because of salvia, versus alcohol?
    I think it's terrible how salvia has become mass-marketed because it is such marketing that has essentially ruined this drug - SWIM can't buy it anymore in his state. 15-year olds shouldn't be smoking anything, and it irks SWIM that he can't use salvia because of money-grubbing assholes who turned a sacrament into cheap recreation.
    But that doesn't excuse people for deliberately misrepresenting the facts on salvia, botching science to their own end. Come on Canada, you used to be cool.
  6. Terrapinzflyer
    Re: Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely

    Ripping self-control away

    Re: Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely no good for you, Dec 14

    In response to Ian Mulgrew's column, I'd like to say that most people don't enjoy the mind-ripping effects of Salvia divinorum. Once was enough for me to find out that it is not similar to cannabis and rips self-control away for a period of five to 10 minutes.

    If salvia were made illegal, the next day it would be added to the drug dealers' arsenal at a 1,500-per-cent profit with no more quality testing or controls. Making substances illegal makes things much worse. This should be common sense by now.

    One correction to the column: Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), not salvinorin A, is the most potent hallucinogenic substance. It is the active substance in ayahuasca. Salvinorin A differs from "traditional" hallucinogens because it is not an alkaloid and doesn't affect seratonin receptors, as LSD and mescaline do.

    Mike Foster

    Laval, Que.


  7. ConsciousFlow
    Re: Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely

    Yes SWIM completely agrees with you, SWIM is angered every time he obtains LSD with no reliable assurance of quality. Any human should be free to alter his or her own consciousness in any way they choose, and the consequences from using drug should be no more than the drugs effects themselves, whatever they may be. Now, harming/disturbing other life should be handled according to incidence, it's an irresponsibility of the individual whether they were altered on drugs or not. A completely "drug-free" person with exceedingly poor judgment should not drive an 18 wheeler, as a mentally incompetent person should not use powerful psychedelics. Both are vehicles of sorts beneficial to our species, and should be readily accessible to those who can use them responsibly.

    Though you are incorrect in stating Dimethyltyptamine is more potent than Salvinorin A, pure Salvinorin A is effective at less than 800ug, though it can depend on the person, and a threshold dose of DMT is well within the milligram range. DMT is not the only active substance in ayahuasca, in ayahuasca DMT it is made active by other alkaloids that act as MAOIs, and these alkaloids such as harmalas are certainly highly active by themselves.

    The pharmacology of Salvinorin A is very different than that of tryptamines and phenethylamines, it acts more like a dissociative, though it also differs to known dissociatives as well such as DXM, Nitrous Oxide, PCP, ect that are NMDA antagonists. Salvinorin A acts as a Kappa Opiod receptor agonist, no doubt it's research will give rise to an entire new family of psychedelics, synthetic psychedelic diterpenoids.
  8. Abrad
    Re: Drug known as Magic Mint, Sally D or Lady Salvia may be legal but it's absolutely

    This seems to be a common misconception.
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