Gov. Ted Strickland signed a law yesterday that will add the hallucinogen Salvia divinorum to Ohio’s controlled substance list.
The law, which takes effect in 90 days, classifies salvia as a Schedule I controlled substance alongside drugs like marijuana.
Ohio joins at least nine other states to ban the use, possession or distribution of salvia.
State Senator Jimmy Stewart, R-20, said the law will be enacted in the same way as previous additions to the Schedule I controlled substance list.
Stewart, who was the state representative for the 92nd district from 2003-2008, voted in favor of the bill when it passed through the Ohio House of Representatives in December.
Salvia, an herb native to Oaxaca, Mexico, causes a five to 10 minute high that produces psychedelic effects, such as the perception of vivid colors. The herb is not known to be addictive.
Former State Representative Thom Collier, (R), sponsored the bill. Collier was prompted to take action to regulate the plant after a Loudonville boy was killed by a friend who had used the herb, though it is not certain if the drug was directly involved, Collier said in an interview at the end of the year.
— Meghan McNamara