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  1. beentheredonethatagain
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla.(AP) On Web sites touting the mind-blowing powers of Salvia divinorum, come-ons to buy the hallucinogenic herb are accompanied by warnings: "Time is running out!" and "stock up while you still can."

    That's because salvia is being targeted by lawmakers concerned that the inexpensive and easy-to-obtain plant could become the next marijuana. Eight states have already placed restrictions on salvia, and 16 others, including Florida, are considering a ban or have previously.

    "As soon as we make one drug illegal, kids start looking around for other drugs they can buy legally. This is just the next one," said Florida state Rep. Mary Brandenburg, who has introduced a bill to make possession of salvia a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

    Some say legislators are overreacting to a minor problem, but no one disputes that the plant impairs judgment and the ability to drive.

    Native to Mexico and still grown there, Salvia divinorum is generally smoked but can also be chewed or made into a tea and drunk.

    Called nicknames like Sally-D, Magic Mint and Diviner's Sage, salvia is a hallucinogen that gives users an out-of-body sense of traveling through time and space or merging with inanimate objects. Unlike hallucinogens like LSD or PCP, however, salvia's effects last for a shorter time, generally up to an hour.

    Salvia divinorum is not one of the several varieties of common ornamental garden plants known as Salvia.

    No known deaths have been attributed to salvia's use, but it was listed as a factor in one Delaware teen's suicide two years ago.

    "Parents, I would say, are pretty clueless," said Jonathan Appel, an assistant professor of psychology and criminal justice at Tiffin University in Ohio who has studied the emergence of the substance. "It's much more powerful than marijuana."
    Salvia's short-lasting effects and the fact that it is currently legal may make it seem more appealing to teens, lawmakers say. In the Delaware suicide, the boy's mother told reporters that salvia made his mood darker but he justified its use by citing its legality. According to reports, the autopsy found no traces of the drug in his system, but the medical examiner listed it as a contributing cause.

    Mike Strain, Louisiana's Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner and former legislator, helped his state in 2005 become the first to make salvia illegal, along with a number of other plants. He said the response has been largely positive.

    "I got some hostile e-mails from people who sold these products," Strain said. "You don't make everybody happy when you outlaw drugs. You save one child and it's worth it."

    An ounce of salvia leaves sells for around $30 on the Internet. A liquid extract from the plant, salvinorin A, is also sold in various strengths labeled "5x" through "60x." A gram of the 5x strength, about the weight of a plastic pen cap, is about $12 while 60x strength is around $65. And in some cases the extract comes in flavors including apple, strawberry and spearmint.

    Web sites such as Salviadragon.com tout the product with images like a waterfall and rainbow and include testimonials like "It might sound far fetched, but I experience immortality."

    Among those who believe the commotion over the drug is overblown is Rick Doblin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit group that does research on psychedelic drugs and whose goal is to develop psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medication.

    "I think the move to criminalize is a misguided response to a very minimal problem," Doblin said.

    Doblin said salvia isn't "a party drug," "tastes terrible" and is "not going to be extremely popular." He disputes the fact teens are its main users and says older users are more likely.

    "It's a minor drug in the world of psychedelics," he said.


    It's hard to say how widespread the use of salvia is. Because it is legal in most states, law enforcement officials don't compile statistics.

    A study of released last month by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services found just under 2 percent of people age 18 to 25 surveyed in 2006 reported using salvia in the past year. A 2007 survey of more than 1,500 San Diego State University students found that 4 percent of participants reported using salvia in the past year.

    Brandenburg's bill would make salvia and its extract controlled substances in the same class as marijuana and LSD.

    Florida state Sen. Evelyn Lynn, whose committee unanimously passed the salvia bill on Tuesday, said the drug should be criminalized.

    "I'd rather be at the front edge of preventing the dangers of the drug than waiting until we are the 40th or more," she said.

Comments

  1. ILoveYou
    That post made me sick :( . I have never seen such an over-dramatized report regarding salvia divinorum.
  2. RaverHippie
    I'm glad that our national legislatures aren't wasting their time on such an issue instead of focusing on more important issues. It's a shame to see such a potentially helpful substance encounter such opposition.
  3. MachinaDeus
    Apathy and disappointment is all swim can feel at this point for salvia drug laws. Looks like it will not be long now before many states take up this legislation. Perhaps marijuana will take the place salvia currently has in legality and salvia will take the place of marijuana in legality wouldn't that be a odd twist? :s
  4. Pondlife
    When you see that phrase, you know that the person doesn't have a rational argument and is resorting to emotion to win the argument.
  5. Coconut
    Agreed. What is life without liberty? Nothing.
  6. truth
    this really hurts SWIM that people lie this much. This is what makes SWIM hopeless with the future. It really does.
  7. fiveleggedrat
    The market for Salvia will shoot through the roof. Prices will probably triple.

    And, as I'm sure we all know, criminalizing a substance only increases the appeal and likelihood for cartels and large drug gangs to deal and supply it.

    The substance really is a minor one. Everyone Swim knows would choose tons of other things over saliva. The stuff is overpriced as it is now.

    Soon to come: Catnip: The Next Salvia?
  8. disturbedfuel15
    This is funny because my local press just published this exact same article in today's newspaper. It really frightens me to think of the world of the future where salvia is the new marijuana. I feel there are far and few similarities in the two.
  9. beentheredonethatagain
    the new will be classified as the old , everytime.
  10. illume.
    oh well, you have to laugh. it was bound to happen sooner or later. to many ignorant ppl getting messed up. as soon as somthing like this goes public, it no longer matters that the plant doesnt do any real harm, in knowledgable hands it can be quite useful. "but think of the children"
  11. cra$h
    they're so concerned about kids possibly, but highly unlikely (because anyone that's ever experienced saliva knows they could not move, thus actually harmless to you or others) dying or injuring themselves, I guess they forgot there's a war going on?
  12. disturbedfuel15

    I honestly see how you are trying to contribute to the thread, but I've seen people move around quite well after the effects of salvia kicked in. I've heard stories of people getting hurt and/or breaking objects as well, not knowing what's going on.
    As stated earlier though, I honestly see no correlation between salvia and marijuana. It's all a political game to see who can say what to get the most respect and therefore, the most power IMO.
  13. beentheredonethatagain
    is this article propaganda from the anti drug camp?
  14. ianzombie
    Well you posted the article, but you did not say where it was quoted from?

    Are you just going to bump old threads you feel deserve rep now, im not sure that is going to help your cause.
    This story was posted 4 years ago. Who exactly is the anti drug camp?
    Is it an organisation, or are you just talking generally?
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