Salvia ordered off limits for Airmen
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Sold in baggies and readily available over the Internet and some local smoke shops, the usage or possession of Salvia, a psychoactive hallucinogenic plant, is restricted for Airmen stationed at Goodfellow AFB, Texas.
Col. Thomas Geary, 17th Training Wing commander, recently signed into effect an official wing policy on Salvia and similar spices.
"I order all United States military members, regardless of branch of service, whether permanently or temporarily assigned to 17th TRW or tenant units at Goodfellow AFB, to not use or consume Salvia, Spice, Kratom or any other legal substances marketed, sold or used for the primary purpose of getting 'high,' altering mood or function in ways that are similar to the effects of illegal drugs," the commander said.
Failure to comply with this directive may result in one or more actions, including, without limitation: adverse administrative action; disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice; and/or discharge from the Air Force for drug abuse. This order applies to affected military members at all times and locations, according to 17th TRW Staff Judge Advocate.
The intoxification effects of Salvia and similar spices include a strong psychedelic effect lasting five to 15 minutes, closed and open eye visualizations, time distortion, social dissociation, altered thought patterns, altered behavior, dream or childlike state and senses of fear or panic.
Very little research has been done relative to the potential health threats for this substance.
According to the policy, the ingredients in Spice and Gold Spice are a mixture of legal herbs with psychoactive effects, said to be similar to those of cannabis. Salvia's and Spice's effects directly contradict the nature of servicemembers and are inconsistent with various Defense Department and Air Force instructions.
"The use of Salvia and Spice by a member of my command has the potential to adversely impact good order and discipline, and endanger the physical and mental well-being of that individual and other military members," Colonel Geary said. "Getting 'high' can be service-discrediting and prejudicial to good order and discipline."
While Salvia is currently not listed in the Federal Controlled Substance Act, several states have placed controls on Salvia and Spice. Some businesses and Internet sites have advertised these substances as a "legal" alternative to other plant hallucinogens, such as cannabis. This representation is misleading and does not reflect the 17th TRW policy with respect to Salvia, Kratom, Spice and Gold Spice use.
by Senior Airman Tong Duong
17th Training Wing Public Affairs
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