Legal hallucinogen becomes hot seller

Discussion in 'Salvia divinorum' started by Alfa, May 12, 2005.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands

    'A Real Trend'

    A powerful, unregulated hallucinogen is growing increasingly popular in Ontario while remaining virtually unknown to police and health officials.

    Salvia divinorum, a member of the mint family, originates in Oaxaca, Mexico, where it has been used in shamanism and vision quests for centuries. The leaves are chewed or smoked and are widely available on the internet.

    A 14-year-old from Huntsville, Ont., said Salvia is hugely popular among his peers.

    "I'd say it's a real trend," said the teen, who asked to remain anonymous.

    On April 16 the teen and a friend purchased a gram-sized bag of Salvia for $40.25 from the Silver Daisy Boutique in Huntsville. The 14-year-old went to the woods behind his home to smoke the drug. The effect was instantaneous.

    "As soon as I blew out the smoke ... I couldn't move," he said. "I fell and then I just went to a completely different place." The teen saw trees uproot, the world was tinged purple and tiny people pinned him to the ground.

    "It was really scary," he admits. As the teen fought his imaginary captors, he repeatedly bashed his head into a rock. Thankfully, his friend cradled the teen's head, preventing serious injury until the trip ended.

    Salvia is a hot seller at Toronto's Roach-O-Rama, a smoke shop in Kensington Market. Store manager Christina Yolanda said that Salvia -- and access to the shop -- is restricted to ages 18 and older.

    "I can't imagine selling Salvia to a young person, even if it is legal," Ms. Yolanda said. "It's been used as a ceremonial drug to bring on heavy-duty hallucinations and a child is not used to expanding their mind that much."

    Roach-o-Rama has sold Salvia for three years and Ms. Yolanda has unwritten rules for customers.

    "You have to be in a safe place [to smoke it]," she said. "It's not a party drug. I advise people not to smoke it in a nightclub or anywhere public because you can lose control of your body. Someone could easily take advantage of a person who is on Salvia."

    According to a 1994 study by pharmacologist Daniel Seibert, Salvia can cause users to believe they have transformed into objects, such as "yellow plaid French fries, fresh paint, a Ferris wheel, etc." On Seibert's Web site, he urges users to "never, ever, attempt to drive under the influence of Salvia - doing so could prove fatal!"

    Salvia divinorum is illegal only in Australia. The U.S. Congress has twice tried to bring Salvia under the jurisdiction of the federal Controlled Substances Act, first in 2002 and again in 2003. Currently, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency lists Salvia as a "Drug of Concern,"

    along with cocaine and ecstasy.

    While popular in Toronto's drug culture, Salvia remains virtually unknown to authorities.

    "I haven't even heard of it," said Constable Wendy Drummond of the Toronto Police. "But that's not to say it's not out there."

    Because Salvia is a legal substance, the drug squad would not deal with it, she added.

    Toronto Emergency Medical Service spokesman Peter Macintyre said that if EMS did pick up someone under the influence of Salvia, the paramedics would not likely know it.

    "[The patient] could just be acting psychotic and we wouldn't know why," he said.

    The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is aware of Salvia divinorum, but spokeswoman Sylvia Hagopian said it is not yet "on the radar screen for 'emerging trends.' "

    Hospitals around Toronto had no records of Salvia users turning up in emergency rooms, but that is not surprising, said Dr. Bryan Roth, a professor of biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Roth led a research team studying Salvinorin A, Salvia's active hallucinogenic compound. His studies show that the effects of Salvinorin A are brief -- lasting no more than 15 minutes

    -- meaning users would be unlikely to get to the hospital before the drug wore off.

    "Salvinorin A is unique," said Dr. Roth. The compound activates a different brain receptor than other hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD or magic mushrooms. Salvia divinorum is the only drug known to activate this newly discovered "kappa-opioid" receptor, Dr. Roth said.

    "As a result, Salvinorin A causes quite a different experience," he explained. "We have coined the term 'spatio-temporal dislocation,'

    because people frequently have the experience that they are transported to a different place and time. This is very different from LSD-like hallucinations."

    Researchers in California are preparing to study the long-term effects of Salvia but, currently, no studies show what the plant does to the brain or the rest of the body over longer periods.

    The Huntsville teen immediately told his parents of his terrifying experience with Salvia. Now, his mother wants to see sale of the drug restricted.

    "These kids see that it's legal and that's misleading," she said.

    Merchants who sell the drug to minors are taking advantage of children, she added.

    Tony Theos, manager of the Silver Daisy in Huntsville, where the teen purchased the drug, is incredulous.

    "There is no age restriction on the product in general," Mr. Theos said. Only one parent, a friend of the 14-year-old's family, had called to complain about Salvia, he said.

    "This woman said I was exploiting children. If I were exploiting children, I would be in jail right now."

    Health Canada is currently "monitoring" Salvia divinorum, but it is not listed as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and there are no plans to add it to the list, according to spokeswoman Nathalie Lalonde.

    Despite defending the legality of the drug, Mr. Theos says Salvia is no longer available at the Silver Daisy. He stressed that the decision was made because sales dropped and not as a result from any community pressure.

    "The novelty just wore off," he said, but added that the drug is still widely available at other locations in Northern Ontario.

    The 14-year-old said he will not be recommending Salvia to his friends.

    "I know a girl who was thinking about trying it," he said. "I told her what happened to me. I said: 'Don't even think about it. It's not cool.' "
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  2. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands
    And another one:


    Even though it's legal and can be sold to anyone of any age, a downtown shop owner says "as of right now" he is no longer selling an herb which, when smoked, causes intense hallucinations.

    For months, Tony Theos, manager of the Silver Daisy tattoo parlour on Brunel Road, had been selling packets of salvia divinorum.

    Sometimes known as Divine Mexican Mint, or Diviner's Sage, the herb has been used for centuries as a hallucinogen. But when Huntsville teenagers started buying the herb and smoking it, some parents decided to put their feet down.

    One recent Saturday night, a 14-year-old Huntsville boy raised a pipe to his mouth and inhaled deeply. Within moments, he began hallucinating. He was smoking a teaspoon-size, $40 hit of salvia divinorum purchased at the Silver Daisy.

    While police have no recourse, the parents of the 14-year-old boy, who contacted The Forester, hope by spreading the word about salvia, they can steer other teenagers clear of giving it a try.

    "Our family doctor had not heard anything about [salvia]. He made some calls about it and thought it was something that had slipped through the cracks of our medical regulations," said the mother of the 14-year-old. She and her husband did not want to be identified in order to protect the identity of their son.

    While Theos told the Forester "as of right now, I am not selling salvia anymore," it can still be bought over the Internet and via magazines. Theos said recent media attention about the herb only served to increase the number of people wanting to try it.

    What bothers the parents of the 14-year-old the most is that the herb was being sold to minors, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it.

    "Originally our goal was to get the stuff off the streets. We were hoping for a ban or an age limit being put on it, but we realize that is going to take a long time," said the boy's mother.

    They said their son heard about salvia at school, and that it had become popular for many teens to try at least once.

    Scared after having a bad experience, the boy confided in his parents. He said after smoking the herb, his mind drifted away "to a different land"

    where "little people would not let him leave."

    While the boy's parents realize that there is nothing illegal about salvia's sale, they question why anyone knowing its potential would sell it, especially to young people.

    "If you are younger, you don't always have the faculties to make the right decisions about these things," said the boy's father.

    His mother said, "What's worse is [the store] selling it like you would sell bubble gum." When asked about this, Theos refused to make any further comment for the record.

    The easy availability of salvia is a concern, said the boy's mother. Unlike smoking salvia, she said teenagers who drink alcohol or smoke pot still have the hurdles of illegality and access to overcome.

    According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Drug Intelligence Centre, abuse of salvia can cause intense and debilitating hallucinations.

    Even smoking small quantities (one-quarter gram) can affect perception and senses. These effects can result in abusers harming themselves and others.

    Salvia has become a phenomenon in the past eight years, with a lot of its popularity due to information easily available on the Internet.

    Health Canada reports that it is monitoring the herb; so is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Currently it's legal to import because it's an 'unscheduled' substance under Canadian law.

    The sale of the herb has been banned in Australia. The substance, which looks like green tea, is largely imported from Mexico.

    According to the Natural Medicines Database, Diviner's Sage was used for centuries by the Mazatec Indians, a native people who live in Oaxaca, Mexico. While it may serve spiritual purposes for some, the legal sale of the product in Canada could hit a dead end soon under new National Health Product Regulations.

    Brought into force in 2004 by Health Canada, the regulations place requirements on people who manufacture, package, label, import or distribute natural health products. The law is intended to regulate substances that are safe for over-the-counter use. Manufacturers and importers have six years to secure their licensing.

    "During that six-year period, every single product on the market, all the herbs, have go through a re-application to be sold in Canada," said Dr.

    Heather Boon, assistant professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Pharmacy.

    "The only way [salvia] would be allowed on the market in future, under these new regulations, would be if it had a medicinal use. Honestly, this stuff does not seem to have a medicinal use."

    Because there are 50,000 herbal and other natural products on the market, Boon, a graduate of Huntsville High School, said, it is taking time for Health Canada to work through the process.

    "That's probably why [salvia] has not been caught yet. I don't know if it would even be allowed to be on the market," she said.

    Even prior to a licensing review, Health Canada will act if concerns are reported about products.

    "Should evidence arise that there is an abuse problem or significant risk to health and safety, then the department investigates and takes whatever action is necessary," said Health Canada media spokesperson Nathalie Lalonde.

    She said she could not report if an application for licensing had been forwarded for salvia, and even if one had, she could not discuss it while under review. But if salvia is going to sold in Canada, it will be reviewed for"safety, ethics and quality," said Lalonde.

    She added that anyone with a complaint about salvia, or any other natural health product, can report it to Canada's Regional Inspectorates at us_e.html
  3. scyrusurcys

    scyrusurcys Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Nov 19, 2004
    from U.S.A.
    Well, that's the first news report I've heard about Salvia. At least it
    wasn't from someone here in the U.S. :D - Sounds like if
    there were restrictions on the distribution of salvia, (hopefully)
    there might only be an age limit. But I have to agree with the woman in
    the first passage:

  4. Pinkavvy

    Pinkavvy Platinum Member & Advisor

    Reputation Points:
    Jul 3, 2004
    from U.S.A.
    *sigh* this sucks. salvia will be gone soon, all because people are greedy and not careful with it.

    salvia has been in and out of the news like this for a couple years. remember, the dea has already announced their intent to schedule salvia; which means it's already in the works of being buted.
  5. RoboCop

    RoboCop Platinum Member & Advisor

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 22, 2004
    from earth
    Very dissapointing news. I hate how parents find their child doing a drug and blame the people selling it, go out and try to get it banned to 'save their child' Maybe instead they could just get off there ass and do some damn parenting. If a kid is 14 and experimenting with legal hallucinogens I say the parents are to blame. Also if he heard about it in school as a cool thing to do, thank god the drug was salvia. Once salvia is gone kids will have otehr 'cool drugs' to do such as dxm,datura, etc. I think we all know salvia is of little harm to society. Take it away and kids will jsut do the next legal drug on the list despite if it is safe.
    I hate the logic of parents these days.
  6. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands
    I think it's about time for retailers to start refusing sales to minors. 90% of all drug war propaganda has to do with children. Children taking drugs, children seeing paraphernalia, etc. I know that with internet sales minors will order anyway, but webshops can at least put up a disclaimer to agree upon.
  7. lilsteve

    lilsteve Newbie

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    Apr 18, 2005

    It's also a good thing that most of my American brethren are too narrow-minded and jingoistic to read Canadian newspapers ;)

    But seriously, I would agree with an age limit for salvia, or something
    like that. Most people that I know that try it see it as a legal
    alternative to weed, and they end up being scared shitless and become
    afraid of it.

    I figure that if it ever becomes illegal, I'll just grow my own. It's in the mint family....

    "Oh this? I'm growing some peppermint..... Would you like a mojito? :D"

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2017
  8. antigenesis

    antigenesis Iridium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Feb 26, 2005
    from U.S.A.
    Yeah, If it becomes illegal here, I'm allready growing
    so oh well. I think there should definately be an age
    limit on something like this though, but as long as
    there isn't we can just be glad that S.D. is strong and
    akward enough to scare away most ignorant people.
  9. Unsolved

    Unsolved Gold Member

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    Apr 5, 2005
    Yeah I don't know guys it look's bad for saliva right now. Kinda reminds me of what happened to xtc in the 80's before the clammped down it and made it illegel. Sounds to me that they will definetly sooner or later make it illegel to have it at all. Proably sooner then later. I don't see them putting an age restriction on this, if people are using it wide spread like that. The more wide spread it is the better chance you will see it made illegel.
  10. sg43

    sg43 Palladium Member

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    Jan 29, 2005
    Wow...this is ridiculous, when will they just let off....salvia and 2c-i are two of my favorites and of course they gotta push to make it illegal.[​IMG]
  11. Creeping Death

    Creeping Death Iridium Member

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    Jun 29, 2004
    If your kid takes a drug that he doesn't know anything about, it's not anybodys fault. Thats why you need to educate people about it. An avarage 14 year old kid would not take such a powerful drug if he actually knew the full effects and potentials of it. A million under age kids die every year from drinking alcohol, and they're probably going to illegalise salvia because some kid bashed his head on a rock.

    What that person said about "kids are not used to expanding their mind that much" really annoyed me. You can't speak for anybody when you say that. Some are, some are not. If you educate everybody properly, those that are not will choose themselves from staying away from the salvia.
  12. sterling77

    sterling77 Iridium Member

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    Apr 21, 2005
    from denmark
    That's the part that pisses me off the most, they are implying that salvia has comparable risks to cocaine and ecstacy. [​IMG]

    Lol they make it sound so ackward(sp?) [​IMG]