Is Salvia the Next Marijuana?

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—– Original Message —–
From: "Tonya Davis" <>
To: "nonorml list" <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 10:36 AM
Subject: NON: Is Salvia the Next Marijuana?

> Is Salvia the Next Marijuana?
> By JESSICA GRESKO – 2 hours ago
> 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! … 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.
> 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 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 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.
> Moreover, it’s hard to say how widespread the use of salvia is. National
> and state surveys on drug use don’t include salvia, and because it is
> legal in most states, law enforcement officials don’t compile statistics,
> either.
> San Diego State University last year surveyed more than 1,500 students and
> 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 plans to study the salvia
> bill 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.
> Hosted by
> Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
> Respectfully
> Tonya Davis
> Director of Patient Advocacy
> Ohio Patient Network
> 937-435-7922
> Medical Cannabis Director
> North Ohio NORML
> State Director Ohio AAMC
> The medical cannabis Action network
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