Drug Policy

Sage Advice: Check State Law Before You Order

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Spurred on by horrific YouTube images of teenagers falling over and giggling, the Salvia divinorum crackdown proceeds apace. The Florida legislature recently approved a ban by a nearly unanimous vote, and the Drug War Chronicle reports that police in North Dakota have made what appears to be the first salvia arrest. Kenneth Rau, a Bismarck bottling plant worker with an interest in altered states of consciousness, is charged with possession of salvia with intent to distribute, a Class B felony, based on eight ounces of leaf he bought on eBay for $32. Rau, who faces up to 10 years in prison, complains that police are falsely portraying him as a dealer. He says he bought the psychedelic herb, which has been used by shamans in Mexico for centuries and is also known as Diviner's Sage, for his own chemically assisted self-exploration. North Dakota's salvia ban, approved last year, took effect on August 1, and Rau says he was unaware of it. "I've never been a drug user, never been arrested," he told the Chronicle. "I started experimenting with this stuff because I thought it was legal. I didn't want to get into trouble, but now they're treating me just like some meth dealer."

My previous posts on the anti-salvia crusade are here and here. The Salvia Divinorum Research and Information Center has a recently updated overview of the plant's legal status in various jurisdictions.

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  1. Since this is related to sage, does it look like sage in the ground? Because if it does, the absurdity that is busting people for having plants that look like illegal ones is going to go into hyperdrive.

    Disclaimer: I like sage.

  2. Spurred on by horrific YouTube images of teenagers falling over and giggling…

    Someone should fax that first sentence (appropriately blown up to a sizable font) to every idiot prohibitionist lawmaker’s office until they run out of fucking ink.

    Stupidity should be painful and be made readily apparent.

  3. I am glad that my state remains off of this particular “stupid list”.

  4. Meanwhile ~300 people died of alcohol poisoning last year.

    Fucking puritanical, busybody, reality denying idiots.

  5. Episiarch – yes, its almost identical to the other 40 or so sage varieties.

    BTW, does anyone realize that Salvia is “self-regulating”? Its NOT a party drug, and people who use it in the wrong set & setting usually wind up never doing it again after their couch turns into a giant demon and swallows their soul.

    just sayin’

  6. Clarification – That’s ~ 300 Americans

  7. What about the guy who sold the stuff on Ebay? Have extradition proceedings commenced? Maybe they can send a crack team SWATters on a cross-border raid, to snatch him in the dead of night. Perp walks for all!

  8. “Boss, boss, we need a new Demon Drug, the meth crusade is getting old, money is tight, and they might cut our funding.” “Hey, how about about that stuff called Salvia?” “But nobody knows anything about it.” “Perfect, call the friendly mass media and get the propaganda started” “Now all we need are a few arrests and we have the ball rolling…”

  9. Kent Brockman: Let’s check the death count from the killer Salvia epidemic bearing down on us like a shotgun full of hippies.

    Reporter: Well, Kent, as of now the death count is zero. But it is ready to shoot right up.

    Kent: Oh my God. [shakes fist at heaven] Damn you Salvia!

  10. Episiarch,
    Sean is correct.
    Salvia Officinalis AKA Common/Kitchen Sage.
    Salvia Divinorum AKA Diviner’s Sage
    Salvia Libanotica AKA Mediterranian Sage
    Salvia Apiana AKA White or Smudge Sage

    I wish the non-horticulturist good luck in telling the plants apart. Mind you, possibly confusing plants has never played a part in whether or not the police raid your house at 5AM, even when the genus of the plants is wildly different. I expect this to only increase the number of raids on innocent gardeners. We can’t send the wrong message to the children now can we?

  11. That, of course, should have been Salvia Iibanotica. May Linnaeus have mercy on my soul.

  12. The only actual danger to saliva use I have heard proposed is that if you do it while driving, it would be really bad. Which, as anyone who has tried it will know, is a joke. Unless you decide to try it for the first time while actually driving a car, there is not even the remotest possibility of someone under the influence getting behind the wheel and driving (as should be clear from the You Tube videos).

  13. Clarification – That’s ~ 300 Americans

    And that’s ACUTE poisoning. I bet you couldn’t fit all the casualties of chronic abuse in Yankee stadium.

  14. I watched a couple of guys sit and smoke about an ounce of Salvia divinorum over a few hours. The most thrilling experience they reported was a headache and difficulty walking.

    The Salvia crackdown shows that what really irks drug warriors is altered states of consciousness, no matter what those states are actually like to the user. It’s simply the notion of altering one’s thought processes with something other than alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine that sets drug warriors frothing at the mouth.

    Outlawing Salvia divinorum is a farce, perpetrated by pious busybodies using empty Save the Children?, and perpetuated by scumbag politicians who will do anything to look like they’re tough on crime- even if it’s crime that doesn’t exist until they create it.

    Fuck every single politician who voted to outlaw yet another harmless plant to satisfy the insufferable moral do-gooders with which this country seems infested.

  15. Yeah, I mean the stuff blows, and they still can’t just let use it? How about outlawing things that are dangerous instead of pleasurable, like castor beans? Those things really will kill you.

    Or better yet, fuck off out of my shitty life. I’m smoking some kind of stinking salvia weed, isn’t that bad enough? Do I need any more hassles?

  16. And that’s ACUTE poisoning. I bet you couldn’t fit all the casualties of chronic abuse in Yankee stadium.

    Maybe you could. Stacked like cordwood.

  17. Meanwhile, for a lame-o like myself that only gets high legally, I guess my last refuge is the bad taste, then tranquility, and then subsequent migraine of kratom.

  18. *empty Save the Children? rhetoric* is what that line should read. Preview is my friend.

  19. Yeah, kratom sucks.

  20. I might imagine that being a control freak would make altered consciousness experiences extremely unpleasant. At least in my experience, going with the flow of the effects is the easiest way to enjoy it, and fighting it produces dysphoria.

    Maybe every busybody abolitionist is simply a person who can’t shake the memory of a bad trip, or more likely a person who has heard of such an experience from one of their equally control-freak acquaintances.

  21. LMNOP,

    You have a good point, but I don’t think most drug warriors deserve that much credit. They are control freaks, yes, but many of them also seem to be people who incapable of rational, objective analysis; they are black-and-white, right-and-wrong thinkers.

    I infer from the drug warriors I’ve interacted with that they simply do not accept any state of consciousness as valid except the one normal human beings experience at baseline, sans any substance crossing the blood-brain barrier. To them, simply inducing such a state is an act that, in itself, merits prohibition and prosecution. Indeed, most drug warriors are people who have never used any drugs at all, and wouldn’t know being stoned from wigging nuts on ‘shrooms.

  22. “Maybe every busybody abolitionist is simply a person who can’t shake the memory of a bad trip, or more likely a person who has heard of such an experience from one of their equally control-freak acquaintances.”

    Or maybe they are control freak prudes who can’t stand the idea of someone choosing to get high and feel good.

    When the revolution comes, I propose the busybody prohibitionists get rounded up first and herded into the nearest stadium for a strip / body cavity search followed by a public tarring and feathering.

  23. Elemenope:
    You are spot on. As a veteran at altering my consciousness with various peoples over the years – I’ve noticed there are certain types of people that are just TOO big of control freaks. They can’t fathom the idea of altered reality, it freaks them out. It’s their nature and was conditioned in them at an early age.

    It’s not a big deal, because from my personal experience they generally just decide by themselves that they can’t handle it and won’t do it. A bad trip is enough to make people swear off psychedelics for the rest of their lives.

    At no point is there a necessary law enforcement needed for this one.

    What’s happening here is these ‘groups’ are forcing legislation of their reality. They don’t want anyone operating outside of it and maybe picking up some independent thought for a change. Scary stuff, indeed.

  24. This is a classic example of government agencies inventing new reasons for continuing to exist.

  25. Hey! There are plenty of us “never have used any drugs” “think only in black and white” people who think this is dumb too.

    I don’t want any drugs, personally it has no appeal to me, and my low inhibition makes anything that might be addictive (not salvia from what I’ve read anyway) seem like a bad PERSONAL choice.

    But I still think in black and white. Fuck with someone else who isn’t hurting anyone, mostly bad. Minding your own business without screwing over someone else, mostly good.

    I have a pretty black and white view of who’s wrong here. It sure as hell isn’t the users of this drug.

  26. And that’s ACUTE poisoning. I bet you couldn’t fit all the casualties of chronic abuse in Yankee stadium.

    Maybe you could. Stacked like cordwood.

    Thanks for the image.

  27. Anon —

    Your hedging with the repeated use of the word “mostly” places you squarely outside the group of those who are compulsively compelled to see the world in B&W.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  28. Meanwhile ~300 people died of alcohol poisoning last year.

    There has been a death from this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Chidester

    If this is banned then no one will use it and there will be no more Bretts.

  29. How long before we see pay for a lovely new ONDCP advertisement decrying the dangers of salvia.

    I’m guessing it will be during the next major sporting event…

  30. Fuck drug users. I hope they go to jail, all of them. They CHOOSE to be idiots, so it’s our right to hate them, unlike Gays and Blacks who don’t have a choice in their little lots in life.

  31. If this is banned then no one will use it and there will be no more Bretts.

    Because then ALL the Bretts will be dead!!!

  32. Atinauj,
    No, Brett_Chidester killed himself. So technically in order to prevent the untimely death of Brett, HE should have been outlawed.

  33. I bet you couldn’t fit all the casualties of chronic abuse in Yankee stadium.

    Hell, I bet all the alcohol abuse casualties in the five boroughs alone would be SRO in Yankee Stadium.

  34. Or better yet, fuck off out of my shitty life. I’m smoking some kind of stinking salvia weed, isn’t that bad enough? Do I need any more hassles?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

  35. Funny story (well to me anyway) — my wife is 35 years old and was never a drinker, in fact if I’d seen her have more than a couple of beers over the first 10 years of our marriage (inclusive!) I’d be surprised. Last year we were out to eat at our favorite Spanish Bistro and were comp’ed after dinner drinks. So I order a round of Baileys on the rocks, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. So I buy a bottle of Baileys later that week when I am at the liquor store, and it becomes an every other day or so ritual — at 10PM now Dawn has Baileys on the rocks. Then she starts experimenting, all with sweet drinks (I call them candy) like pina coladas, mangotinis and so on. Over the course of the past year, she has worked her way into talking me into buying a bar for the living room, and has progressed into several fingers of vodka (it’s not just for penne, you know) with a twist of lime and seltzer. As for me, I mostly stick to copious quantities of wine, with an occasional brandy or cognac.

    Home life has never been better.

    Anyway, my point is that Baileys is the gateway drink for serious alcohol use!

  36. Kwix got burned by a Juanita clone. Ha! pwned like a H&R rookie. 😉

  37. when these people find out about Robotripping we all will suffer.

  38. these should all be banned also.
    7 common foods that can get you high

  39. sixstring: Girl drink drunk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epa5YZIJU8I

  40. tried it once years ago. effects were unpleasant, prickling needle sensation whenever I moved, and the effects lasted oh, maybe 30 whole seconds. “much ado about nothing” here.

  41. No, Brett_Chidester killed himself. So technically in order to prevent the untimely death of Brett, HE should have been outlawed.

    True, but he killed himself because he used the dangerous narcotic salvia. This is why we need to ban it. His parents are pushing for this, it is what he would have wanted.

  42. Water is a gateway liquid!

  43. Y’know, I thought Atinauj was some sort of middle eastern name. Then I read it backwards.

  44. His parents are pushing for this, it is what he would have wanted.

    Juanita-clone, exactly what drug is it that you smoke that allows you contact with the dead?

  45. His parents are pushing for this, it is what he would have wanted.

    naw, homeslice probably should have consulted the mantis first.

  46. Sorry to sort of respond to AtinaujjuanitA, but

    The Brett’s law thing is the worst, most upsetting way to get legislations passed. Some hysterical parents can’t accept the fact that their son had problems, so they have to find something to blame it on. Add some idiot medical examiner who will actually buy that as a cause of death and some legislators willing to do anything “for the childrenses” and here we are.

  47. … anything “for the childrenses” and here we are.

    Might a strong, effective law with sever penalties prevent others from trying this. I don’t see how we can allow anything intoxicating to be legal.

  48. Juanita-clone, exactly what drug is it that you smoke that allows you contact with the dead?

    I don’t talk to the dead, but I just assumed he would want his death to not be in vain, but to cause passage of a law to protect other children from dying from salvia. If it is not illegal, how else can the cops protect the kids. We need a strong, effective law to prevent more deaths, I am talking severe penalties, like several decades in prison for posession. Then salvia will go away ecause no one breaks a law like that.

  49. I just assumed he would want his death to not be in vain.

    Considering that he was cripplingly clinically depressed, you probably assumed wrong.

    And since the interval between his use of Saliva and his suicide was several months, why is it you aren’t looking to ban every other activity he undertook between the two?

  50. Then salvia will go away because no one breaks a law like that.

    ROFLMAO!

    Seriously. Actually rolling on the floor. Laughing my ass off. Someone must have slipped me salvia or something.

    Please tell me, juanita-clone, how would Brett’s life be if he was made to rot in prison for decades? Do you think that would have sufficiently depressed him to commit suicide? Hey, maybe we should ban prisons, because they are dangerous for kids.

  51. “… bearing down on us like a shotgun full of hippies.”

    Heh heh. That’s a keeper.

  52. Hm… Ecstacy, caugh syrup, public tobacco smoking and now this. At the rate we’re going I will live to see congress ban all inedible plants.

  53. Oh, salvia. I thought it was saliva.

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