Drug Policy

The Salvia Ban Wagon Rolls On


The Drug War Chronicle reports that two more states are moving toward restrictions on Salvia divinorum, the psychedelic herb that remains legal in most of the country but may not stay that way for long. On Monday the Minnesota Senate approved a bill that would make possession of salvia or its main active ingredient, salvinorin A, a misdemeanor; selling either form of the drug would be a gross misdemeanor. The bill, which already has been approved by the House Public Safety and Oversight Committee, would make Minneosta the 18th state to ban salvia.

In Maryland, meanwhile, the state Senate on Monday approved a bill that prohibits the distribution of salvia to anyone younger than 21. As I noted in my December 2009 Reason feature story about the salvia crackdown, Maryland's House of Delegates last year approved similar age restrictions, a major improvement on the blanket ban legislators had been considering. Maryland would become the third state, in addition to California and Maine, to forbid sales to minors but not adults, following the approach recommended by the Drug Policy Alliance.

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  1. All your minds are belong to us.

  2. If someone discored tobacco today, it would be considered a drug and banned.

  3. insanity. more bans just fucking slow down research into a possible non-addictive opioid pain killer that may also not cause tolerance called herkinorin which is synthesized from salvinorin. more government, less freedom, thats the (current) American Way.

  4. Keep this in mind when Tim Pawleny (who will undoubtedly sign the bill)makes a run for the presidency.

  5. “If someone discovered tobacco today, it would be considered a drug and banned.”

    And, how about coffee? Caffeine is a addictive, mood-altering drug if the ever was one.

  6. For chrissakes, this is all much ado about not a goddam thing.

  7. Government cracking down on something I never even heard of, wow, I am so unhip.

    So what does this stuff do to you?

    1. It’s a powerful hallucinogenic that lasts a few minutes.

      1. If by “powerful” you mean, “extremely mild with a more noticeable nauseating effect”, sure.

        A buddy tried the stuff for a week and ended up throwing out the majority of it. He was like, “a bottle of cough syrup has way more kick, and doesnt make your apartment smell like hippy farts” Maybe he was preparing it wrong or something (I think he just smoked it a la pot), but I heard similar reports from others.

        Naturally, rumors of its efficacy have attracted the attention of lawmakers: ” Dear God = a harmless plant that gets people (sorta) high? This MUST BE STOPPED IMMEDIATELY”

        1. Your buddy definitely did it wrong. In order to achieve the true effects, one must smoke it with a torch lighter out of a water pipe, and hold in in as long as possible.

          Alternatively, a clump of leaves can be chewed for about an hour, but this typically isn’t done outside of shamanic circles.

          Done properly, Salvia Divinorum is an extremely powerful dissociative hallucinogen. There are reports of people becoming violent or injuring themselves, but the instances are rare, certainly more so than with alcohol.

          The majority of those partaking of the herb find its effects quite unpleasant and indeed counter addictive. Sale to minors should be restricted, however, an outright ban is outright ridiculous.

          For more information on diviner’s sage, including experience reports and chemical information, check out Erowid.org.

          1. “In order to achieve the true effects, one must smoke it with a torch lighter out of a water pipe, and hold in in as long as possible.”

            this is mostly true. you can actually blow the smoke out shortly after inhaling. but to get the strongest effect you need to inhale a large volume of smoke with the least amount of air possible. The surest way to get a salvia trip is to use a waterpipe with a large bowl and chamber, but no need to hold the smoke in your lungs for any longer than a second at most

            Also keep in mind that a large minority of people (possibly up to 50%) are not susceptible to all of (or even any of) the effects of salvia

  8. “””In Maryland, meanwhile, the state Senate on Monday approved a bill that prohibits the distribution of salvia to anyone younger than 21.”””

    This just in, Mother Nature found dead in Maryland prison.

  9. If someone discored tobacco today, it would be considered a drug and banned.

    In ten years or so, it will be. Big Tobacco! already got its regulatory-monopoly severance pay.

  10. Does this plant cause negores to go after white women?


    1. No.

  11. Sounds kinda crazy when you think about it.


  12. So when the first violent Salvia dealers are taken down, should we wonder how it was that we somehow never noticed these people until Salvia was banned?

  13. not to mention there are no reports of a lethal human overdose of Saliva divinorum nor salvinorin A, B, etc.

  14. In Maryland, meanwhile, the state Senate on Monday approved a bill that prohibits the distribution of salvia to anyone younger than 21.

    Whoa, hold up….did they actually make a reasonable law? On the recommendation of the DPA?! WTF, am I dreaming? Am I accidentally reading The Onion? What’s going on here!?!

    1. I know, I was thinking the same thing.

    2. I wouldn’t call something that prevents consenting adults aged 18-20 from buying plant matter a reasonable law.
      though it is better than an outright ban, its still a lesser of two evils.
      though age restrictions on Salvia is nothing new, Maine and California have more reasonable laws, they only ban the sale to people under the age of 18. I believe Wisconsin has an under 18 restriction too.
      there are also several states that have an outright ban, but they have an exemption on growing Salvia for aesthetic, landscaping, and decorative purposes.
      the 21 and over restrictions for alcohol, salvia, and any other substance is bullshit.

  15. I have searched for 30 years evidence that cannabis leads to any problem (other than related to its criminalization). I found NOTHING. Only the confusion between ‘A implies B’ and ‘B implies A’. I have searched for two years if Salvia leads to problems. I found nothing, except those same incredible repetation of always the same error in logic/statistics. There is no drug problems. There is only a grave education problem. And that’s all benefits for the drug lords and all sort of bandits. The banning of products which are neither toxic nor addictive is a symptom of how we are still irrational in the applied human sciences. That is a shame, a pity, and this put all our children in danger.
    Don’t vote for politicians who play hard on drugs, because they are the objective allies of the bandits and drugs lords. All drugs should be made legal. The very dangerous one, like heroin should be sold with medical prescription. The dangerous one, like alcohol and tobacco, should be sold only to adults. The psycho-active one, but without any toxicity or addiction, and which grows easily everywhere, like cannabis, salvia and magic mushrooms, should be sold freely in the supermarkets. If that is done, the word “drug” and the related problem will disappear. There is NO drug problems, only an artificial drug war problem; a bit like with the 1925 alcohol prohibition, which makes people like Al Capon possible. It is about time to wake up a little bit on that grave health problem generated by non educated politicians.

  16. there are studies that show it has therapeutic effects, it shouldn’t be in a category of drugs that have no medical use. there is a long, continuing tradition of Salvia use as a sacrament in Aztec and other Central American cultures. there is even a Quaker church in Canada that uses Salvia divinorum to aid in meditation. racist, xenophobic drug laws that violate the freedom of religion. as this not only violates the incorporated federal 1st amendment, as well as freedom of religion amendments in state constitutions, it violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. I am fairly confident that these state level Salvia bans could be defeated in court with the right defense team.

  17. Keep that wagon rolling! Salvia should have been banned years ago. It is the most potent hallucinogen known, more potent than LSD. It have been proven to cause COMPLETE PSYCHOSIS in a single use. (source: American Journal of Psychiatry). WHY DOES THE DEA/FDA CONNTINUE TO ALLOW THIS DANGEROUS DRUG TO BE LEGAL?
    Regulation is long overdue.
    SOS Coalition
    Stamp Out Salvia

  18. The Air Force and the Navy have already banned its use among servicemembers (I suspect the Army and Marines have as well, but I don’t know for sure.) Not only that, the Air Force policy letter included words to the effect that taking any substance to alter one’s mood can result in punishment under UCMJ (not counting MD-prescribed stuff.) (Sorry — don’t have the memo in front of me right now.)

    1. So no more beer in the O-club?

  19. Lucky I buy my salvia from potentsalvia.com. It is a shame though that this legislation keeps moving forward.

  20. Salvia Divinorum is starting to garner attention as an herb that can have an impact on a stunning array of diseases. I cannot understand why government is taking steps to ban it.

  21. Thank you for this great information.
    very useful post.
    keep up great writing.

  22. many things can cause psychosis, tons of them legal and not even drug related. get a bigger axe, the stem of salvia is pretty secure.

  23. There are 2 strains of Salvia, one is hallucinogenic, the other is not.

    When smoked under a gas flame-lighter via a pipe it is a relaxant and sleep inducer with no hang overs.

    The dried leaf can also be blended with a mint flavored tea [or similar] to improve taste, which when drunk kicks in to a lesser degree after about 10 minutes, the effect is a soothing & calming relaxant.

    So, make sure you are using the right salvia variety that has the hallucinogen in it….easy!

    When harvesting, dry in a dark, dry place inside a cotton pillow case or similar.

  24. BOOOO! Our government is so hypocritical. They ban plants, while the FDA is running around in the background approving all sorts of meds that sometimes include these banned plants. It’s all about the money. Greedy buggers.

  25. If you would like to see salvia divinorum protected under the law in New York State, please consider signing this petition. THANK YOU!!


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