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California becomes 11th state to restrict salvia

July 23, 2008 | 10:51 am

Salvia1 Minors in California will no longer be able to buy the herb salvia legally. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Tuesday that forbids the sale or distribution of salvia to minors. California is the eleventh state to apply some restrictions on use of the drug.

Salvia, or Salvia divinorum, is an herb found in Mexico that was traditionally used by Mazatec Indians for healing. Dried salvia leaves can be smoked or chewed to produce a high that ranges from a minute to a half hour. Users report hallucinating, an out-of-body feeling and losing control over their movements. The fact that the herb can be purchased by anyone at tobacco shops and on the Internet has concerned some law enforcement and health officials who say the substance is dangerous. The Drug Enforcement Administration is studying whether to designate salvia as a controlled substance.

The ban in California will take effect on Jan. 1, 2009. The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia), who said this morning: "This bill had a tremendous amount of backing, and I'm grateful the governor recognized the wisdom of signing the bill."

Salvia remains legal for adults, although it's not popular and many one-time users say they disliked the effects. The herb is also the subject of research to determine if it has legitimate therapeutic uses for the treatment of substance-abuse disorders, pain or depression.

-- Shari Roan

Photo: Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times 

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Comments (4)

Hello, I tried salvia for the first time yesterday, I had heard lots about this legal high. I have done LSD and Magic Mushrooms in the past, so I figured this couldnt be any more hallucinogenic seeing that it's TOTALLY legal...

Boy, was I wrong. When I bought the 1gram package of 10x Salvia the guy behing the counter told me to do a verrrrry little amount for the first time and make sure I had someone around who could watch over me (called a "sitter") I didnt listen to a word this guy said and went home. When I got home I put 1/4 of the gram into a homemade pipe made out of a pepsi bottle, and lit it with a butane torch lighter (apparantly it has to burn at a very high temperature to get the high) I managed to take in the whole 1/4 gram in one deep inhale. I held it in for about 30 seconds and got up to place the pipe on the table.... then it hit me, my first immidiate thought was "What have I done to Myself???" It was immidiate regret, the floor was firing bullets at me then the room began to spin violently. I panicked and fell to the ground, I totally forgot that I smoked salvia and this was about 40 seconds after doing so... anyway, as I lay on the floor I looked down at my feet and they were being consumed by this mass tornado of furniture, I began crawling away from this couch monster, as I looked forward I realized I was on a game show and the only way to win was to get away from the swirling mass and not be eaten by my couch. I was attempting to crawl forward but seemed to be moving backwards. There was no way for me to snap myself back to reality because THIS WAS MY REALITY, you forget your high and it seems real. So as I was crawling I wasnt getting anywhere and my co-workers were in my house saying "everything will be ok, just keep crawling" ( I had just gotten off of work and was alone, maybe this is why I saw my co-workers) And as soon as it began it ended. When I came to I was clinging on to the corner of my wall that goes into the kitchen for dear life. I was drenched in sweat. The "severe" tripping was over, I somehow managed to get up and walk to my couch, as I did, A&E chanel was playing the movie "Die Hard" . The characters in the movie were talking directly to me telling me that my girlfrind knew that I tried Salivia, somehow I had told her. I immideatly got up and unplugged my phone, uplugged my internet connection and closed the blinds. Even the afterglow was "trippy" . As I was laying on my couch I could sense what my couch was feeling emotionally, and it seemed sad/angry.

This stuff is totally insane, I threw the other 3/4 gram in the garbage, swearing never to touch it again. No drug I've ever tried was this intense and horrifying. AND IT'S TOTALLY LEGAL???! Somethings wrong here...
Never ever try this stuff...

That was my experience.

I tried salvia a couple times and had a very pleasant experience. I also have tried LSD and mushrooms but it has been quite a while and I have become leery (no pun intended) of intense psychedelics, particularly LSD.

The first time I tried salvia I sat back in a chair after one big hit. I immediately felt calm and slightly euphoric. I soon began to notice that ordinary reality began to fade away and I was overwhelmed with the sense that my spirit self (for lack of a better term) was separating from my physical, emotional, and psychological self. The effect of this was a profound perspective on myself and my relationship to both my smaller and greater world. I had the incredible sense of affirmation that who I am and what I value and my behavior in the global sense was ok, that I was doing really well. I also experienced some vivid visual and auditory hallucinations, but they seemed secondary to the other experiences. I had a sense of timelessness but others said I was "gone" for about 5 minutes. As I began to come down I recognized my surroundings and the people there, I was filled with immense joy and began belly laughing. Later I attempted to describe my subjective experience, this account being a pared down version of what I can now recall. Afterwards, my wife and friends told my whole body went slack and seemed uninhabited.

This is only my experience and is in no way an endorsement of experimentation with this medicine; that is a personal choice and should be left as such. In retrospect, I am glad to have had the experience and feel that it helped me in a profound way. I feel better off for having had the experience. If someone is considering trying this drug I think that they should first and foremost be mature enough to maintain some perspective while under the influence of such a substance; but also, be in a safe environment, have a few people you trust around to hold the space, and be in a relatively stable state of mind. Realize that this is a powerful mind altering experience even though the most intense parts are relatively short in duration.

I would also like to encourage people to think critically about the effects of encouraging further insertion of governmental power and oversight into our lives and the bogus prerogatives that prohibition takes with our freedoms. This nation was founded on the principals of the dignity of independence and relative autonomy of the individual; let’s not continue to compromise our freedoms with the failed promises of further regulation.

wow ... i cant wait to try it ...

They did not restrict salvia, they made it illegal to sell to minors, which make total sense and won't end up costing us, tax payers, millions.


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