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Controlling salvia.

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In recent years, the drug Salvia divinorum, or Salvia, has gained the attention of state legislators. It's an herb related to mint, and native to parts of Mexico, where it has been used as part of indigenous religious rituals. Common ways of ingesting it include infusing it into a tea, smoking dried leaves and chewing it.

In the United States, the use of Salvia is most common among 18- to 25-year-olds and to a much lesser extent among younger adolescents. The psychoactive effects of Salvia are hallucinogenic and vary based on the method of ingestion. For example, smoking Salvia can lead to strong, instantaneous effects, whereas chewing it or drinking tea can lead to longer lasting, but milder, reactions. Some common effects include uncontrollable laughter, visions, feelings of sadness and loss of physical coordination.

So far, there has been limited study into the long-term effects of Salvia, its potential for addiction or abuse, or its potential medicinal benefits. Initial studies have found that, since Salvia increases dopamine levels in the brain, it contains the potential to be addictive. Other studies, though, have found that Salvia may have some medicinal value in treating gastrointestinal disorders.

No federal laws control or regulate the distribution of Salvia. Since 2006, lawmakers in 20 states, however, have passed laws ranging from banning anyone from selling it to minors to outlawing it entirely. Several states have classified Salvia as a Schedule 1 substance, modeled after the federal Controlled Substances Act, where Schedule 1 substances are considered to have a high potential for dependency and no accepted medical use.

STATES WITH SALVIA LAWS

California

Delaware

Florida

Illinois

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Mississippi

Missouri

Nebraska

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

South Dakota

Tennessee

West Virginia

Wisconsin

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Title Annotation:TRENDS AND TRANSITIONS
Publication:State Legislatures
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2010
Words:292
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