Salvia Ban Gains Support in Ocean City

Leaders in Ocean City, MD are approaching the state legislature to encourage their support on legislation regulating salvia divinorum, the hallucinogenic plant that can be found in some shops near the Ocean City boardwalk.

The Drug Enforcement Agency, the federal body responsible for enforcing the law with regard to outlawed substances, says symptoms of salvia intoxication include visual hallucinations, dizziness, and altered speech. Previous efforts to curb recreational use of the drug, including a band initiated in the Maryland General Assembly, died on the floor in a session earlier this year.

Even the local purveyors of the substance, such as Tal Hodara who manages a shop which sells the substance, say that the drug induces hallucinations. Hodara sells small quantities of the drug, an herb, with $200 per cap-full being the going rate. Like other supporters of the drug, Hodara says it is safe and non-addictive.

The Drug Enforcement Agency, however, calls it a “concern”. Some Ocean City visitors and locals admit to being disturbed by the possibilities of a “drug” being sold openly on the street. Town leaders, however, are resolute and hope to see legislation submitted by delegate Jim Mathias, D-38B, pass and the substance be outlawed for all of Maryland’s residents.