Salvia Ban Nearing Passage

The North Carolina legislature is moving closer to banning the psychoactive herb plant salvia divinorum that, although it is used in landscaping and decoration as well, has also become popular on college campuses throughout the country, as yet another substance with hallucinogenic qualities.

The plant, which comes from Mexico and has a long history, being known as the “Diviner’s Sage”, used by shamans to produce hallucinations, is, at the moment, completely legal in many states, although many, like North Carolina are moving to ban its importation, sale or possession. At least fourteen other states have already regulated the plant.

The bill before the North Carolina legislature would impose a minimum $25 fine for a first offense of manufacturing, selling delivering or possessing salvia divinorum for any purpose other than decoration. Subsequent offenses would merit stiffer penalties. At the moment, in North Carolina, the use of the plant is completely legal, a condition this legislation is designed to address.

North Carolina Senator, Bill Purcell, a Laurinburg Democrat says that the intent of the legislation is not to “put people in jail”, but to regulate its use because of the alarming rise of its use as a psychoactive substance.

The North Carolina Senate voted in the Spring on this legislation, and it must be approved by one more committee before it can reach the House floor. It is working its way through that process at this moment.