While most people have heard of Marijuana and other types of drugs derived from plants, few are as familiar with the growing recent bans on Salvia. Salvia is a kind of mint plant with wide leaves. It had long been used by people as ground cover for gardening and landscaping. It was actually lawful throughout the United States until just a few years ago.

The plant is basically grown in Oaxaca, Mexico. It has an active ingredient named salvinorin. That is a chemical which affects the brain causing hallucinations, dizziness and other outcomes similar to many types of banned drugs. The plant got attention the last few years because of increased use by young people. In fact, videos have been posted on the Internet showing young people smoking the leaves. The plant is banned in a number of Countries including Australia, Belgium and Italy. In the United States, many legislators have introduced bills to ban the plant. At present it is banned outright, for persons under 18 or as altered from its plant makeup in a number of states including Missouri, Delaware, North Dakota, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana, Illinois and Virginia.

Ocean City Maryland passed a town ban on possession of the plant through an emergency billed August 3, 2008. In April 2009 three businesses were cited in violation of the ban. Time will tell if Salvia becomes banned in every state. In addition, the Federal Government is reviewing whether the plant should be added to the list of banned substances and criminalized.