Miss. businesses warned against selling Salvia Divinorum

By Nick Rees | Sep 24, 2008

Jim Hood (D)

JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - A crackdown on Salvia Divinorum, a herb known to induce strong psychedelic effects, has begun in Mississippi, state Attorney General Jim Hood said.

A July 1 state law made the plant a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. Possession of the substance can result in felony charges.

Hood has warned business owners that it is no longer legal to sell Salvia Divinorum and that law enforcement officials have begun to actively stop its sale.

"Many local law enforcement officers are going around and removing salvia from stores within their respective jurisdictions," Hood said in a statement."If the stores have the product, they are given a warning and notified of the recent changes in the law. If they are caught a second time, they will face charges."

Salvia Divinorum was first discovered in the late 1930's by anthropologists studying medicinal and magical cures in Mexico.

It is mainly found in the Mazateca region of Mexico. The first time it appeared in print was in 1939 when Jean Basset Johnson, studying Mazatec shamanism, published a report.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that for 2006, an estimated 1.8 million people 12 years and older has used Salvia Divinorum in their lifetime. Approximately 750,000 of those had done so in the past year.

Salvia Divinorum has already been outlawed in Mississippi, Delaware, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Tennessee. Legislation against Salvia Divinorum has been proposed in Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The drug is not currently regulated under the Controlled Substances Act. An amendment to the act was proposed at the federal level in 2002 by Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., but the measure did not pass.

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