TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State lawmakers are considering a ban on what is being called the new marijuana. Salvia divinorum is a hallucinogenic herb that's inexpensive and easy to obtain.
Florida state Rep. Mary Brandenburg has introduced a bill to make possession of salvia a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. State Sen. Evelyn Lynn, whose committee plans to study the salvia bill today, says the drug should be criminalized.
Native to Mexico and still grown there, salvia divinorum is generally smoked but can also be chewed or made into a tea and drunk.
Called nicknames like Sally-D, Magic Mint and Diviner's Sage, salvia is a hallucinogen that gives users an out-of-body sense of traveling through time and space or merging with inanimate objects. Unlike hallucinogens like LSD or PCP, however, salvia's effects last for a shorter time, generally up to an hour.
No known deaths have been attributed to salvia's use, but it was listed as a factor in one Delaware teen's suicide two years ago.