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Salvia Divinorum Legal News

last updated on April 21, 2009

Documents by Dr. Roland Griffiths and Dr. Matthew Johnson of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, presented as testimony opposing efforts to make Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A Schedule I controlled substance in the state of Maryland (info from sagewisdom.org)

The authors present a well-reasoned, scientifically informed, perspective on the relative safety of Salvia divinorum and its importance in medical research. They argue that excessively restrictive regulation would seriously impede promising medical research.

Scientific Considerations Concerning Saliva divinorum and Salvinorin A: Implications for Proposed Legislation

Testimony on Regulation of Salvia divinorum

Domains of Concern for Drugs of Abuse

An Overview of Various Drug Regulation Options

 

US States with Laws Prohibiting Salvia Divinorum Use (info from sagewisdom.org)

Illegal (Schedule I)
  Delaware
  Florida
  Illinois
  Kansas
  Mississippi
  Missouri
  Nebraska (beginning September 2009)
  North Dakota
  Ohio
  Oklahoma
  South Dakota
  Virginia

Only Legal When Not Intended for Human Consumption
  Louisiana
  Tennessee

Legal for Adults, but Illegal To Sell to Minors
  California
  Maine (possession by minors also illegal)

 

US States with Legislation in Progress Toward Prohibiting Salvia Divinorum Use (some info from sagewisdom.org)

Oregon
Efforts to ban Salvia divinorum were renewed in 2007. On January 25 of that year, Representative John Lim (R) introduced House Bill 2494 to the Oregon State Legislature. If passed, this legislation would make Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A Schedule I controlled substances in that state. Possession would be punishable by a maximum of 1 year’s imprisonment, a $6250 fine, or both. Manufacture or delivery would be punishable by a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $375,000 fine, or both.

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Alaska
On April 5, 2006, Senator Gene Therriault (R) introduced Senate Bill 313 to the Alaska State Legislature. This bill sought to add Salvia divinorum to Schedule IIA of that state’s list of controlled substances. The bill was amended on April 22, 2006, to include salvinorin A in the wording. The bill died in committee without floor debate. Senator Therriault renewed his efforts the following year. On January 16, 2007, he reintroduced the same legislation as Senate Bill 38. Again, the bill died in committee. On January 21, 2009, Senator Therriault continued his crusade against salvia by reintroducing the same legislation once again, as Senate Bill 52.

Click Here to Find Alaska State Legislators' Contact Info

New Jersey
On April 6, 2006, Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D) of New Jersey announced that she was crafting legislation to ban Salvia divinorum in her state. On May 15, 2006, Senator Stephen Sweeney (D) introduced Senate Bill 1867 to the State Senate. Assemblywoman Stender introduced an identical bill to the State Assembly on May 22, 2006. It is designated Assembly Bill 3139 and is cosponsored by Assemblyman Jack Conners (D) and Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D). If passed, these bills would classify Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A as Schedule I controlled substances in New Jersey. Both bills died in committee with the dissolution of the 2006–2007 legislative session. On January 8, 2008, Assemblywoman Stender reintroduced the same legislation. This version is designated Assembly Bill 1323 and it adds Assemblywoman Sandra Love (D) to the previous group of cosponsors.

Click Here to Find New Jersey State Legislators' Contact Info

Pennsylvania
Efforts to make Salvia divinorum a Schedule I controlled substance in Pennsylvania were renewed in 2009, with the introduction of House Bill 559. This bill was introduced by several of the same Representatives (Beyer, Boyd, Fabrizio, Harper, Sabatina, Saylor, Siptroth, True), plus Represenatives John Bear (R), Joseph Brennan (D), Brian Ellis (R), Mike Fleck (R), Dan Frankel (D), Richard Geist (R), Keith Gillespie (R), Mauree Gingrich (R), Glen Grell (R), Seth Grove (R), Patrick Harkins (D), Tim Hennessey (R), John Hornaman (D), Rob Kauffman (R), William Kortz (D), Mark Longietti (D), Jennifer Mann (D), Jim Marshall (R), David Millard (R), Ron Miller (R), Duane Milne (R), Thomas Murt (R), Eddie Pashinski (D), Jeffrey Pyle (R), Douglas Reichley (R), Mario Scavello (R), Ken Smith (D), RoseMarie Swanger (R), Randy Vulakovich (R), and Katharine Watson (R).

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Iowa
On January 18, 2007, the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy introduced Senate Study Bill 1051 to the Iowa State Legislature (this was replaced by Senate File 69 on January 30, 2007, by the Senate Committee on Judiciary). Identical legislation was introduced in the House, on February 1, 2007, as House Study Bill 133 (this was replaced by House File 491 on February 22, 2007, by the House Committee on Judiciary). These bills sought to add Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A to Iowa’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. If enacted, they would make it a class C felony for any unauthorized person to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver Salvia divinorum or salvinorin A, including its counterfeit or a simulated form, or to act with, enter into a common scheme or design with, or conspire with one or more other persons to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver. These bills also make it a serious misdemeanor for any unauthorized person to possess Salvia divinorum or salvinorin A. A class C felony is punishable by confinement for no more than 10 years and a fine of at least $1000 but not more than $10,000. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by confinement for no more than one year and a fine of at least $315 but not more than $1875.
        The same legislation was reintroduced in 2009. First as House File 2, which was introduced by Representative Mark Smith (D) on January 12, 2009. Then as Senate Study Bill 1028, which was introduced by Senators Keith Kreiman (D), Steve Warnstadt (D), and Nancy Boettger (R) on January 14, 2009. On February 2, 2009, the House Committee on Human Resources (2009) replaced House File 2 with House File 178. Each of these bills seek to add Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A to Iowa’s list of Schedule I controlled substances.

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Georgia
On March 1, 2007, Senator John Bulloch (R) introduced Senate Bill 295 to the Georgia State Legislature. The wording of this bill is almost identical to that of a bill previously enacted in Tennessee. If passed, this bill would make it a misdemeanor crime to knowingly produce, manufacture, distribute, possess, or possess with intent to produce, manufacture, or distribute the active chemical ingredient in Salvia divinorum. This law would not apply to the possession, planting, cultivation, growing, or harvesting of Salvia divinorum strictly for aesthetic, landscaping, or decorative purposes. Nor would it apply to any dosage form recognized by the FDA as a homeopathic drug.

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Texas
On March 2, 2007, Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson (R) introduced House Bill 2347 to the Texas State Legislature. This bill sought to add salvinorin A and Salvia divinorum to Penalty Group 2 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act. Two more salvia-related bills were filed with the State Legislature on March 9, 2007. One of these, House Bill 3784, was introduced by Representative Tan Parker (R). That bill sought to add salvinorin A and Salvia divinorum to Penalty Group 3 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act. The other, Senate Bill 1796, was introduced by Senator Craig Estes (R). It would have made it a crime to sell Salvia divinorum to anyone younger than 18 years of age. The text of the bill only mentions Salvia divinorum. Salvinorin A is not mentioned. The offence would be a Class C misdemeanor. This bill passed in the Senate (ayes: 31, nays: 0) on April 26, 2007. It did not come up for a vote in the House. Ultimately, all three bills died in committee.
        State lawmakers renewed their efforts to regulate salvia the following year. On November 10, 2008, Representative Anderson introduced House Bill 126. This bill seeks to add S. divinorum and salvinorin A to Penalty Group 3 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act. Interestingly, it specifically excludes unharvested Salvia divinorum growing in its natural state. That same day, Senator Estes reintroduced his previous bill, now designated Senate Bill 257, which, if enacted, would make it a misdemeanor to sell or deliver Salvia divinorum or salvinorin A to minors. A companion bill, House Bill 839, was introduced by Representative Armando Martinez on January 29, 2009. Senate Bill 257 was amended in committee to include salvinorin A. The amended version was approved by the Senate on April 2, 2009 (ayes: 31, nays: 0).

Click Here to Find Texas State Legislators' Contact Info

Massachusetts
On May 16, 2007, Representatives Viriato deMacedo (R) and Daniel Webster (R) introduced House Bill 4434 to the Massachusetts State Legislature. If enacted, this legislation would make Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A Class C controlled substances in that state. A city ordinance, enacted in April 2008, prohibits the sale of Salvia divinorum in the town of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. On January 28, 2009, Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo proposed an ordinance that would make it illegal to sell or possess Salvia divinorum in Boston. Violators would be levied a $300 fine. The City Council is expected to vote on the matter in mid-February.

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Wisconsin
On August 7, 2007, Representatives Sheldon Wasserman (D), David Cullen (D), John Townsend (R), Mike Sheridan (D), Alvin Ott (R), Jake Hines (R), and Terese Berceau (D) introduced Assembly Bill 477 to the Wisconsin State Legislature. If passed, this bill would prohibit manufacturing, distributing, or delivering the active chemical ingredient in the plant Salvia divinorum (salvinorin A) with the intent that it be consumed by a person. Curiously, the bill makes an exception to this prohibition for salvinorin A that is recognized by the FDA as a homeopathic drug and that may be obtained from a retail store without a prescription. The penalty for violating the prohibition is a fine not to exceed $10,000. The bill died in committee. This legislation was reintroduced during the next legislative session as Assembly Bill 186. It was introduced on April 2, 2009, by Representative Cullen, together with Representatives Tony Staskunas (D), Jon Richards (D), Scott Gunderson (R), Terese Berceau (D), Stephen Nass (R), Joel Kleefisch (R), Garey Bies (R), and Richard Spanbauer (R). The bill was cosponsored by Senators Jeffrey Plale (D), Lena Taylor (D), and John Lehman (D).

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Alabama
On February 3, 2009, Senator Erwin introduced Senate Bill 42, which again proposes to add both Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. Identical legislation was introduced in the House on February 12, 2009, when Representatives Laura Hall (D), Mac McCutcheon (R), Randy Hinshaw (D), Butch Taylor (D), Mike Ball (R), and Howard Sanderford (R) introduced House Bill 475.

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Indiana
On January 10, 2008, Representatives Suzanne Crouch (R) and Dennis Avery (D) introduced House Bill 1178 to the Indiana State Legislature. If enacted, this legislation would make Salvia divinorum, salvinorin A, and “any of the active ingredients of Salvia divinorum” Schedule I controlled substances in that state. Under the bill, manufacturing or selling salvia would be a Class B felony with a penalty of 6 to 20 years; selling it to anyone under 18 years of age would be a Class A felony punishable by 20 to 50 years.

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Maryland
On January 28, 2008, Councilwoman Belinda Conaway (D), together with several cosponsors (all Democrats), introduced Bill No. 08-0032 and Bill No. 08-0006R to the Baltimore City Council. These bills sought to prohibit the sale, possession, and use of salvia, but they never made it out of committee. According to an article in the Baltimore Examiner, Conaway said she wasn’t aware of a problem in Baltimore City, but she wanted “to be on the front end.” Other Maryland officials said they did not see salvia use as a widespread problem.
        On January 14, 2009, Delegates Jeannie Haddaway (R) and Adelaide Eckardt (R) introduced House Bill 8 to the State Legislature. Senate Bill 9 was introduced that same day by Senator Richard Colburn (R). Both of these bills seek to add Salvia divinorum to Maryland’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. Neither bill makes any mention of salvinorin A. That oversight was corrected soon after. On January 28, 2009, Senator Lisa Gladden (D) introduced Senate Bill 317. On February 13, 2009, Delegates James Mathias (D), Rudolph Cane (D), Norman Conway (D), and David Rudolph (D) introduced House Bill 1261. These bills would add both Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A to Maryland’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. Dr. Roland Griffiths and Dr. Matthew Johnson of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have presented testimony opposing this bill.

Click Here to Find Maryland State Legislators' Contact Info

Michigan
On February 12, 2008, Representative Michael Sak (D) introduced House Bill 5700 to the Michigan State Legislature. If passed, this legislation would make Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A Schedule I controlled substances in that state. The House voted in favor of the bill on March 3, 2008 (ayes: 106, nays: 0). It has not yet come up for a vote in the Senate.

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Hawaii
On January 22, 2007, Senator Colleen Hanabusa (D) introduced Senate Bill 1487 to the Hawaii State Legislature. Its stated purpose was to make Hawaii’s controlled substance laws consistent with that of federal law. The House Committee on Health amended the bill in March 2008 with wording that would have included Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A in Schedule I of the State’s list of controlled substances. Fortunately, the House Committee on Judiciary removed this wording in a later amendment.
        On January 15, 2008, Representatives Barbara Marumoto (R), Cindy Evans (D), Ken Ito (D), Blake Oshiro (D), Tommy Waters (D), Ryan Yamane (D), and Kyle Yamashita (D) introduced House Bill 2179 to the State Legislature. Its sole purpose is to make Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A Schedule I controlled substances in Hawaii. As of this writing, the bill has not come up for a vote.

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Kentucky
On February 3, 2009, Representatives Will Coursey (D), Greg Stumbo (D), and Jody Richards (D) introduced House Bill 228 to the Kentucky State Legislature. This bill would make Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A Schedule I controlled substances in that state. In an effort to prevent stockpiling by individuals for future use, it would declare an emergency, meaning that the law would go into effect immediately upon its passage and approval by the Governor or upon its otherwise becoming a law. The House voted in favor of the bill on February 24, 2009 (ayes: 99, nays: 0). It has not yet come up for a vote in the Senate.

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North Carolina
On February 11, 2009, Senators William Purcell (D), Stan Bingham (R), Katie Dorsett (D), John Snow (D), and David Weinstein (D) introduced Senate Bill 138 to the North Carolina State Legislature. If enacted, this bill would make Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A Schedule I controlled substances in that state.

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Historical Legal News about Entheogens

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