There has always been an “underground” interest in unusual or obscure hallucinogenic drugs and plants which somehow escaped the watchful eye of the FDA or state legislatures and are thus “legal.”
We picked up an interesting news story — from all places, PC World Magazine (March 2009) – about the availability of psychedelic drugs, plants, and supplements online. Of course, if it exists, it’s on the internet. The immediate outcry was the widespread availability of these drugs for teenagers with a PayPal or credit card account. What is more surprising is that Florida legislators are already one step ahead — the “new” drug is already banned in Florida.
Apparently the fad is salvia divinorum, apparently some distant cousin of mint (hence the moniker, “magic mint”). According to the Salvia Divinorum User’s Guide, this “visionary herb” can be smoked or chewed with auditory and behavioral changes lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Many sites exist which sell this plant, including Bouncing Bear Botanicals, Herbal Fire, and shaman’s Garden. Most of these sites have warnings about consumption levels and when/where to take the drug; that said, the varieties and quantities sold (from about $9 – $25) appear confusing. Potency was also unclear. One site, NeuroSoup, gave vague and inaccurate information about the drugs legal status. Thus, these sites are not giving clear technical information nor are they always giving accurate legal information.
As mentioned above, Florida law seems on top of the issue despite the fact that the plant does not appear to be indigenous to the state. Florida State 893.03(1)(c)(35) says salvia is a schedule I drug with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use (which seems strange since, for salvia, the statute prohibits Salvia divinorum, except for any drug product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration which contains Salvia divinorum”).