Salvia Divinorum: Man in First Bust Gets Deferred Sentence

Bismarck, North Dakota, resident Kenneth Rau, the first person arrested in the US on salvia divinorum possession charges, was sentenced Tuesday to a deferred sentence. Rau had pleaded guilty the same day to Class C felony possession of salvia, as well as two misdemeanors, possession of paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.
Kenneth Rau
Rau was arrested in April 2008 when police looking for his son searched his home and found salvia, numerous herbs, and a bit of weed and a pipe. North Dakota legislators had banned salvia the previous year, but Rau said he was unaware of that law and obtained his salvia leaf through eBay.

South Central District Judge Tom Schneider sentenced Rau to a three-year deferred imposition of sentence. That means Rau will be on supervised probation for three years, but the charges will be removed if he successfully completes it. He must also undergo a chemical dependency evaluation and any treatment if necessary, and pay $575 in court costs.

Rau originally was charged with possession of salvia with intent to deliver, but that charge was reduced to drop the intent to deliver portion upon further research of the substance, Rau's attorney, Ben Pulkrabek, said. Rau had obtained about eight ounces of salvia leaf for $32. Salvia sold commercially typically comes in concentrated form, not raw leaf.

Burleigh County Prosecutor Cynthia Feland recommended the deferred sentences, noting that Rau had no recent criminal history, no history of prior drug use, and had purchased the leaf on the Internet before its criminal status in the state was widely known. "Salvia is a relatively new drug having been added to the controlled substance list," she said.

After his day in court, Rau told the Bismarck Tribune he was not surprised at his sentence. "It's kind of what I expected, "he said. "I didn't think I would get any better from a jury trial."

Rau told the newspaper he did not think salvia should have been criminalized without more evidence. He also said the plant could have medicinal uses.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Stupid Is... As Stupid Does!

Time to send the "Gumps in Gov't" a clear message: 'Drug Prohibition is Illegal' and the 'Control of Some Substances Act' is a political and religiously motivated crime designed to alienate citizens from clearly self-evident rights.

All drugs, especially alcohol, are driven by the exact same market forces that drive every other commodity used by man... Supply and Demand!

A recent High Times article indicated that Salvia was NOT a party drug due to its short and occasionally harsh trip. A drug that leaves you wondering "what the fuck just happened" is not destined to be a popular drug... outside the psychonaut and shaman communities.

MDMA has had a much greater misjusticed heaped upon it... apparently a very effective anti-depressent with little to no side effects. No side effects... until god and gov't got involved... and stuck their noses into your rights... based on what... saving the children... from raves... and death by dehydration?

Gumps, like our VP Joe Biden, are responsible for these irresponsible criminal acts against our rights!

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salvia divinorum

1. The reason most often given for the legislative decisions of various states to ban Salvia divinorum is that it in some way led to the death of a young man in Delaware (one more than in the history of marijuana and 399,999 less than the yearly US nicotine cigarette toll).

2. If you are interested in learning about smoking herbs, use only herb that has been sifted through a 1/16th inch (wirecloth) strainer, excluding large chunks which can be used in tea, and serve only 25-mg. (1/40-g.) single tokes in a long-stemmed one-hitter. There are over 60 species of Salvia, including the kinds available at your herb store already sifted to the right size of particle to use in your utensil. Not to mention oregano and the others sold there or at farmer markets, and seasonally you can collect Brownspliff (dried leaves) from your neighborhood vegetation.

3. The predatory opportunistic punitive stripping of the $575 (nifty, that's a haiku) from Mr. Rau's budget to pay keystroke and paperpushing courtbureaucrats is what the story is about (same problem we have been also discussing with riefer). If I may mention my own case, I was charged with possession of cannabis, went to court and sat a while, and when my name was heard and I stood up the judge said, "Dismissed." In my case they ate the court costs. But in the first days after arrest, I had received letters in the mail from two lawyer firms warning me that I was charged with an offense (and they knew which one), and suggesting that I hire a lawyer to solve my problem, $75 and up. Think how many younger, more frightenable arrestees actually hired a lawyer though my experience shows it might not be necessary. A sort of phishing for bizness among those who can least afford to pay? One must suspect that these "defense" lawyers along with the tobackgo industry are two of the biggest contributors to defending the anti-herbs prosecution industry as we know it today.

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