RSS Feed for this category

Dr. Albert Hofmann, Father of LSD, Dead at 102

Internet rumors of his passing have been confirmed for us by a friend of Dr. Hofmann's. Dr. Albert Hofmann died of a heart attack this morning at his home in Basel, Switzerland. Hofmann inadvertently discovered the effects of LSD while researching the substance in 1943. He subsequently self-administered the drug deliberately and produced the first accounts of its powerful psychedelic effects.

If you think 102 is old, just imagine how long he might have lived if he never did drugs!

Update: The above line is sarcasm. Before posting it, I asked a couple smart people if they thought anyone might misunderstand and we decided it probably wouldn't be a problem. Well, it was, and a few commenters have come away with the incorrect impression that I think Dr. Hofmann would be better off if he never used drugs. This comment explains what I really meant. I won't stop cracking jokes in the blog, but I do apologize for this one. 

United States

Feature: North Dakota Man Facing Years in Prison After Buying Salvia Divinorum On eBay

In what is likely the first arrest for possession of salvia divinorum anywhere in the nation -- and definitely a first in North Dakota -- a Bismarck man now faces years in prison after he bought a few ounces of leaves on eBay. Kenneth Rau, a bottling plant worker with an interest in herbalism, altered states, and religion and spirituality, was arrested by Bismarck police on April 9 when they searched his home looking for his adult son, who was on probation for drug charges.
Kenneth Rau
Police found a marijuana pipe, eight ounces of salvia leaf, a quantity of amanita muscaria mushrooms, and a number of other herbal products. Rau now faces multiple charges, said Burleigh County States Attorney Cynthia Feland.

"He is being charged with possession of salvia with intent to deliver, as well as possession of psilocybin with intent, and possession of marijuana," she said. Although Rau told the Chronicle he thought he would be charged with a school zone violation as well, which would have made his intent offenses Class A felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison, that is not the case, said Feland. "He is not being charged with a school zone violation," she affirmed.

(The psilocybin charges could go up in smoke. The amanita muscaria mushrooms that he possessed are not controlled substances under federal law and, while hallucinogenic, do not contain psilocybin. The active ingredient in amanita muscaria mushrooms is muscimole.)

Rau was being charged with possession with intent because of the weight of the leaves, she said. "We look at the typical use quantity," she said, "and it is similar to marijuana, with a typical use dose of .25 grams to .5 grams, and he had significantly more than that," she said.
salvia leaves (courtesy
Salvia divinorum, a member of the Mexican mint family, has been used by Mazatec shamans for hundreds of years. Smoking or chewing the leaves, or more commonly, concentrated extracts, can produce intense, albeit short-lived hallucinogenic experiences. While the plant has become notorious through YouTube videos of young people smoking it and behaving strangely, it is also of interest to "psychonauts," or people attempting to explore consciousness through herbal means.

Researchers say that while salvia's effects on consciousness may be disquieting, the plant has not been shown to be toxic to humans, its effects are so potent it is unlikely to be used repeatedly, and its active property, salvinorin A, could assist in the development of medicines for mood disorders.

There are hazards to messing with hallucinogens, one expert was quick to point out. "It's an hallucinogen, and while its hallucinogenic actions are different from those induced by LSD and other hallucinogens, it has the liabilities that hallucinogens do," Bryan Roth, a professor of pharmacology at University of North Carolina's School of Medicine, the man who isolated salvinorin A, told Drug War Chronicle last month. "When people take it, they are disoriented. If you don't know where you are and you're driving a car, that would be a bad experience."

Still, said Roth, while it may make you freak out, it isn't going to kill you. "There is no evidence of any overt toxicity, there are no reports in the medical literature that anyone has died from it. The caveat is that there have been no formal studies done on humans, but the animal data suggests that it doesn't kill animals given massive doses, and that's usually -- but not always -- predictive for human pharmacology."

The DEA considers salvia a drug of interest, but has yet to move to place it under the Controlled Substances Act. A DEA spokesman told the Chronicle recently that the plant is being reviewed to see if it meets the criteria for inclusion on the list of controlled substances.

But driven by little more than the YouTube videos and the story of one Delaware youth whose parents blamed his suicide on salvia, state legislators have not waited for the DEA's measured considerations to act. Since Delaware became the first state to ban salvia, a handful of others, including North Dakota, followed suit. Moves are currently afoot in a number of other states to join the club.
salvia (and criminal defense) ads on web version of ND news station report on Rau's bust
Salvia became illegal in North Dakota on August 1, after a bill sponsored by three Republican lawmakers, state Sens. Dave Oelke and Randel Christmann and state Rep. Brenda Heller sailed through the legislature earlier this year. None of the three legislators responded to Chronicle requests for comment this week.

After Rau was arrested earlier this month, Bismarck police warned that it could be only the beginning in the fight against the member of the mint family. "It sure looks like there could be a market, based on the amount he had", Lt. Bob Hass told reporters. "This is the first we've seen of it." Hass did not return Chronicle calls for comment this week.

While salvia information web sites like Salvia.Net do place a single dose of salvia leaf at between .25 gram and one gram, similar to County Attorney Feland's estimate, intent to deliver still seems a stretch. "I bought eight ounces of leaf on eBay by bidding $32 for it," said Rau. "Now they're charging me with possession with intent. That's silly. Nobody wants leaves. Everyone is buying those 10X and 20X and 30X extracts." [Ed: Not to mention that on eBay one buys what is being offered a sale, not half or a tenth or twentieth of it.]

Rau was also not impressed by the prosecutor's dosage estimates. "This is a clear ploy to exaggerate the number of saleable units," he complained. "These drug warriors have long used this ploy to make dealers out of everyone. Accepting those figures, an ounce of Salvia Divinorum would give 120 doses and make anyone holding an ounce of it a dealer. This is ridiculous since an ounce is clearly the standard saleable unit for leaf. Applying the prosecutor's standard marijuana dosage and saleable quantity would be the amount that would fit in the end of a pinch hitter. This standard would make anyone holding even an eighth ounce of marijuana a dealer."

Rau also scoffed at the notion that anyone is going to be buying fractions of an ounce of salvia leaf. "You can buy an ounce online for as little as $10," he pointed out. "Who is going to split that up into smaller quantities? Hell, you would probably end up spending more on baggies that you did on the leaf," he said.

"This is ridiculous legislative overreaching," said Rau of the new law. "They only based it on those wacky YouTube videos, and even on those, you see people trying to abuse the stuff as much as possible and ham it up, and it still doesn't hurt them. And why jump from selling it in stores to making it a felony," he asked, "don't they do misdemeanors anymore? I didn't even know it was illegal here, and with their first prosecution they go for the max."

The local TV station's web site has inadvertently supported Rau's point. At the time of this writing, an online version of the news report about Rau's arrest was still pulling up salvia ads by Google. Rau emailed the link to Drug War Chronicle, proving that the salvia ads are showing up on computers in North Dakota.

A mild-mannered 46-year-old, Rau's interest in salvia derived from a broader interest in herbalism, religion and spirituality, as well as efforts to deal with his own inner demons. "I read that salvia facilitates lucid dreaming, so I tried chewing some leaves before bed time, and it was interesting because I would see faces and remember names I had long forgotten."

He also tried salvia as a cure for depression. "I have some childhood issues to deal with. They had me on Paxil," he said. "They want you to take their pharmaceuticals, but if you want to take an herbal remedy, they want to throw you in prison. Are they going to save me from myself by throwing me in prison for years?"

Now, Rau is fighting for his freedom, but there aren't many resources in North Dakota, and he doesn't even have a lawyer yet. "The ACLU doesn't even list anyone in the state," he said. "I've emailed the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project, but I haven't heard back from them yet."

Still, he said, his arrest has motivated him. "Maybe this is an opportunity for me to join the fight," he said. "I've never been a drug user, never been arrested. I started experimenting with this stuff because I thought it was legal. I didn't want to get into trouble, but now they're treating me just like some meth dealer."

Salvia Watch: Florida Senate Votes to Criminalize the Diviner's Sage

The Florida Senate Wednesday passed a bill, SB 340, criminalizing salvia divinorum, also known as "Diviner's Sage," among other nicknames. The Florida House approved a companion measure banning the fast-acting, short-lived hallucinogen last week. If, as expected, the bill is signed by Republican Gov. Charlie Christ, Florida will be the latest in what is a rapidly expanding list of states to take action against salvia.

The state of Florida will protect the youth by subjecting them (and adults) to up to five years in prison for possessing salvia, which would be classified in the same category as LSD and marijuana under Florida law.

Although lawmakers could cite little data about use of the herb, especially among teenagers, they said they were increasingly worried about children buying it online.

The bill passed the Senate by a margin of 39-0 after limited debate. The House version passed by a 109-4 margin a week earlier.

Salvia Watch: Two More States and One City Act Against the Plant, and North Dakota Marks First Bust

Aroused by videos of young people using salvia divinorum on YouTube and spurred on by law enforcement eager not to miss an opportunity, legislators across the country have this year been raising the alarm about the fast- and short-acting hallucinogenic herb, despite the lack of any evidence that its use is harmful. In the latest outbreaks of salvia mania, the South Carolina and Florida Houses have passed a bill to criminalize the plant, a Massachusetts town has banned it, and police in North Dakota -- one of a handful of states where it is already illegal -- announced their first salvia bust.
salvia leaves (photo courtesy Erowid)
On Wednesday, the Florida House passed HB 1363, which would ban salvia possession and place it on the state's Schedule I, along with marijuana and other psychedelics as drugs with no accepted medical use and "high potential for abuse."

Salvia has experienced "growing popularity among teens and young adults," said Rep. Mary Brandenburg (D-West Palm Beach), the bill's sponsor. It is not clear what evidence she based that claim on.

A companion Florida Senate bill to ban salvia has already cleared committees and is ready for a floor vote. If it passes and is signed into law by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, possession or sale of the drug would become a third degree felony in Florida.

Six days earlier, the South Carolina House passed HB 4687, which criminalizes salvia and puts it in the same category as marijuana, LSD, and ecstasy. The bill passed with little discussion on a lopsided 101-4 vote. After one more routine housekeeping vote, it heads to the Senate.

The bill was pushed by law enforcement and drug prevention groups despite little evidence it is being used in the state. Neither local law enforcement nor the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) officials consulted by The State newspaper were aware of any reports of its use.

"SLED hasn't seen this substance in South Carolina at this point, but we're certainly prepared to enforce this new law if it is passed," said Richard Hunton, SLED inspector.

North Dakota law enforcement had its chance earlier this month, when they arrested a Bismarck man for possessing eight ounces of salvia leaf. (The drug is most commonly ingested by smoking salvia extracts, which are significantly more potent than the leaf.) Kenneth Rau has been charged with salvia possession with intent to deliver in what North Dakota cops believe is the state's first salvia bust.

Now, they're looking for more, Lt. Bob Haas of the Bismarck Police told WDAY-TV6 News. "It sure looks like there could be a market, based on the amount he had. This is the first we've seen of it."

Even some towns and cities are getting in on the act. The most recent is West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where city selectmen voted to ban the plant this week. Although Massachusetts is among the states considering action against the member of the mint family, the state was not moving fast enough for the West Bridgewater folks.

"What makes Salvia divinorum dangerous is that it has hallucinogenic properties like LSD and it can be purchased on the same Web site where you find Beanie Babies and baseball cards," Selectman Matthew Albanese said. "I can't imagine why the Drug Enforcement Agency has Salvia listed as a 'drug/chemical of concern' as opposed to a 'controlled substance,'" Albanese said.

Albanese might have asked the DEA. The Chronicle did three weeks ago, and DEA spokesperson Rogene Waite told us that the agency is following procedure by evaluating eight factors listed in the Controlled Substances Act in determining whether or not to schedule a drug. Unlike Massachusetts selectman or various state legislatures, (this time at least) the DEA seems to actually be waiting for evidence before it acts.

Since 2005, seven states have restricted use of the substance. And about a dozen other states have similar legislation pending.

Looking for a New Boogie Man

Editor's Note: Eric B. Wilhelm is an intern at His bio is in our "staff" section.

As the recent frenzy over the herb salvia divinorum and attempts to ban it have heated up in a number of states, the opportunity to honestly and realistically discuss the matter in terms of drug policy has been mostly lost in favor of irresponsible journalism and knee-jerk political reactions.

Opportunistic politicians have come out with particularly harsh demands for criminalization in order to appear protective of troubled youth, while journalists stand by, failing to challenge orthodox prohibitionist assumptions. One example of rampant alarmism and distortion is the March 11 article by the Associated Press entitled "Is Salvia the Next Marijuana?" Without even detailing how this widely distributed piece is unbalanced and lacking, we can merely examine the title to see the way that utterly misleading beliefs about drugs are perpetuated by the media.

It's really quite simple why salvia is so far from being "the next marijuana." The offending article itself establishes early on that the herb "is a hallucinogen that gives users an out-of-body sense of traveling through time and space or merging with inanimate objects." Even the most dishonest drug warrior wouldn't claim marijuana does anything like that to users. Other recent articles quote users who say the salvia high is simply not fun or long-lasting enough to make people want to try it more than once.

Marijuana lasts much longer, often induces euphoria and laughter, and merely alters the user's perceptions a bit -- it does not immediately "blast them into outer space." Because the dissociative and hallucinogenic qualities of salvia are so intense and jarring to the psyche, few choose to consume it very frequently. The tens of millions of Americans who use marijuana generally are not looking to dissociate themselves from their bodies or their surroundings, but often to do the very opposite - to enhance their experiences or simply to relax in their surroundings. Anyone who has any doubt that the use of a hallucinogen will never overtake marijuana use can check the Monitoring the Future survey of drug use by high school students. The most recent data shows that for every 12th grader who used ANY hallucinogen (LSD, magic mushrooms, PCP, mescaline, salvia etc.) in the past month there are 11 who have used marijuana in that time.

Looking beyond the absurdity of claims that salvia may become the "next marijuana," in terms of popularity or frequency of use (as implied by the media hype), there are a few ways in which salvia may become quite similar to America's favorite illegal drug. As salvia becomes a banned drug in more and more states, illicit drug dealers will no doubt pick up the slack in demand. Curious adolescents will no longer have to find their way to the head shop across town in order to buy some -- trying to convince someone 18 or older to actually buy it if they are underage -- because their neighborhood drug dealer might be offering it to them the next time they score some pot. Alternatively, salvia users who grow their own plants in their home or garden, which is reportedly an easy task, will soon become the subject of the kind of SWAT raids that often claim the lives of innocent people. By the way, this little bit of gardening will get you a mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison in Louisiana.

I have to wonder whether concerned citizens who are passionately calling for outright criminalization have truly considered what the potential results of their demands. In some states the possession of salvia is a felony, which could include years in prison and hard labor. We ought to seriously consider whether we want the government and police to be deciding how to deal with young people who begin experimenting with this substance or if the guidance or punishment should be left up to parents. Is hard labor really what a bored and curious young person needs to "straighten them out"? And what about the users of salvia who claim to be consuming the drug responsibly and for the purpose of gaining spiritual insight or to foster deep introspection? How will society at large benefit from spending our collective resources tracking down and imprisoning them?

If it makes no sense criminalizing salvia, how can we justify the rest of the War on Drugs? There is no way to arrive at a rational drug policy without asking such questions. As it stands though, challenging conventional beliefs about drug laws is about as alien to most politicians as salvia trips, so the task of thinking clearly and demanding change belongs to the people.

United States

No Evidence Needed? War on Salvia Divinorum Heating Up -- YouTube Videos Play Role

Nearly a year ago, we reported on mounting efforts to ban salvia divinorum in states and localities around the country. Since then, the war on the hallucinogenic plant has only intensified, despite the lack of any evidence that its use is widespread or that it has any harmful physical effects on its users.
salvia leaves (courtesy
Salvia is a member of the mint family from Mexico, where it has been used by Mazatec curanderos (medicine men) for centuries. Within the past decade, awareness of its powerful hallucinogenic properties has begun to seep into the popular consciousness. Now, it is widely available at head shops and via the Internet, where it can be purchased in a smokeable form that produces almost instantaneous intoxication and a freight train of a trip lasting a handful of minutes.

Fueled largely by the appearance of salvia-intoxicated youths on YouTube (there were some 3,500 such videos at last count), law enforcement's reflexive desire to prohibit any mind-altering substances, and legislators' wishes to "do something" about youth drug use, efforts to ban the plant are spreading. While some states have stopped at limiting salvia's use to adults, most recently Maine, more have banned it outright. Legislative measures affecting salvia have been filed in 16 more states too, as well as a number of towns and cities.

In 2005, Louisiana became the first state to ban salvia, making it a proscribed Schedule I controlled substance. Since then, Delaware, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, and Tennessee have joined the list. (Tennessee bans ingestion -- it's a Class A misdemeanor -- but not possession. All the others excepting North Dakota have placed it in Schedule I.) In Oklahoma, only concentrated salvia is banned. Salvia is also a controlled substance in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Spain and Sweden.

The press has also played a role in stoking fears of salvia and misstating its popularity. "Salvia: The Next Marijuana?," asked the Associated Press in a widely-reprinted story earlier this month.

Chris Bennett, proprietor of Urban Shaman Ethnobotanicals in downtown Vancouver, just laughed at the "salvia is the next marijuana" meme. "Anyone who says that is demonstrating their complete lack of knowledge of either salvia or marijuana," he said. "There is just no comparison. Cannabis is a mild relaxant and euphoric, while salvia is a very fast-acting visionary substance where some people report out of body experiences."

Researchers say that while salvia's effects on consciousness may be disquieting, the plant has not been shown to be toxic to humans, its effects are so potent is unlikely to be used repeatedly, and its active property, salvinorin A, could assist in the development of medicines for mood disorders. While action at the state level would unlikely affect research, a move by the DEA to put it on the controlled substances list could.

There are hazards to messing with hallucinogens, one expert was quick to point out. "It's an hallucinogen, and while its hallucinogenic actions are different from those induced by LSD and other hallucinogens, it has the liabilities that hallucinogens do," said Bryan Roth, a professor of pharmacology at University of North Carolina's School of Medicine, the man who isolated salvinorin A. "When people take it, they are disoriented. If you don't know where you are and you're driving a car, that would be a bad experience."

Still, said Roth, while it may make you freak out, it isn't going to kill you. "There is no evidence of any overt toxicity, there are no reports in the medical literature that anyone has died from it. The caveat is that there have been no formal studies done on humans, but the animal data suggests that it doesn't kill animals given massive doses, and that's usually -- but not always -- predictive for human pharmacology."

The DEA has been evaluating salvia for several years now, but there is no sign that it is ready to take action. "Salvia is a drug we are currently looking at to see if it should or should not be scheduled," said Rogene Waite, a spokesperson for the DEA, which is tasked with evaluating potential drug "threats." The agency has initiated the process of evaluating the eight factors listed in the Controlled Substances Act in determining whether or not to schedule a drug, she said. "There is no time frame or limit on this process," she said, providing no further hint on when or if ever the DEA would move to add salvia onto the federal list of controlled substances.

But legislators across the land are not waiting for the DEA. In California, Assemblyman Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia) introduced a bill that would ban salvia for minors at the urging of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, he told the Riverside Press-Enquirer. "If you have the opportunity to get in front of an emerging drug, I think, geez, you should do that," said Adams, whose district includes San Bernardino and Redlands.

On the other side of the country, Massachusetts state Rep. Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth) is cosponsoring legislation that would criminalize salvia possession. "I believe by not making this drug illegal we are sending a message to our youth that it is okay, and there is no way that a drug that causes such mind altering effects on an individual should be considered legal," deMacedo told the Plymouth News.

Again, legislators took action after being alerted by law enforcement. DeMacedo said he agreed to sponsor the bill after hearing from Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph MacDonald. "I'd never heard of it before," deMacedo said. "It creates this psychedelic-type, mind-altering high, similar to LSD. I thought, 'You've got to be kidding. Something like this is legal?'"

In Florida, Rep. Mary Brandenburg wants to save the kids by sending anyone possessing salvia to prison for up to five years. "As soon as we make one drug illegal, kids start looking around for other drugs they can buy legally. This is just the next one," she explained.

While legislators attempt to stay ahead of the curve by banning any new, potentially mind-altering substances at the drop of hat, their efforts are misdirected, said Urban Shaman's Bennett. The YouTube kids may be the public face of salvia, but they are only a minority of users, he said. "It's all ages," he said, adding that his store does not sell to people under 18. "Every time there is some media attention, I get a bunch of middle-aged people coming in and asking for it."

Salvia is not a party drug, said Bennett. "The most serious users are people seeking a classic shamanic experience, seeking a visionary experience as part of their spiritual path. They feel they're accessing a higher level of consciousness," he explained. "And even they don't seem to use it more than once a month or so."

For all the commotion surrounding salvia, there is very little evidence of actual harm to anyone, said Bennett. "You'll notice you don't hear anybody talking about organic damage to the human organism," he said. "This is all purely fear and loathing of people having a visionary experience."

What little data there is on salvia use and its effects tends to bear him out. There are no reported deaths from salvia use, with the exception of a Delaware teenager who committed suicide in 2006 at some point after using it. (That unfortunate young man is widely cited by the proponents of banning salvia, even though there is no concomitant wave of salvia-linked suicides. Also, he was reportedly taking an acne medication linked to depression and had been using alcohol.) Users are not showing up with any frequency in mental hospitals or hospital emergency rooms.

While the YouTube kids may present a problematic public face of salvia use, there's not much to be done about that, said Bennett. "You can't control that," he shrugged. "And so what? Some kids are having a powerful visionary experience for five minutes on YouTube. Why is that somehow more threatening than watching someone in the jungle take ayahuasca or something on National Geographic?"

Bennett, for one, has no use for a ban on salvia -- or any other plant, for that matter. "We have a fundamental natural right to have access to all plants, and I don't care if it's salvia or marijuana or poppy or coca. That's just as clear-cut as our right to air and water," he said.

But Bennett's perspective is not one widely shared by legislators in the US. Instead, they reflexively reach to prohibit that which they do not understand. And the very "kids" they claim to be saving will be the ones going to prison.

World Psychedelic Forum 2008

The World Psychedelic Forum with over 60 seminars, lectures, and panel discussions, presented by more than 50 experts, and some 30 young researchers from all over the world, with a rich audio-visual supporting program, and a variety of external events during three nights offers a unique Easter weekend in Basel for the young and the young at heart, for the interested lay persons, as well as the professional, a gathering you will never forget! For more information, see:
Fri, 03/21/2008 - 8:30am - Mon, 03/24/2008 - 7:00pm
Messeplatz 25
Basel 4005 Basel

Salvia Divinorum: Virginia House Passes Ban

A bill to ban the hallucinogenic herb salvia divinorum was approved by a vote of 98-0 in the Virginia House of Delegates Tuesday, paving the way for the Old Dominion to join the handful of states and localities that have already criminalized the member of the mint family. The measure now moves to the state senate.
salvia leaves (photo courtesy
Salvia divinorum produces powerful but short-lived psychedelic effects. Once obscure, it has become increasingly well-known thanks to Internet-spread word of mouth. While the DEA considers it a "drug of interest," the agency has yet to move to designate it a controlled substance, and it remains freely available over the Internet or at various retail outlets in locales that have not banned it.

Sponsored by Delegate John O'Bannon (R-Henrico), HB21 would move salvia from unrestricted status to a Schedule I controlled substance under Virginia law. O'Bannon said he introduced the bill after receiving suggestions he do so from law enforcement.

"It's really not a pleasant thing to take. It can cause bad trips, dysphoria and sweats," O'Bannon said, in remarks reported by The Commonwealth Times, the student newspaper at Virginia Commonwealth University and the only Virginia media outlet to pick up the story.

Which is why, despite all the hullabaloo, salvia has not emerged as a popular drug. Most users are quite happy to limit themselves to using it once or twice.

O'Bannion demonstrated an idiosyncratic view of individual liberties as he discussed his bill. "I'm respectful of individual liberties and public good. I think what's happening is this is becoming a drug that can be misused," O'Bannon said. "Putting it on the Schedule I will not harm anybody," he said, but would make "a reasonable balance between public safety and civil individual liberties."

Of course, putting salvia on Schedule I, where its users would be subject to the same prison terms as the users of other proscribed drugs, would harm those people unfortunate enough to be arrested with it. But O'Bannion and his fellow delegates apparently didn't consider the impact that being caged in jails or prisons for long periods of time has on individual liberty.

DC Ibogaine Forum

Please join us for this interesting forum in the nation's capital! The schedule includes: DAY 1-- Medical Panels Dana Beal: Mechanisms of Action Dr. Ken Alper: Survey of worldwide use Dr Jeff Kamlet: How to Give Ibogaine Safely Clare Wilkins: Ibogaine Asssociation Safety Procedures Howard Lotsof: Ibogaine in treatment of hepatitis C MIchael Cardin: Cornell IBO/HEP C study Ibogaine and Black Community's Quest for Alternative Treatments Dhoruba bin Wahad Rommel Washington Alan Frimpong DAY 2-- Traditional Use in Africa Dr. Anthony Andoh Dimitri Mougainis (newly initiated in the Bwiti religion) Charles Rossouw (on S. African use as traditional medicine) Comparative Use w. Other Plant Sacraments Patrick Kroupa: Ibogaine Plus Other Sacraments Makhi Erdely on Peyote and Ayahuasca Philip Fiuty (former head of New Mexico Bureau of Infectious Diseases) Marc Cocoran on Kratom DAY 3-- Legal and Regulatory Considerations Noah Potter, New York Bar Association Howard Lotsof, History of Ibogaine Development Charles Honig The Scene w. Venezuela Dhoruba bin Wahad Johan Obdala, Venezuelan Drugs Consultant
Sat, 02/16/2008 - 11:00am - Mon, 02/18/2008 - 6:00pm
1020 U St.
Washington, DC
United States

Psychedelics: Nebraska Moves to Ban Salvia Divinorum

If state Attorney General Jon Bruning has his way, Nebraska will soon join the short list of states that have criminalized the sale and possession of salvia divinorum. In a Monday press release setting his key legislative priorities, Bruning announced that banning salvia was one of his top three. (The other two were eliminating intoxication as a defense in considering the mental state of a defendant and moving against certain types of scam artists.)
salvia leaves (photo courtesy
The obscure plant, a member of the mint family native to southern Mexico, is a potent, fast-acting hallucinogen and has achieved a certain measure of popularity among recreational drug users in recent years. But because of its powerful disorienting effects, it is not one most people use repeatedly.

The DEA has had the drug under consideration for several years, but has yet to announce any plans to move it under the rubric of the Controlled Substances Act. Several states, most recently Illinois, and a handful of local municipalities, have banned it.

It is time that Nebraska joined that group, Bruning said. "Salvia is a powerful hallucinogen that can be purchased legally. This legislation will make it illegal and put it on par with other powerful drugs like peyote, psychedelic mushrooms and LSD," said Attorney General Bruning. "Several other states have already made salvia illegal. It's time to add Nebraska to the list."

In the measure he describes as "protecting Nebraska kids," Bruning would submit them -- and Nebraska adults -- to up to five years in prison for possessing the plant, and to 20 years for selling it.

"Videos of teens using this common plant to get high have become an internet sensation," said Sen. Vickie McDonald of St. Paul, who will sponsor the legislation. "Nebraska needs to classify salvia divinorum and its active ingredient, salvinorin A, as a controlled substance in order to protect our children from a drug being portrayed as harmless when it's not."

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School