Newsbrief: Flyboys Flying High on Salvia Warned to Come Down Now 1/16/04

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Salvia divinorum, a Mexican herb with weird psychedelic properties, is reportedly being gobbled up by airmen at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. According to the Air Force Material Command News Service, uniformed Air Force personnel have been seen buying the drug, which is not yet on the controlled substances list, and the number of users at Tinker AFB alone could be "as high as 100 or more."

Even though the plant is not illegal and can be purchased easily over the Internet -- as well, apparently, in nearby Oklahoma City -- Tinker's narcs are warning airmen that they consider it a drug and getting caught with it could get them thrown out of the military. According to Ven Sovo of Tinker's Joint Drug Enforcement Team (a division of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 114), use of salvia falls within the Air Force's definition of drug abuse.

Drug abuse is "the illegal, wrongful or improper use, possession, sale, transfer or introduction onto a military installation of any drug," Sovo told the news service. And the Air Force defines drugs as "any intoxicating substance, other than alcohol, that is inhaled, injected, consumed or introduced into the body in any manner for purposes of altering mood or function."

Taking his cue from the DEA, which has begun including salvia in its "drugs and chemicals of concern" list and is reviewing whether to ban it, Sovo warned of salvia's hallucinogenic properties. But the warning Air Force members need to hear is that salvia can now get you in trouble.

For more information on salvia and its effects, visit the Salvia Divinorum Research and Information Center at http://www.sagewisdom.org and the Vaults of Erowid salvia page at http://www.erowid.org/plants/salvia/salvia.shtml online.

For more information on the battle to prevent salvia from being designated a controlled substance, visit http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/dll/salvia_divinorum_action_center.htm.

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