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Salvia Divinorum: North Dakota Man, First in Nation Charged With Magic Mint Offense, Sees Charges Reduced

Kenneth Rau, the Bismarck, North Dakota, man with the dubious distinction of being the first person to be charged with a salvia divinorum possession offense in the US, got some good news last week. At an August 13 court hearing, prosecutors announced they were dropping charges of possession with intent to distribute, which could have earned Rau 10 years in prison (20 if a school zone charge were added on).
salvia leaves
Rau still faces a charge of salvia possession, which could still see him imprisoned for up to five years. He also faces misdemeanor drug paraphernalia and marijuana possession charges.

Salvia, a perennial herb native to Mexico with potent, if short-acting and generally unappetizing psychoactive properties, is not a controlled substance in the US. But in the last few years, almost a dozen states have moved to regulate its sales or ban it outright. The North Dakota legislature banned it last year.

Rau always claimed he was unaware of the new North Dakota law when he bought eight ounces of salvia leaves for a high bid of $32 on eBay this spring. Prosecutors once claimed the eight ounces amounted to hundreds of doses, thus the possession with intent charge, but Burleigh County Assistant State's Attorney Cynthia Feland said in court last Wednesday that the amount Rau possessed was really only about eight doses.

Rau is scheduled for a September 22 trial date.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Intelligence of the law

...or more likely lack thereof!....these dumbells have no idea what this plant is or what it was used for by the Mayan in ancient Mexico,as far as using it,you've got to be desperate ,because it isn't pot or like anything else,I've never smoked it,never would either! but I probably over the years read more about it in the history of ancient indians of Central and South America!...for no other reason then its part of the culture,like MJ,or the coca leaf!...their are scads of plants out there that have hallucinigenic qualities,these dumbells going to try outlaw them all?...hopefully rau won't be incarcerated for this blunder!.....this comment posted by donl

Sad, Shameful and Harmful

All the available evidences show that Salvia Divinorum is a potent medicinal herb capable of curing many physical problems, mental problems and above all spiritual and existential problems. There are just no evidence that it could lead to any trouble at all, if we except some bruise made by people, falling of a stool or things like that when they consume it in the opposite way prescribed by the shaman and doctors. It is a pure nonsense to make illegal herbs like Cannabis Sativa or Salvia Divinorum. It makes sense to regulate them in some ways, for example to sell it only to adult, or to ask for a priest or doctor prescription. To outlaw Salvia and Cannabis can only make the laws ridiculous, it disgusts people from politics, it discourages the seeker of truth when it does not make them criminal when sent in a so unfair manner into jail. There are plenty evidences that alcohol and tobacco, when smoked, are damaging for health. There are few evidences that cannabis (even when smoked) or Salvia are damaging for health. Banning Salvia is the symptom that we are governed by cowardliness and ignorance. It is sad, and it is a shame, and it is harmful for everybody in the long term.


Why is a country that is so big on "FREEDOM," wana take it away from as many people as possible for the most BULLSHIT reasons imaginable. SO WHAT HE HAS SALVIA!?!?!!? I smoked it a year or two ago and that was it, made you feel kinda like your cut out of your own body or an outer body experience. Very interesting but quite powerful and one has to be comefortable with "Oneself," before he/she participates in finding oneself. Many different substances will make you feel differently and also educate you on what really makes you, who you are. Society especially in NEW YORK CITY have brick after brick, and one person thats nasty after another, everybody is stuggling and nobody has time for oneself. The DEA wants to take away forms of "FREEDOM EXPRESSION," after we fall in love with freedom and wana take it to the next level of experiencing this reality. JAIL IS TORTURE AND IN THE MOST UNHUMANE WAY POSSIBLE. IN NO WAY IN HELL UNLESS SOMEBODY IS A SERIOUS VIOLENT THREAT AND PREDITOR AGAINST THE INNOCENT, SHOULD ONE BE SENT TO THE GATES OF HELL. THE UNITED STATES LOCKS UP THERE "OWN," PEOPLE WHO LOVE THIS COUNTRY AWAY LIKE THERE WORTH SPIT. "IF I AM THE ENEMY THEN AMERICA HAS SOME SERIOUS PROBLEMS!"

theres this purity lie in

theres this purity lie in america and new intoxicants are evil regardless of safety......

busy doo doo gooders

This country has gone the way of crap-- arresting people for plants-- what will they think of next? I am so tired of this but what can I do? The injustices that go on in the country are ridiculous... Everyone needs to go and read John Stewart MIll and see if they can remember if there has ever been a time when we were not sticking our nose into everyone's business. If those days ever existed I would like to return to them.

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