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Salvia Divinorum: Ohio House, Senate Pass Ban Bill, Governor Expected to Sign

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #565)
Drug War Issues

Both the Ohio House and Senate voted this week for a bill, HB 215, which will, among other things, make salvia divinorum and its active ingredient, Salvinorin A, a Schedule I controlled substance with penalties the same as those for heroin, cocaine, or psychedelics. Gov. Ted Strickland is expected to sign the bill into law shortly.

salvia leaves (photo courtesy
The Ohio bill was sponsored by Rep. Thom Collier (R-Mount Vernon) after an incident where a 12-year-old Loudonville boy was shot and killed by another boy who had smoked the herb, a fast-acting, short-lived hallucinogenic member of the mint family. But while Collier repeatedly cited that tragic incident, as the Columbus Dispatch noted: "There was no direct evidence, however, that the shooting was drug-related."

If Strickland signs the bill as expected, Ohio will be the sixth state to ban salvia outright, treating it as a proscribed substance. A handful of others, most notably California, have moved to restrict its sales, especially to minors.

While the Masatec Indians of Mexico have used the plant for religious purposes for centuries, it is only within the past few years that its psychedelic properties have become widely known among inner explorers and youthful experimenters in the US and elsewhere. Typically, some of those youthful experimenters post their tripped-out experiences on YouTube, where some legislator or drug cop or self-appointed watchdog eventually runs across them and demands that the plant be banned. Legislatures reflexively go along, with the ban bills typically passing with no organized opposition and by large majorities, as in this week's 90-4 Ohio House vote.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

I knew this would happen since the marketing is all over the place, but for some 12 year old that is just to watered down. Nothing to do with a 12 year old having a gun, saliva was pretty weak in my experiences.

Why don't they just pass a law that makes anything shamanic or non Christian illegal?

Pretty much what is damn near completely done, not many more plants to schedule; then the hippies can just burn the whole place down and say we give up!

Fri, 12/19/2008 - 6:43am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

It is ironic that they fail to mention the boy was mixing Salvia with Meth and Cocaine, and even Marijuana and Alcohol at the time of the shooting. But of course it wasn't any of those other drugs that caused it...

Fri, 12/19/2008 - 9:53am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

You know what they say about Ohio. You come on vacation and leave on probation...

Fri, 12/19/2008 - 5:47pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Oh no, another plant to be afraid of, quick put up the blinders. Does anyone in the Ohio government wonder why the Masatic Indians in Mexica are not dropping like flies from this plant? Could it be because the believe in educating their people instead of "Just Say NO"? Yay, that has worked really well for the past 30 years. Guess it's time to rob from the education funds and build bigger jails.

Sat, 12/20/2008 - 11:51am Permalink
mlang52 (not verified)

I wonder will it still be illegal to keep the box I bought my last legal salvia in? I bought in OH! I would not and could not use it every day! It was just not good at making me relaxed! It was a wild ride, though! But everybody needs to always have a sitter!

Tue, 12/23/2008 - 11:16am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

is it too late for the citizens of ohio to write and email and stand up for human rights? i see this as partially my fault for not doing these things before now. it's about like the 'smoking' situation in ohio, those 'nuts' that want to take all our rights spend all thier time and money and slide the law through while those of us that it effects sit back until it's too late and we can't even go into a smoke shop where they sell tobacco and smoke! i don't use salvia but i do feel if anyone desires to try it or use in a spiritual ceremony who is the gov't to stop them especially like it's been shown that it doesn't 'kill' people where alcohol and tobacco 'clearly' do and continue to do throughout the nation. at any rate, let's all write to strickland (ohio gov) and/or email his office to VOICE our DISGUST over the hitler mentality of this law......

Fri, 12/26/2008 - 1:30pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Isn't it funny how they blame salvia for the child's tragic death, but no one blames the thing that actually killed him...the freakin' gun. Firearms have directly killed more people on purpose and accidently than any drug you can think of, but Ohio politicians aren't making them illegal to possess. How did the one boy get a gun in the first place? I guess the salvia plant put it in his hand, and pulled the trigger for him.

Too bad salvia doesn't bring in the political contributions that the gun manufacturers and beer/wine/alcohol producers do. Not only would it not be banned, but you'd see advertisements for it everywhere.

Fri, 12/26/2008 - 10:42pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Firearms don't kill people by themselves. A human has to operate it. Otherwise going in to a gun shop would be certain death, as there are hundreds of guns in them.

Yet we don't hear of mass killings in gun shops where the guns "on purpose and accidently" kill the people inside.

Don't blame the inanimate object that, without human interaction, will do nothing but lay there.

Same with salvia. Don't blame the plant.

Humans must be responsible for their actions. That is something the government wants to take away. That way they can run the people's lives under the guise of protecting them from all that is evil.

Tue, 01/13/2009 - 2:28pm Permalink
Giordano (not verified)

What’s happening with salvia in states such as Ohio is a great opportunity for someone with research credentials who wants to study mass hysteria.

Hysteria is certainly what describes the knee-jerk reaction some people have to anything that gets a person high, whether it’s harmful or beneficial.  And though salvia is neither harmful nor beneficial, it’s possession or sale is being treated as a felony in some states, but not others.

What stands out is that the fear generating the hysteria is not based on public health concerns.  Rather, it depends on a sub-primal fear of altered states of consciousness.  High prohibition—not drug prohibition. Lawmakers can’t prohibit a state of mind, since all states of mind are seen as being involuntary; so they prohibit a material object instead, a rationale that is equally bizarre and primitive.


Sat, 12/27/2008 - 2:55pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Now what is all of the religious groups going to use for there own personal use for a close experience with there seasonal holidays? I guess that will be next, the ban of any other religous group in Ohio.

Mon, 12/29/2008 - 3:16pm Permalink
mlang52 (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I recently perused an article on the use of the originator (named Smith?) of these type of drugs. Would explain the things they had to add onto the old testament! Now, ask them about caffeine! Same ol' Same ol'!

Mon, 12/29/2008 - 3:54pm Permalink
mlang52 (not verified)

In reply to by mlang52 (not verified)

That should be "new" testament!

Wed, 12/31/2008 - 1:45pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

this is just like Shroms, LSD and Pot, if it kills you, its because a dumb person used it or u didnt have a sitter or you're dum yourself. Salvia is a healing religous plant just like shrooms. If your dumb or ignorant, dont do salvia or any other psych's. I say the governor and the senate go to a rave and smoke some salvia. Theyd be happy to keep it legal. people will always find more plants or chemistry to trip out, and it will keep getting banned. I have a good idea, go drink some friggin bleach and that WILL kill you faster than pot and salvia put together. I dont care anymore, lol, ill smoke and pop whatever the hell i want. The government is just sad, lets ban all religious things while we're at it. when i go to church i can drink all the "Holy crunk" i want, but i go home, and i cant even smoke some pot or chew some salvia? I should walk into Town hall, light a cigarette, pull out a bong and some salvia. Go ahead and arrest me douche bag.

Sun, 03/08/2009 - 1:04am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

By The People For The People.... What Happened To All Of Of Rights Set Forth In The Constitution? Exactly... They Just Plainly Do Not Exist...( I Should Say They Exist On Paper Only) And They ( Our Govt.) Will Continue To Take Them Away Until " We The People Take A Stand "!!!!
I Am Most Sure That Some Of Our Decision Makers Are On Worse Drugs When They Sign Other Bills That Take Away Our Rights...
Because They Have This Protective Shield To Hide Behind If They Are Caught In Wrong Doings That Get Swept Under The Rug.

" I Guess It All Boils To Who You Know Or Blow In This Supposed To Be, Equality For All Nation...
Wake Up America... Before Its Too Late& Protect Your Rights...
Or They Will Be Goverened By People That . Have Wall To Hide Behind.

Tue, 03/31/2009 - 9:58pm Permalink
Anonymous1234 (not verified)

this is gay as hell, they need 2 make weed and shrooms legal, along with keeping salvia legal. tobacco is worse than these fr u medically. so what if ur intoxicated or watevr, so what if ur high, as long as u can handle it should be allowed to do it, those who cant handle it, will get themselfs in trouble and wont be allowed to use these drugs. just like alcohol.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 2:23am Permalink
Heath Sparks (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous1234 (not verified)

Your ignorance makes it pretty hard to take your argument seriously. Gay huh? You're reCOCKulous. Not everyone responds well to using sexual connotations in place of other words. A sexual preference used as a synonym to describe something as 'stupid' or 'appalling' is totally asinine. Way to go, society!

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 3:27pm Permalink

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