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Psychedelics: Nebraska Moves to Ban Salvia Divinorum

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #518)
Drug War Issues

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."

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)

Having used Salvia in the past, knowing full well that it is in no way a "recreational drug," I think these moves to criminalize it could be used against the drug war... here's how;

There are many people who currently legally possess Salvia who could stage sit-in protest in which they are law abiding citizens possessing legally acquired Salvia and then at the stroke of midnight on the day that the prohibition becomes effective are suddenly turned into "criminals." These acts of civil disobedience could be used to show the true insanity of laws that make private and personal possession of plants illegal.

If this movement toward more prohibition ever comes to Texas, I'll be first in line to challenge the statute and stage a protest.

Fri, 01/11/2008 - 1:01pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

No, possessors wouldn't become criminals simply for continuing to possess what they already had when the law became effective. For that, they'd have to be paid compensation for seizure of the salvia.

Fri, 01/11/2008 - 3:16pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Yet another brilliant plan to protect our kids by locking them up.

Nebraska residents, I recommend that you call Sen. Vickie McDonald and let her know that its a bad idea.

Her office phone number is (402) 471-2631

If you are in the Lincoln area you could schedule a 15 minute meeting with her and see if she will listen to reason.

Fri, 01/11/2008 - 8:32pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

There is a public hearing scheduled at the state capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska this coming Wednesday at 1:30pm, 1/30/08, to discuss LB840 criminalizing salvia divinorum. I will be there to submit comments. Hope to see you there!

Thu, 01/24/2008 - 1:08pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

ok i stand on my right to speak my mind this is one of many salvia users in nebraska ok u make anyone who uses any drugs that are natuarlly there and grown from earth soundt like there useing crack or cocaine or herion or Methephetmines no we are just people that use naturally grown stuff like Canibus i smoked canibus for 7 years no i havent used any other drugs besides salvia and acid and mushrooms all of u people can go to hell that want his last get away from the bull shit this country creates on its self why cant there be one legal subtance u hear the stuff on salvia its 20 minues and ur done ur down u have complete control over ur body its not like alcohol ur drunk all night and i dont have control well its not and i only beilive in useing things that are home grown or grown from earth there is no drug i want to use besided acid that is not grown u pick it and it gives u an effect over ur mind i think any man made drug should be looked down apon really would u trust gods creations or would u like to trust the humans creations i beilive god knows wut hes doing so "Let it be" for once the beatles were right just let it be and every lil things going to be allright as Bob Marley says well as ur new pissed off Nebraskan resedent i beilve colorado has better things and oppertunity in store for me mark that one for me

"potheads" "Polotics"
1 0
now let us be with are salvia and we will be happyer to u

Tue, 10/28/2008 - 5:28am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I just want to say that Salvia is not the problem here in Nebraska. I am currently a UNL college student and never even heard of the drug until they printed it in the "Daily Nebraska". Just from being around college students, Salvia should be the least our worries. I wouldn't even get into the real drugs that are going around Lincoln. I feel that drinking and driving should be the thing our city is worried about. In 1999, their was a total of 12,200 people that were involved in drinking and driving accidents, just in Nebaska. Their was also 125 people killed from drinking and driving that year. Salvia is not something our lawmakers shouldn't be worrying about, this drug isn't the one killing people in Nebraska. How about we try cutting down on drinking and driving, the real problem in Nebraska. Thank you for your time.

Tue, 01/29/2008 - 6:12pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Show me some facts on how salvia is bad for peoples' health. The only reason it is illegal is because biased adults witnessed kids enjoying it and wern't about to have that. Let's see alcohol, a drug that is actually hazardous to our health be taken away, and see how adults react.

Fri, 02/22/2008 - 3:51pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Thomas Prisinzano, assistant professor of medicinal and natural products chemistry at the University of Iowa, has suggested that salvia may help treat cocaine addiction

“ You can give a rat free access to cocaine, give them free access to Salvinorin A, and they stop taking cocaine.”

Masis 2007-02-28 (US Media)

Professor Bryan L. Roth, director of the National Institute on Mental Health’s Psychoactive Drug Screening Program, has said

“ We think that drugs derived from the active ingredient could be useful for a range of diseases: Alzheimer’s, depression, schizophrenia, chronic pain and even AIDS or HIV.”

Viren 2007-08-23 (US Media)

Clinical pharmacologist John Mendelsohn has also said

There may be some derivatives that could be made that would actually be active against cancer and HIV […] At the present time, there are a lot of therapeutic targets that have many people excited.”

Sat, 05/17/2008 - 5:31am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

these laws their coming up with now is ridiculous. we as people can make informed decisions without the help of government politics.

Tue, 09/16/2008 - 11:07pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

you know as a "recreational" drug user i would be very angry if we began to lock kids up for five years just for using a subsance. even meth-heads and coke whores get less and if i read correctly, and i think i did, this substance has no addictive ingredients. methanphetamines are prescribed to hyper or inattentive children as it is and then we wonder why they go on ahead and smoke pot or other drugs in thier spare time. i mean come on you give us a porly "controlled" substance before we know what it is and then you want us to stop using a substance that is out of your controll but has similair effects. am i the only one who sees a problem in the attentivness of our goverment? i see a people controlled trying to break free while you (the goverment) attempt to spend more people, time, and a waist of our fucking taxes while the true addicts get to waltz past you without a second thought because you are bussy calling in a "420" or an MIPT. plz consider this the ranting of an angered citizen who is tired of the mockery the "drug war" has become. ignore marijuana, salvia, currently legal oppiates and focus on the addictive degrating standards lowering filth walking down the street. thank you

Wed, 10/08/2008 - 3:42am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Our government, our churches, and even our parents have lied to us since we were born. ...Did you know that many politicians fail to keep their campaign promises? ...Did you know that the Catholic Church and all of her harlot daughters were founded by a man who wasn't even an apostle (let alone a Christian)?* ...Did you know that Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are all imaginary? I know, I know, it's hard to believe. But, to cut an extremely long story extremely short, all those people who came before us and purport to know so much are in fact spewing so much filth from their mouths that the stench of it has reached the Heavens, and God's getting ready to smite.

As an avid drug user for the past decade, the only foolproof advice I can offer is this: "Think for yourself, but always keep God's will at heart."

No man can speak with authority about the things of which he has no knowledge. My parents don't know what's best for me. The Pope will not redeem my soul. And the government - any man-made government - will never control my destiny. All of those jobs are filled by the only being capable - God Almighty, God Eternal, the God of Abraham, Issac, and of Jacob.

There is no valid reason to make salvia illegal. There is no valid reason to keep pot and mushrooms illegal. Since these actions have had no validity in them and yet the people behind these actions continue to offer illegitimate explanations to justify themselves, then I submit that the entire "war" against these innocuous, natural substances is a lie. God does not lie; therefore this "war" is not God's work. There is one who does lie, and is considered the Father of the Lie. I submit that the "war" against marijuana, psilocybin, and salvia divinorum is the work of Satan. (...If this is true, ...does it mean... God... wants us high? [In a logic system, no, but it does suggest He might not mind, and that, if nothing else, these things shouldn't be illegal.])

For your consideration,

Jamie Ryan

*[Simon Magus, who later renamed himself Simon Peter - not to be confused with Simon Peter the Apostle, the founder of God's true Church.]

innocuous: (adjective)
1. Not injurious to mental or physical health
2. Unlikely to harm or disturb anyone.
3. Not causing disapproval.
4. Lacking intent or capacity to injure.

Tue, 11/04/2008 - 11:11pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Those kids are not even using the diviners sage in the proper respectful setting. Salvia is not a recreational/party herb. 5 years is overkill on top of overkill. It should be legal. I might as well start my own religion, I can do whatever I want with myself in privacy then. I am def not happy about this.

Why not make alcohol illegal? It gets thousands of people killed. Take care. Hey Nebraska(Jon Brunning), You suck out loud!

Wed, 02/11/2009 - 7:03pm Permalink

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