Salvia Divinorum: Ohio's First Bust Came Day Before Law Went Into Effect

An Ohio law criminalizing the possession of salvia divinorum went into effect Tuesday, but that didn't stop an over-eager Butler County sheriff's deputy from arresting a man for it Monday or Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones crowing about being the first to bust someone under the new law. Jones sent out a press release touting his coup at 11:00am Monday, but had to retract it before the day was over.
Google ads for salvia on web page reporting salvia arrest, North Dakota, April 2008
Salvia divinorum is a fast-acting, short-lived psychedelic member of the mint family traditionally used by Mazatec shamans in southern Mexico. It is not a federally controlled substance, but has been an object of concern among prohibitionist-leaning legislators across the country. Ohio is the latest of about a dozen states to pass laws criminalizing its possession or sale.

The bust came when Deputy Tim Andrews pulled over a Virginia man in a traffic stop Monday morning. After spotting a bag of marijuana in the vehicle, Deputy Andrews searched the car and found another bag marked "salvia divinorum." The Virginia man was charged with felony drug possession for the salvia, misdemeanor drug trafficking for a small amount of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia for having a scale. (Under Ohio law, possession of up to a quarter pound of marijuana is decriminalized.)

But shortly after the press release went out, a sheriff's detective questioned whether the charges were premature. The detective was correct, and the felony salvia charge was dismissed. The man's marijuana and paraphernalia charges remain.

"I don't have a whole lot (of sympathy) for this guy," Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He was coming from one place to another. He admitted selling a bunch of dope in Michigan. It's not like salvia was the only thing he got arrested for."

Yes, but it wasn't a crime when he got arrested for it.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Handguns take far, far more innocent lives than drugs ever will.

I am a counselor and EMT with more than 25 yrs experience in drug-crisis intervention among difficult populations. I have yet to see my first Salvia client or patient.

It is far too easy for legislators to vote down a drug, especially if they buy the hype and want to keep their children safe and constituents happy. I know far too well the terrible misfortune suffered by those who become addicted. Salvia can be a therapeutic tool that may serve to help some of them; it will not bring me more clients. Of all drugs the hallucinogens have the least propensity for addiction and seem to be self-limiting when abused. How often have we heard, "Your Honor, the reason I broke into my neighbor's house and stole his TV was to feed my LSD (or marijuana) habit"?

This will be great news for illicit dealers and bad guys who want cops' attention diverted from keeping us safe.

I still can't get over the idea of making a plant illegal; often supported by churchgoers. I mean, it's good enough for G-d, but not for man? WTF?


This stuff sucks anyways who cares. The plant is cool looking though and it gets huge and looks exotic. Not dangerous, the leafs taste bad and don’t do anything. Only those extracts do anything but it’s unpleasent and stupid. People are dumb if they think that is spiritual or whatever, it’s just dumb.

Simply because one lacks the

Simply because one lacks the spiritual depth to appreciate chemically induced spiritual experiences does not make people who have that depth "dumb" in fact, it smacks more clearly of your own lack of intellectual acumen.

Salvia arrest

Well what do ya know?
Deputy Barney Fife is still patrolling the highways.
Going after anyone for posesion of anything that naturally grows out of the ground and being told one can't eat it if he chooses is against his or her's constitutional rights!
We better hope a district court judge never has a personal problem with Kentuky Blue Grass or we'll have to arrest every cow in site. have I mention what they could do for eating a carrot?
When are these conservitive leagle thugs going to lighten up?
This is the same group of law makers that claim pot leads to heroin! I would love to see those scientific findings.
Some of these laws have actually been dreamt up over a glass of Scotch. Two weeks or twelve year old, it is still a drug. Being acceptable makes it the most dangerous of all drugs.
Does anyone realize that if a hit of Pot replaced every drink taken there would be few if any auto DUI accidental deaths? Those who disagree have not experianced Pot or they would undersatand and more than likely not disagree with my statement. What would we do without Bar Fights? What would we do without Wife Beatings? What about the thousands of ruined lives and families due to the "Good Drug" alcohol. How many polititions have earned thousands upon thousands of dollars due to alcohol and the laws pertaining to it's sales?
I am an adult, for myself and any other adult reading this, let us "free" citizens make our desissions on what we can, should and are intitled to eat. If you feel I am not capable of this dessision, do you really feel your capable of making desissions
for yourself and everyone else around you?

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