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Hallucinogen perfectly legal * 1
    #4480420 - 08/01/05 11:34 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)


Hallucinogen perfectly legal

JON WILLING, Special to The Free Press AND JONATHAN SHER Free Press Reporter 2005-07-31 02:35:12

WOODSTOCK -- Before people buy a mind-altering herb whose popularity has grown unrestrained by regulations or police, Woodstock headshop owner Jim Bender issues a warning.

"You best have a babysitter because you can't control yourself," Bender said of the Mexican-grown Salvia divinorum, a legal -- but potent -- herb that's been available at Lady Godiva's Adult Emporium for more than half a year.

Salvia divinorum -- also known as salvia, salvia d. or diviner's sage -- is a variety of sage imported from Mexico. The effects mimic those of illegal hallucinogenic drugs and have been compared to magic mushrooms and acid.

And it's been on the shelves of at least two London stores this year.

"It's been around for ages, but its gotten more popular the last couple of years," said Mike Gin of Organic Traveller on Richmond Street.

So far it has been more of a novelty item, with customers using it once or twice, he said.

Across Richmond Street, at Hi-Times, salvia divinorum was selling as recently as a few weeks ago, an employee said.

Salvia smells like tea, can be chewed or smoked and has been available in the forms of dried leaves, extract and plant clippings.

"It's much more hard-core than marijuana," Bender said, noting it was "an odd feeling" the first time he smoked some.

"About 30 seconds later, I felt like I was shrinking," he said.

Bender sells salvia for $60 a gram, more costly than the roughly $10 a gram marijuana goes for on the street.

But the price isn't deterring people from buying the substance. The store has customers from as far away as Asia and Europe, he said.

The herb was unknown to a drug investigator with London police, but in Woodstock, police have added it to educational material on drugs they give to local schools.

Sgt. Daryl Longworth, a drugs investigator with Oxford community police, said there's nothing police can do if they encounter someone with salvia on the street because it's not a prohibited substance.

"It has been used in an experimental stage in Woodstock," Longworth said.

"I am surprised it's not regulated."

Health Canada does not list salvia or salvinorum A, the active ingredient, in its list of controlled substances, but an agency spokesperson said health officials are ready to take action if they find reason to regulate the plant.

"Health Canada continues to monitor salvia divinorum," spokesperson Chris Williams said, noting the agency has been aware of the plant's presence in Canada since 2002.

Williams said Health Canada does not know of health risks associated with salvia, nor does the agency have any proof that salvia causes a dependency.

There are a handful of countries, including Australia and Denmark, that regulate salvia and salvinorum A.

Bender is surprised Health Canada has not moved to quickly limit salvia.

He does not sell salvia to people under 18, but said that has not stopped youths from bringing their parents to his shop to make the purchase.

Bender warns customers not to drive a vehicle after consuming the substance.

Longworth said police have already introduced salvia in drug-related educational material presented to local principals and vice-principals.

"There are serious potential dangers," he said, pointing out the hallucinogenic properties could result in violent behaviour.


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breaktech beatengineer

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Re: Hallucinogen perfectly legal [Re: motaman] * 1
    #4482547 - 08/01/05 09:44 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

people don'tneed babysitters for salvia...... at least as log as it isn't thier frst time. Datura is what you need to watch out for

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Re: Hallucinogen perfectly legal [Re: motaman] * 1
    #4482731 - 08/01/05 10:34 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)


motaman said:
Bender warns customers not to drive a vehicle after consuming the substance.

lol, i couldnt imagine someone even getting the key in the ignition to drive, nevermind trying to find the gas pedal.


Not all who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

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Mr. I Eat Butthole
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Re: Hallucinogen perfectly legal [Re: nightkrawler] * 1
    #4482738 - 08/01/05 10:35 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

yeah i dont think you have to worry about driving.... hell i can barely get up until it subsides enough.


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Re: Hallucinogen perfectly legal [Re: LeftyBurnz] * 1
    #4483116 - 08/02/05 12:00 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

60 dollars a gram?


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Re: Hallucinogen perfectly legal [Re: motaman] * 1
    #4513306 - 08/09/05 04:12 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

How has the drug Salvia, a potent hallucinogenic, remained completely legal in Canada?
August 9, 2005 - vueweekly.com

"That's $42.80 with tax," said the girl behind the counter.

"Um, do you take Amex?" I asked.

"Of course," she said, smiling as she took my credit card.

As far as consumer transactions go, this exchange probably doesn't sound all that unusual. And it isn't, really, except for the fact that most drug dealers tend not to accept credit cards-or charge GST, for that matter. I had purchased one gram of an extremely potent hallucinogen that's been compared to LSD, but neither Two Guys With Pipes-the store on Jasper Avenue where I made the purchase-nor I had committed a crime.

I now had in my possession a gram of Salvia, a completely unregulated hallucinogen that is entirely legal to possess, distribute and consume in every country except Australia. If I ingest it I will likely lose consciousness, have intense and possibly frightening hallucinations and almost certainly be at least partially unable to control my actions, but there is no law that prevents me from driving while under this substance's influence, nor is there anything more persuasive than morality preventing me from providing this substance to a minor. In a country where possession of any amount of marijuana is still theoretically a criminal offense, this all may seem a bit hypocritical, but such is the curious conundrum of this centuries-old but barely understood intoxicant that is becoming increasingly popular in Edmonton.

"For the first year or so it wasn't all that popular, but it's started to really pick up in the last six months," says Colin Rogucki, whose Old Strathcona head shop Shell Shocked has been selling the drug for nearly two years. When a distributor of the drug originally approached Rogucki, he was skeptical of the apparent legality of selling Salvia, but after checking with a lawyer he believes he is legally in the clear.

"We sell it with an information handout, we don't sell it to anyone under the age of 18, and we don't really advertise it anyway," explains Rogucki, emphasizing that he takes such measures purely out of a sense of personal responsibility. "It doesn't affect my liability either way, but we want people to do it safely and responsibly."

The pamphlet that the store hands out with its Salvia features a half-page of warnings such as "do not drive or operate any type of machinery while under the influence of Salvia" and "a virtual loss of consciousness similar to the effects described in the movie "The Matrix" is a common experience." There are also a myriad number of websites devoted to providing information about Salvia, most of which also helpfully provide links to online distributors of the drug. But in spite of this apparent glut of information about the substance, there is still a pronounced dearth of scientific information regarding Salvia.

"Most of what we know about salvia is anecdotal," says the University of Alberta's Stefan Little, a graduate student who teaches an undergraduate botany class on drug plants. According to Little, the term "Salvia" refers to the plant Salvia divinorum, a close relative of mint that has been used for centuries by the Mazatec people of Mexico to induce spiritual visions. The active chemical in the plant, Salvinorum-A, is a neoclerodanediterpenoid, meaning that it is completely unlike other psychoactive chemicals such as LSD or psilocybin, which scientists only began to understand in the last decade.

"It wasn't until the mid-'90s that scientists even managed to isolate what chemical in salvia was responsible for the hallucinogenic effect," Little explains. "The active chemical that makes salvia hallucinogenic is a terpenoid that binds to the brain's kappa opioid receptor, which is a receptor to which few other substances bind." Little, who hasn't used Salvia, is careful to be even-handed with his assessment, stressing that more information is needed about the substance to truly ascertain whether or not Salvia is dangerous or benign. "I haven't seen any information suggesting salvia is addictive, and as far as I know it's not really toxic in any way, but there's very little scientific knowledge about it. I would like to see a lot more research on its effects and chemistry."

Edmonton drug advocate Benjamin Currie shares some of Little's reservations. Currie owns True North Hemp on Whyte Avenue and has chosen not to sell Salvia in his shop. "I've not noticed any harm to myself from taking salvia, and I haven't heard of any harm being caused by it, but it's definitely something to be respected," he explains, noting the ignorance most recreational drug users have about Salvia. "The majority of people who come in looking for it don't even know what they're asking for; they call it "sylvia" or "saliva." They've never seen it, they've never tried it before, but they want to drop 40 bucks on a bunch of it for a party."

For Currie, Salvia, while not dangerous, is probably too intense of an experience for the casual young marijuana users who are most interested in trying it. "We just felt it wasn't appropriate for us to profit from selling something to people who didn't understand what they were getting into," he says.

Even though his shop does sell Salvia, Rogucki shares many of Currie's concerns. "It shouldn't really be sold like we're selling anyways, because it's something some people shouldn't be doing," he admits. "This is something that is dangerous if it gets into the wrong hands."

Rogucki wouldn't even mind seeing some regulation of the sale of Salvia-not allowing minors to purchase it for example-although he worries about Salvia becoming completely illegal in Canada in near future, and his concerns are not without merit. In addition to Australia's outright ban, Finland and Denmark have made it illegal to import Salvia, and while the drug remains legal in the United States, there are currently several bills being considered by state congresses, although the small town of St. Peter's, Missouri remains the only place in North America to have successfully passed a law prohibiting the sale of Salvia to minors.

Part of the reason Salvia has been so difficult to regulate is its unique chemistry. "I lot of substances are made illegal quite easily because they are similar in structure to something that has already been established as a controlled substance," explains Little. "But the chemical in salvia that causes the hallucinogenic effect is completely distinctive-it doesn't work like LSD or psilocybin or heroin, for example-so legislators and law enforcement have a harder time classifying Salvia."

Little believes that Salvia will eventually become a controlled substance, but likely for political more so than scientific reasons. "Most drug laws aren't based at all on scientific information. Social stigma or political expediency tend to be responsible for most drug policy," he explains. "I suspect that it won't take long for a couple of idiots to have a really bad experience or get hit by a car or fall off of a balcony on this stuff. The publicity from that kind of thing would get Salvia criminalized fairly quickly."

Rogucki agrees with Little's assessment, using other recently criminalized substances as examples. "Ketamine has only been illegal for about 10 years, and ecstasy was totally legal 20 years ago," he notes. "It's like any other drug-once it starts showing up at clubs or starts being blamed for accidents it will become illegal fairly quickly."

In this way, for all its mystery and uniqueness, Salvia is just like every other intoxicant known to man. "It doesn't matter of it's booze or pot or anything," says Rogucki. "There will always someone who does too much and doesn't take any responsibility for their stupidity, and then it becomes impossible for responsible people to enjoy it."

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Re: Hallucinogen perfectly legal [Re: veggie] * 1
    #4514356 - 08/09/05 02:38 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)


but there is no law that prevents me from driving while under this substance's influence, nor is there anything more persuasive than morality preventing me from providing this substance to a minor.

Jesus, I think they have laws against that. I beleive its called driving under the influence / Driving while intoxicated; those laws are not limited to alcohol.

And what is to stop you from giving a minor a stick of dynamite to blow his arm off with, just morality?

Everything Is Blue In This World. The Deepest Shade Of Mushroom Blue.

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Re: Hallucinogen perfectly legal [Re: darkfly] * 1
    #4516276 - 08/10/05 12:07 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Damn you beat me to it, exactly what I was going to say.

"life is like a drop of rain getting closer and closer to falling into a lake, and then when you hit the lake there is no more rain drop, only the lake."

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