They’ll Take Away My Salvia…

…when they pry it out of my cold, dead hands. The WTF story for the day (well, aside from this week’s Doctor Who cliffhanger *spoiler alert*) is this one from Loretta Nall. There is a move underway in Alabama to outlaw a particular type of salvia, salvia divinorum, which is apparently a hallucinogen.

Deborah Soule, executive director for the Huntsville-based Partnership for a Drug Free Community, said efforts are currently under way to outlaw the drug once and for all. Since 2007, Soule has personally contacted many of Alabama’s legislators and Gov. Bob Riley to bring attention to the drug.

She had limited success during the last legislative session, when Sen. Roger Bedford Jr. sponsored a bill to make salvia a controlled substance. However, the bill never made it made it out of committee.

“It just got caught up in a log jam of a Republican filibuster,” Bedford said.

To Soule, the real problem with the bill was the lack of education about salvia.

“The biggest problem in the Alabama Legislature is a lot of people didn’t know about it,” Soule said.

Well, goodness, let’s get busy and inform the legislature about this terrible danger lurking in our midst. And, at the same time, clue in the kids who are supposedly at risk. Loretta makes some excellent points here:

Once Ms. Soule, in collusion with our legislative clowns, make it illegal, we will see a huge jump in its use by kids. We’ll see prison imposed for possession of a geranium plant, teens and college kids saddled with felony criminal records (according to Sen. Bedford they are the main consumers), lives ruined, forced treatment, drug court and all kinds of crazy stuff that we don’t see now when it is legal and not widely known all because of the raging, moralistic crusade to outlaw anything that might give someone else pleasure. What will they outlaw next, spinning around in circles until you get dizzy? That also alters ones state of consciousness.

Let me add my concern. How will the salvia police know which plants are illegal? I googled an image of salvia divinorum and came up with the same one Loretta uses at her place, which looks way too similar to pineapple sage. Pineapple sage like the one on my back deck. Yeah, a plant expert could tell them apart, but how many police officers will get botanical training before they’re sent out to fight the terrors of, um, sage? Especially when they can use the guilty-till-proven-innocent asset forfeiture laws to grab houses, cars, and cash from homeowners or plant nurseries that harbor suspect plants.

I’d like to hope our legislators would resist the lure of yet another headline-grabbing “tough on crime” measure, but I’m not holding my breath. Guess I’d better start building a priest’s hole for my pineapple sage. :)

17 Responses to “They’ll Take Away My Salvia…”

  1. Jennifer says:

    See this is why I don’t garden!! It’s a highly risky profession!!

  2. Kathy says:

    Jennifer, you’re right. But from what I’ve read at your place, it sounds like your homeowners’ association is scarier than the cops. Even if you don’t garden. :)

  3. Loretta Nall says:

    Yep…these days any ‘green leafy substance’ is subject to seizure by the police. We used to grow salvia. When the cops raided me in 2002 they seized a bunch of it. They didn’t know what it was but it was a green leafy substance in the freezer. Got a binch of catnip too They also almost seized some bringh, green goose shit because they thought the goose ate the weed they were sure they would find but didn’t…but that is another story.

    To play it safe stay far away from all things green :)

  4. Kiki says:

    Oh, my–my hubby and I were just looking at the Salvia at WalMart last night–he wanted to buy every last plant! Guess he heard about this–ridiculous!

  5. Helen says:

    It’s so much easier to go after plants than deal with the real problem–the tremendous costs and consequences of addiction and/or people who do reckless things while ‘under the influence.’

  6. [...] Birmingham Blues: They’ll Take Away My Salvia… [...]

  7. Johnny says:

    Yeah, forget about alcohol and tobacco, which kills hundreds of thousands of people annually, and go after a harmless herb that doesn’t have a powerful lobby paying legislators to keep it legal. It’s a real shame that with all of the problems facing our state, these two-bit, modern day Puritans want to grandstand on things like outlawing the sale of sex toys and herbs.

  8. Kathy says:

    Johnny that is spot on. If the salvia lobby was writing checks to our legislators, we’d never hear a peep about the “evil” plant.

  9. Amy Amy says:

    Reading the wiki page about this plant, it sounds as though there are lots of people who would benefit from the non-addictive plant. Perhaps the pharmaceutical industry is pushing for this because they want to corner the market. There are several pharmaceutical companies currently seeking patents on the marajuana plant for that very purpose.

  10. Airren says:

    I’m with you. Hide yer brugmansias too – I heard they’re coming for them as well!

  11. ravi verma says:

    I am doing research on salvia and am writing articles on salvia. I am going to write 50 articles on various topics on salvia. I want someone to review my article. I will be grateful to you.This is my blog

  12. Salvia Trips says:

    Please, Please, tell me how you can possibly make a plant illegal?

    Is that not absurd? Especially considering the legality of tobacco…

    God, this whole topic makes me so angry.

  13. Kathy says:

    Yeah, it’s pretty nuts. I just can’t see the police making the proper distinction between plants, which means lots of trouble for people who just want to grow ornamental herbs.

  14. galin drury says:

    I get high just watching children play, but don’t tell the politicians or they will outlaw playgrounds. That is how rediculous things are getting. Grain alcohol is legal so they want to regulate sage!!! God help us.

  15. Delores says:

    Hello! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the great information you’ve got right here on this post. I will be returning to your site for more soon.

  16. fantastic submit, very informative. I’m wondering why
    the opposite experts of this sector don’t notice this.
    You must continue your writing. I am sure, you have a
    huge readers’ base already!

Leave a Reply