State criminalizes salvia, nobody notices

State criminalizes salvia, nobody notices

At midnight July 1, Salvia Divinorum, the mind altering Mexican plant whose use by teenagers has been sweeping the nation (or so says some media), officially became illegal, giving some Virginians out there a cool, new, felony-level, drug-using past. Last March, Governor Tim Kaine signed into law HB21, the Virginia bill criminalizing the drug. Since the beginning of this year, there has been a wave of often hysterical media reports about the “new Marijuana” or “legal LSD” that’s threatening America’s youth. Not ones to sit on their hands while children suffer, the nation’s lawmakers  leaped into action, with eight states proposing bans this year, and three (including Virginia) making it illegal, for a total of 17 states currently considering a ban, and 11 where the plant is outlawed. In addition, the country has already seen its first Salvia arrest, a 46-year-old man in North Dakota. The substance has yet to be proven to be harmful, addictive—or even all that fun.

Salvia users became potential felons on July 1 when the drug became illegal in Virginia.

As reported by C-VILLE in March, Salvia was readily available in Charlottesville at Kulture, a “clothing shop” on the Corner. A call to the store 10 minutes before closing on June 30 revealed there had been no rush for the last remaining stash by local Salvia freaks.

Nope, no end-of-an-era Salvia Madness; the last of the stock had been sent to Richmond, where it sold out immediately. Still, “I definitely had a few people realize that it was going to be illegal [July 1] and buy it pretty recently,” said the salesperson, who asked to remain anonymous.

The drug always sold better in Richmond, he added. “We never really had any habitual people that would be using it all the time come in and buy more. I think it was just more of an experiment thing. I think people will just buy it online now.”

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