Salvia, a hallucinogenic leaf that is legal in most of the nation, is the target of new calls for a ban after the suicide of a teenager who smoked it, reports USA Today. Salvia is the most powerful natural hallucinogen known – almost as strong as LSD. Known as “diviner’s sage,” salvia has been used for centuries by the Mazatec Indians in Mexico. In the U.S., it is sold in leaf and liquid form by Web sites and head shops. “Kids fall into a false sense of security because it’s legal,” says Delaware state Sen. Karen Peterson. “We control LSD, and we should control this.” Louisiana and Missouri have already banned the substance.
The family of Brett Chidester, 17, of Wilmington, De., blames his suicide on the drug. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has not recommended that it be banned. “It is a concern and we’re looking at it, but just because it hasn’t been scheduled doesn’t mean it’s safe or healthy,” says a spokeswoman. “It’s dangerous from what you can see from anecdotal material.”