A Mexican plant with the power to send smokers on a psychedelic ride should be banned, say police and prosecutors quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Lawmakers in Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Delaware have outlawed Salvia divinorum, a perennial herb in the mint family that is related to garden sage. Salvia divinorum and its extracts are not controlled substances in the U.S., but the Drug Enforcement Administration lists it as a “drug of concern.”
A drug task force in suburban Lorain County raised concerns in February about the drug’s availability after agents found the herb for sale at a cellular phone store. Police came upon the plant while cracking down on counterfeit name-brand shoes, jeans, shirts and clothing. Medicine men with the Mazatec Indian tribe of the Sierra Madre mountains in Oaxaca, Mexico, have used Salvia divinorum in divination rituals and healing. Since the advent of the Internet in the mid-1990s, the plant’s reputation as a psychoactive drug has spread beyond Oaxaca.