New York Senate Votes to Ban Salvia

By McCarton Ackerman 01/25/12

People who sell the hallucinogen will soon face fines.

Saliva is becoming more regulated.
Photo via

The New York State Senate passed legislation yesterday to ban the sale of the legal hallucinogen salvia. The bill was sponsored by Senator John Flanagan in response to reports of numerous salvia related incidents over the last few years—including a Roosevelt Island man who ingested salvia before leaping to his death. The legislation will go into effect 60 days after becoming law, with violators subject to a civil penalty of up to $500 per offense. “Salvia divinorum is a substance that can act as a gateway to further drug use and this legislation will help keep children in our state from starting down that destructive path," says Flanagan. "The simple reality is that we need to ban the sale of salvia divinorum this year and I look forward to make that happen.” Salvia is a psychoactive plant currently available on the internet and in stores without age restrictions. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, its long-term effects may resemble those of other hallucinogens such as LSD, including depression and schizophrenia. Pop star Miley Cyrus made headlines in 2010 for her videotaped use of salvia.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.