Proposal banning ‘Spice’, Salvia moves to Governor

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Senate lawmakers voted 49-1 today in support of the final version of a proposal banning products like ‘Spice’ and the herb salvia divinorum in Indiana, sending the enrolled act to Governor Mitch Daniels where it could be signed into law.

Salvia Divinorum plant

Salvia Divinorum is a perennial herb that recently gained popularity because of its hallucinogenic properties. It is also known as diviner’s sage and it is a psychoactive plant. It has a long tradition of medicinal use in Mexico.

Senate Enrolled Act 57 adds various chemical compounds used in synthetic cannabinoids like ‘Spice’ and the herb salvia divinorum to the state’s controlled substances list. State Senator Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) said if signed into the law, the same penalties for producing, delivering, dealing or possessing marijuana will be established for synthetic cannabinoids and salvia, a powerful, hallucinogenic plant.

“I set out this session to get these dangerous products out of Indiana, and today’s final vote represents an important step toward that goal,” Alting said. “I look forward to the day when this proposal is officially signed into law. This was a team effort and a lot of credit is owed to local law enforcement officials, lawmakers and educators that worked together in the state’s fight against these drugs.”

‘Spice’ and other products like ‘K2,’ ‘Voodoo Magic’ and ‘Mr. Smiley’ are blends of herbs and man-made chemicals. When smoked and inhaled, they mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, intoxication from THC can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and trouble with learning and memory functions.

Salvia divinorum and products made from the herb, like ‘Sally D.’, ‘Magic Mint’ and ‘Diviner’s Sage,’ provide quick highs comparable to LSD.

Officials from the DEA list several chemical compounds in synthetic cannabinoids and salvia as “drugs and chemicals of concern” and have been considering whether to make them controlled substances for more than five years.

Current state law bans “analog drugs” that are designed to have similar effects as illegal drugs, but a loophole exempts drugs labeled “not for human consumption” – often used on brands like ‘Spice’ and salvia products that are sold as herbal incense.

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