Provides that any person who sells, dispenses, distributes, furnishes, administers, gives, or offers to sell, dispense, distribute, furnish, administer or give Salvia divinorum, or Salvinorin A, or any substance or material containing Salvia divinorum or Salvianorin [sic] A, to any person under 18 years of age shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Currently legal psychoactive? Efforts afoot to regulate and/or limit use? Game on, DearReader...
Let us start with a lame disclaimer. I meant to get to the Salvia issue some time ago but this is pretty far away from my area and I know very little about it. I went so far as to try to persuade a researcher that I thought would do a pretty decent guest post to cover it in a guest post but that seems to have fallen through. So let us consider this post an intro, for myself as well as for you, DearReader.
Well, we might as well start with the rationale from the legislator proposing the new legislation:
Author's Statement : According to the author, ""Recently, a substance has been discovered being sold on the Internet and in local 'smoke and head' shops across the state which has been identified as a hallucinogenic herb. This substance is called 'Salvia' or ' Salvia divinorum'. As of now, this substance is legal to sell to minors in the State of California.
- snip -
The effects produced by Salvia divinorum are not comparable to any other effects produced by the other psychoactive substances (i.e., peyote, psilocybin, LSD, etc.). ...The effects can range from subtle to extremely strong, causing an individual to have out-of-body experiences and create a real potential for physical danger to oneself and others.
Ok. So it is an attempt to keep this stuff out of the hands of minors, interestingly this bill will simply append a similar law keeping inhalants out of the hands of minors. Seems pretty straightforward. People are using it. It apparently results in a very different subjective experience than classic hallucinogens, check. The presumed primary active component is Salvinorin A, check. Mechanism of action is through activation of kappa opioid receptors, check, check.
Hmm, okay, what else? Well you can apparently produce a conditioned place preference in rodents and zebrafish with Salvanorin A, effects that are both kappa-opioid and endocannabinoid mediated. This despite the fact that kappa-opioid agonists are not readily self-administered (although I'd have to go back and do some looking to nail that assertion down).
One part of the legislative argument just cracked me up.
Salvia cannot be considered a 'party drug' or have any social use whatsoever. In fact, people under the effects of Salvia are usually not social with others and do not interact with people while having their hallucinating experience.
It sounds as though this legislator is saying "Well, Ecstasy and cannabis, now that's great stuff because it's, you know social and everything but this individual experience stuff is right out!" Why this is part of a legislative rationale for a restriction on a psychoactive I do not know.
We'll close with one of the many YouTube Salvia experiences thanks to this comment on Drug Law Blog:
Anonymous YouTube videos, as titillating as they may be, are not the kind of evidence that should be the basis for passing legislation.
Anonymous? "titillating"? Well if that isn't bait I don't know what is. Doesn't this just take you back to the 'ol college days, DearReader?