Is Salvia Divinorum Legal in North Carolina?

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Salvia divinorum is an herb with hallucinogenic properties that is native to Southern Mexico. North Carolina has passed a law prohibiting the sale and possession of Salvia.

Salvia Use

  • The psychoactive plant produces an intense hallucination similar to LSD, but lasting from only five to 15 minutes. Many users recalled unpleasant experiences, though Salvia is not addictive.

The Law

  • North Carolina passed a law banning the sale and possession of Salvia in the state, making it the fifteenth state to do so. Signed by the governor on August 28, 2009, the bill takes effect as law on December 1, 2009.

Violations

  • Starting December 1, 2009, those who possess, sell, deliver or produce Salvia will receive a fine of at least $25 on the first and second offenses. A third time makes the possession a misdemeanor instead of an infraction.

Exceptions

  • Salvia is still legal to possess in North Carolina for studies at accredited institutions. The plant is also legal to possess for decorative or landscaping purposes.

Lawmakers

  • North Carolina Senator Bill Purcell, the bill's sponsor, cited concerns about the drug's increasing popularity. The bill passed by a vote of 96 to 15 in the House and a unanimous vote of 45 in the Senate.

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