View Full Version : 'Salvia' Under Study By DEA

02-27-2004, 10:02 AM
POSTED: 9:09 am MST February 25, 2004 (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/2873263/detail.html)

DENVER -- Here's a warning for parents: information that federal drug agents want you to know.


A new legal drug call 'Salvia' that looks like marijuana (pictured, left), but creates a high much like LSD, 7NEWS Investigator Tony Kovaleski reported recently.

"It's legal and very easy for anyone, including teenagers, to purchase," said Kovaleski.

Users say Salvia Divinorum produces a more potent and hallucinogenic high than marijuana.

"It's different because there is no transition," said a head shop employee on our 7NEWS hidden camera. "One minute you're sober, the next minute you're intoxicated."

"There's a lot we don't know about it"
- Jeffery Sweetin, DEA

7NEWS reported that its hidden cameras captured candid testimonials from head shop employees throughout metro Denver.

"It's very popular," said another head shop employee. "People always come in and ask for it."

The Drug Enforcement Administration's top cop in Colorado said the substance is under study.

"There's a lot we don't know about it and there's suggestions that it's harmful and dangerous," said Jeffery Sweetin, DEA special agent in charge.

"What we know the drug to be is a hallucinogenic substance," he said.

Greg Stone entertains listeners as "Uncle Nasty" on KBPI radio. On the air last year, he smoked Salvia for the audience and the experience.

Kovaleski: "Fair to say you were high for a period of time?
Stone: "Yeah... 8-10 minutes. I felt the effects of it. It was a jolly good time there for about 10 minutes. A lot of laughing... a lot of laughing. Then afterwards in this order, hunger, headache, nausea for about an hour and a half."

Matt Debaets said he started smoking Salvia 2 years ago.

"It's the best sh** ever, man," said Debaets.

"What bothers me the most about it is there seems to be an assumption that if it were dangerous it would already be illegal," said Sweetin.

But years after hitting the marketplace, Salvia is still readily available, Kovaleski reported.

7News undercover cam: "Why is it legal?"
Head Shop Employee: "Because it's chemical make up is unlike anything that's been scheduled."

The chemical makeup of Salvia frustrates the DEA.

"The assumption is made that if I or anybody else in DEA thinks this substance is bad that we just make it illegal," said Sweetin. "It's a very time consuming, difficult process to schedule a drug and make it illegal."

But, with head shops continuing to profit from the product and users boasting of its mind-altering experience, at least one Salvia smoker says the immediate consequences outweigh any perceived benefits.

"Me personally, I haven't done it since," said Stone. "The nausea and headache outweighed the buzz for me."

Kovaleski said that many smoke shop employees told our hidden cameras that it won't be long before Salvia goes from legal to illegal. The DEA says it cannot predict when, or if, the drug will become illegal.


Eyes of the Night
02-28-2004, 03:20 AM
Hmmm ... time to go to the nearest smoke shop and request my SALVIA today!:D ...


10-13-2005, 08:07 PM
I just read another article on this saying that the feds are again looking at this substance with the ol' stink eye, thinking about outlawing it. Since it is now LEGAL and you can buy it, I went out and picked up some. My advice, skip the leaves, go for the extract. I tried the leaves 1 or 2 years ago with no effect. The extract provided a Matrix-like effect (for me) after only 2 hits. The ride didn't last for more than 10 minutes. Some claim it induces visions, but it was just a consciousness-bending experience for me. Like someone was behind the scenes with paint, pouring colors into the images as I'm viewing them. An hour later, no hangover, completely back to normal.