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No salvia divinorum possession

Published (6/1/2010)
By Mike Cook
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A drug that is becoming more popular with teenagers and 20-somethings will be illegal.

Sponsored by Rep. Morrie Lanning (R-Moorhead) and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), a new law creates a misdemeanor for possession of salvia divinorum and a gross misdemeanor for its sale.

The law takes effect Aug. 1, 2010.

Derived from an herb from Mexico and known for its hallucinogenic effects that are often compared to LSD, salvia divinorum is either chewed or smoked. Its psychic effects include perceptions of bright lights and vivid colors, uncontrolled laughter and hallucinations. Harmful physical effects may include lack of coordination, dizziness and slurred speech.

Twenty states have made this illegal, including North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Salvia divinorum is sold by head shops on a retail basis, making it problematic, especially in towns bordering other states.

A 2009 national survey indicated 5.9 percent of high school seniors had used salvia divinorum, more than have used the drug ecstasy.

HF2975/ SF2773*/CH368

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