||Is Salvia divinorum Legal?
According to many, Salvia divinorum may be used in a safe and responsible way by adults as it is not habit-forming, not addictive, and does not present a significant risk to public health or safety. Because it is a powerful herb that produces hallucinations and alters consciousness, some regulation of sales is appropriate, but criminalizing possession certainly is not.
When it comes to regulation, restricting sales would be appropriate, as well as obligating shops to provide user information and warnings with all salvia products.
Unfortunately, several countries have enacted laws that prohibit possession and/or sale and/or importation of Salvia divinorum. Here is an overview. Have you got updated information on the legal status of Salvia in your country or state? Contact us, and we will add it to this page.
- Australia Since June 1, 2002.
- Belgium Salvia divinorum was added to a list of "illegal products" in May 2006.
- Denmark Since August 23, 2003.
- Estonia Since April 2005 Salvia divinorum is listed as a medicinal herb that requires a doctor’s prescription.
- Finland Since August 2002, unless with a relevant prescription from a doctor.
- Italy Since January 11, 2005, the sale and possession of Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A are illegal.
- Japan Salvinorin A is one of the thirthy-three controlled substances that has been said to be banned under a pharmaceutic law that should have taken effect since April 2007.
- Norway In 2002, The National Health Council of Norway has listed Salvia divinorum as a medicinal herb that requires a doctor’s prescription.
- Spain Sale prohibited since January 28, 2004.
- South Korea As of January 2005, both Salvia divinorum and Salvinorin A are controlled.
- Sweden Since April 1, 2006.
The United States Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Delaware, and Maine are the only states in the USA that have laws prohibiting possession of Salvia divinorum.
- Louisiana The new law, called Act No. 159, went into effect on August 15, 2005 (Strain et al. 2005). Thus Louisiana became the first state in the USA to criminalize Salvia divinorum.
- Missouri Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A also became Schedule I substances in the state of Missouri.
- Tennessee A bill passed that classifies the knowing production, manufacture, distribution, or possession of the active chemical ingredient in the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum as a Class A crime. It went into effect on July 1, 2006.
- Oklahoma On May 26, 2006 Salvia divinorum was added to the list of controlled substances.
- Delaware On March 16, 2006, Salvia divinorum was made a Schedule I controlled substance in that state.
- Maine A bill was signed into law on May 15, 2007, that regulates salvia in the same way tobacco products are regulated in Maine. Adults 18 and over could legally purchase and use the material. Selling or providing Salvia divinorum or salvinorin A to anyone under the age of 18 would be a criminal offense.
- Germany Since May 2006 it is illegal to sell Salvia products in shops that are not drugstores. According to Erowid, as of July 2007, the BfArM may be considering scheduling Salvia divinorum and all of its parts.
- Russia Salvia divinorum is not controlled or illegal in the Russian Federation. However, information from "Timiryazevskaya Agricultural Academy" (botanical academy) and GNK officials (DEA-like organisation in Russia) suggest that the Russian authorities plan to control Salvia divinorum by mid-2007 (Erowid).
- United Kingdom On October 19, 2005, John Mann, Member of Parliament, tabled an Early Day Motion urging the government to ban Salvia divinorum under the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Anon. 2005b; Mann 2005). So far, no further steps have been taken to ban Salvia divinorum in the United Kingdom (The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center).
- US - Federal Legislation The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is presently studying Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A, and is considering whether or not they present a risk to public safety that would justify making them controlled substances (and consequently further infringing on the personal freedoms of American citizens).
In July 2007, it became known that the DEA had recently initiated an Eight Factor Analysis of Salvia divinorum. The Controlled Substances Act requires that this analysis be performed before a substance can be scheduled as a controlled substance. The eight factors considered are:
- Actual and potential for abuse.
- Other current scientific knowledge.
- History and current pattern of abuse.
- Scope, duration, and significance of abuse.
- Public health risk.
- Psychic or physiological dependence liability.
- If an immediate precursor of a controlled substance.
Based on the results of the analysis, the DEA may recommend that Salvia divinorum be scheduled as a controlled substance. This analysis will probably take several months to be completed. If they do decide to criminalize it, it will take a minimum of 30 days after they give public notice of their intentions in the Federal Register before the change of legal status takes effect. (The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center).
- Oregon On January 25 of 2007, Representative John Lim (R) introduced House Bill 2494 to the Oregon State Legislature. If passed, this legislation would make Salvia divinorum and salv
- inorin A Schedule I controlled substances in that state.
- New York On February 8, 2007, the bill that would make possession of Salvia divinorum a crime punishable by a $ 50 fine passed in the senate. It is now being considered by the State Assembly.
- Illinois A proposed law that implies that any substance extracted from Salvia divinorum (water, chlorophyll, whatever) would be treated as a Schedule I controlled substance will probably go into effect on January 1, 2008.
- Wyoming Salvia divinorum is still legal here.
- Alaska On January 16, 2007, a legislation on Salvia was reintroduced but has yet not passed.
- New Jersey Two bills were introduced that would classify Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A as Schedule I controlled substances in New Jersey. As of today, neither bill has come up for a vote.
- Pennsylvania Since May 2, 2006 several “Salvia bills” have been introduced to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. None of them has passed yet.
- Virginia On January 10, 2007 a bill was introduced that seeks to add salvinorin A to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. The text of the bill only mentions salvinorin A. It has not yet come up for a vote.
- North Dakota On January 15, 2007, a bill that seeks to add Salvia divinorum to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances was introduced, but has not yet come up for a vote.
- Iowa On January 18, 2007, the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy introduced Senate Study Bill 1051 to the Iowa State Legislature. This bill seeks to add Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. If passed, the bill would make it a serious misdemeanor to manufacture, deliver, or possess Salvia.
- Utah On January 18, 2007, a bill that seeks to add Salvia divinorum to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances was introduced, but has not yet come up for a vote.
- California On February 5, 2007, a bill was introduced to the California State Legislature which would make Salvia divinorum a Schedule I controlled substance in that state. It was defeated by committee vote, but a reconsideration (for which no date was set) was granted.
- Florida In Spring 2007 one “Salvia bill” died in committee, so it is still a legal substance.
- Georgia On March 1, 2007, a bill was introduced that classifies the knowing production, manufacture, distribution, or possession of the active chemical ingredient in the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum as a Class A crime. It has not yet come up for a vote.
- Texas Two “Salvia bills” that would make Salvia into a Schedule I drug are now being considered by the House. If either bill is enacted, the new law would take effect on September 1, 2007.
- Ohio On May 9, 2007, a bill was introduced. If passed, this legislation would make Salvia divinorum a Schedule I controlled substance in that state.
- Brazil Salvia divinorum is legal in Brazil, but since 2005 a regulation prohibits importation of plant products without a permit.
- France In France there are no laws prohibiting the sale, possession and/or use of Salvia divinorum. However, this does not mean that one could not be persecuted for selling the plant. The French law on Public Health states that ‘the sale of substances presented as having the same effects as narcotic substances or plants’ is prohibited. Explaining that salvia is legal drug that could possibly have the same effects as illegal drugs is punishable by five years imprisonment. In short, this means that it is legal to sell narcotic plants and substances that are not listed as such, as long as you do not give information about the usage and the possible narcotic effects! Read the entire article about this strange law: Salvia divinorum, une nouvelle mode arrive en France (sorry French only).
- New Zealand Salvia divinorum is legal to buy, sell and possess in New Zealand, with an “over 18” age restriction on sales.
- South Africa.
For more detailed information on this topic, visit Sagewisdom and Erowid. Please note that we can not be held responsible for the legal information given here. If you have any doubts about the legal status of Salvia divinorum in your country, you should consult relevant sources in your country (f.i. customs) before buying the plant.