Scientific grounds for not to ban Salvia Divinorum in Mexico

Recently, the National Commission Against Addictions (CONADIC) of Mexico has published its intentions to ban Salvia divinorum in Mexico, the country where the plant is endemic. A group of scientists have written a letter stating the reasons why we believe that such a decision is not scientifically justified. Download and read the letter with the scientific grounds for not to ban Salvia Divinorum in...

Salvia Divinorum: establish restrictions but don’t criminalize it

From Drug Policy Alliance proposal: Salvia Divinorum: establish restrictions but don’t criminalize it Currently, 22 states have criminalized Salvia divinorum, either by placing it into a Schedule I category or by prohibiting its consumption i; several more state legislatures are considering legislation related to Salvia ii. However, some states have rejected criminalization and instead established age-control restrictions and other regulations such as marketing, branding and retail display limitations. Emerging scientific evidence demonstrates that Salvia has significant potential for medical applications and an extremely low risk for abuse. Outright prohibition of Salvia wastes scarce taxpayer funds, strains police resources, and deters scientists from studying its medical benefits. Moreover, criminalizing Salvia replaces a legal market that can be strictly and sensibly regulated with an underground economy that empowers black market criminals. The smarter approach is to keep Salvia legal while establishing restrictions to keep it out of the hands of minors. Background Salvia divinorum is a naturally occurring herb and a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. Basil, mint, common sage, rosemary and thyme are close relatives in the plant kingdom iii iv. It is one of approximately 1,000 species that make up the Salvia genus v. Salvia is native to the Mazatec zone in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where the Mazatec people have consumed fresh, whole leaves for a variety of therapeutic and religious purposes for centuries vi. During a trip in Mexico, Harvard researchers first learned about Salvia and introduced the plant to the United States in 1962 vii. Salvia is most often smoked, but can also be used sublingually or orally (chewed and swallowed), producing effects that last longer but have a...