ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Legal Issues Surrounding Salvia Use

Updated on March 12, 2011

The increasingly widespread use of salvia divinorum as a hallucinogenic drug among many teens and young adults around the world has sparked a public controversy over regulation of the now popular plant. Salvia divinorum is also known as Diviner’s Sage or Ska Pastora. It has roots in ancient Aztec culture, and is known as a substance that was commonly used throughout history by southwestern Native American tribes, Shamans, and medicine men. In early times, the plant was used to induce “visions” and provide insight.

Today, many argue that salvia is being abused, and the frightening depictions of what happens when someone uses salvia have caused alarm in some parents and public officials. The use of salvia is a popular topic of conversation in the media and among lawmakers. However, doctors urge that there has been little scientific proof of any real health risk or danger concerning the use of salvia.

The effects of salvia are often intense, but typically only last for an average of eight minutes. These hallucinogenic properties are best achieved by smoking the leaves of the plant. Although the leaves and extracts of salvia have been ingested for centuries, it is now known that the psychoactive compounds of the plant cannot be absorbed in this manner.

In 2010, a number of popular videos surfaced on YouTube that attracted a great deal of public attention. These videos depicted teens and young adults smoking salvia and “taking a salvia trip.” Scientists at San Diego State University used the videos as part of drug-behavioral research, and found very little risk associated with the use of salvia. However, some parents who viewed the videos online were terrified at the site of teenagers acting “out of their mind.”

There have been at least two isolated incidents that have prompted public concern over the use of salvia as a drug. There has been one reported incident of psychosis following long-term use of salvia, but medical experts agree that this incident probably had more to do with a predisposition to schizophrenia than the plant itself. In 2002, 17 year old Brett Chidester committed suicide after experimenting with salvia. In this case, Chidester’s mother believed that her son had done more than just “experimented” with the drug. She blames salvia for her son’s death. Following this incident, she petitioned the Delaware state legislature and managed to get salvia banned in the state.


Submit a Comment

  • swedal profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Colorado

    Very true pitzele. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts.

  • pitzele profile image


    7 years ago from Pennsylvania

    Quite interesting. The creativity of people who are looking for a short term escape is amazing, just as the professional athletes seem to stay one step ahead of the regulations banning what everyone knows they are taking.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)