PRESS RELEASE
from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
March 27, 2007
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senator Estes files bill to regulate Salvia Divinorum

AUSTIN - State Senator Craig Estes filed Senate Bill 1796 to restrict access to the psychoactive drug Salvia Divinorum commonly available in tobacco shops or over the Internet.

"Many people are not aware of this growing problem with Salvia, and we are not sure of the long term affects from using this drug," said Estes. "At the very least, drugs that alter the mind of the user should not be available to minors."

Senate Bill 1796 would prohibit the sale or giving of Salvia Divinorum to anyone under the age of 18. Salvia a psychoactive plant that can be ingested by chewing the plants, or squeezing the leaves for juice, but is most commonly ingested by drying and smoking the leaves.

Websites promoting the use of Salvia encourage the user to have a "sober sitter" to watch out for the user's safety while under the effects of the drug. The effects of the drug often leave the user temporarily incapacitated and unable to function without supervision.

"I can see no reason to allow a minor to have access to any substance that requires a 'sober sitter' to keep the user from hurting themselves or others," said Estes.

Estes added that he believes the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services should conduct an interim study to further investigate the use of Salvia Divinorum and to recommend whether further regulation is warranted.

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