Press Release from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
April 2, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Texas Senate Passes Bill by Senator Estes to Regulate Salvia Divinorum

Austin — The Texas State Senate passed Senate Bill 257 by State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) to restrict access to the psychoactive drug Salvia Divinorum or its active ingredient Salvinorin A, which are commonly available in tobacco shops or over the Internet.

"Parents and school officials are becoming more aware of this growing problem with Salvia and its growing popularity with young people," said Estes. "We do not yet know the long-term effects of using Salvia Divinorum, but I do believe that any drug that alters the mind of the user should not be available to minors."

Senate Bill 257 prohibits the sale or delivery of Salvia Divinorum or the active ingredient Salvinorin A to anyone under the age of 18. Salvia is 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.

Videos featuring the use of salvia can be commonly found on video sharing websites such as YouTube, and 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.

Senate Bill 257 will now be referred to the Texas House for further consideration.

Senator Estes is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.