from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2008
Contact: Jody Withers

Senator Estes files bill to regulate Salvia Divinorum

Austin - State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) filed Senate Bill 257 to restrict access to the psychoactive drug Salvia Divinorum 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 would prohibit the sale or giving of Salvia Divinorum 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.

Estes filed the same bill as Senate Bill 1796 in the 80th Legislature, which was approved by the State Senate, but stalled in the State House.