California vote against Salvia divinorum

January 29, 2008

Wonderland Treatment Center Leads the Fight Against Salvia

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17, PRNewswire — Howard C. Samuels PsyD, Executive Director and co-founder of Wonderland Treatment Center in Los Angeles, has won a major victory in his crusade against the hallucinogenic plant “Salvia Divinorum.” On a 7-0 vote cast just yesterday, the California Assembly Committee on Public Safety passed Assembly Bill 259, introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia), which would make the sale or distribution of Salvia to any person under the age of 18 a misdemeanor in the State of California. Samuels had recently petitioned the Assemblyman on the cause, which found widespread support on behalf of state, county, and local law enforcement agencies among many others.

“Young people are dying from this drug,” said Samuels. “Making a substance illegal may not always succeed in making it impossible to get, but it makes it much, much harder to get, especially for kids and teenagers. This is a vitally important first step for our kids and our community.”

Salvia is a naturally grown, mint-like leaf which has been equated to providing users with experiences similar to that of the mind-altering drug LSD. Side effects include uncontrollable hysteria, an out of body experience, and a feeling of total confusion or near-madness.

Assembly Bill 259 will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.