Salvia could soon be illegal in NC

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The senate approved a bill that would make a hallucinogenic herb illegal in North Carolina.

Salvia is an inexpensive hallucinogenic herb that has been used for years.  It became popular in the United States in the mid 1990s and picked up names like "legal LSD" and "magic mint."

According to Bill 138, people who possess, grow, or sell the herb would face a minimum $25 fine on a first offense and misdemeanor on the third offense.

Bill sponsor Sen. Bill Purcell of Scotland County said he didn't want the punishment too harsh now because researchers are still learning about the herb, which when smoked or chewed can lead to out-of-body experiences.

The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration has Salvia on its list of drugs of concern, and 14 states have already made the substance illegal.

Now, more than a dozen states are considering outlawing the drug for fear it could become the next marijuana because it's inexpensive and easy to buy.

The measure now goes to the House.

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