Have you noticed lately that your neighbor is taking a break from mowing his lawn to pick up some of the cut foliage, roll it in papers, and smoke it? Or, perhaps one of your young children came home from school and mentioned that his friend's older brother got sick from "saliva"? If so, then you recognize the problem that Senator Craig Estes is trying to address this session in the Texas legislature.
Estes has sponsored Senate Bill 257, which was passed in the Senate and now waits for its day of reckoning in the House. Under this legislation, the sale of the plant Salvia divinorum would be made illegal to any interested patrons under the age of eighteen. The reason for this desired restriction is due to the hallucinogenic effects of the plant when smoked, chewed, or mixed into water. According to Estes, the effects of the ingested greenery range from "encountering spirits in foreign lands to ... thrashing around and sustaining injuries without feeling pain." He wants to protect minors from this psychedelic danger in the same way that states prohibit the sale of cigarettes from those who are not legally considered adults.
If Estes' bill passes, the sale of Salvia divinorum would be considered a Class C misdemeanor and carry a possible punishment of a $500 fine but no jail time. Texas would be following the lead of several other states who have outlawed the plant. But, it would be ahead of the Drug Enforcement Administration, which has not deemed Salvia divinorum dangerous enough to regulate.
The Salvia divinorum is a deriative of a salvia plant that is popular in many Austin yards. We certainly do not want anyone to unknowingly violate the law by selling the foliage to an eager teenager who lives down the street. If this bill becomes law and you do sell Salvia denorium, you may need legal representation. The criminal defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio if we can be of assistance with any shrubbery-related or other criminal matter.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Posted by Tony R. Bertolino, Esq. at 10:00 AM