Sage Advice on Salvia D.
So I awake this morning to my TV-alarm chattering about "salvia, the new teen drug choice -- and it is legal." Since I grow quite a number of different salvias (aka sages), I started picturing the hordes of passing college students in my neighborhood stopping by to strip some of the leaves for personal usage. That vision got me out of bed and googling.
What I found: Yes, Salvia divinorum is a hallucinagen, but no, unlike the many false media reports it is NOT a common garden plant. If you try to smoke the salvia from grandma's herb garden (usually Salvia officinalis), you'll just get a lungful on acid smoke and a whooping for pulling out some of her favorite flowers.
Wikipedia says,"Salvia divinorum... The plant is found in isolated, shaded, and moist habitat in the mountain cloud forest in Oaxaca, Mexico. It grows to well over a meter in height. It has hollow square stems, large green leaves, and occasional white flowers with purple bracts." Nope, not native here or really any hopes of surviving outside in our climate aside from the dog days of summer.
According to the National Associations of Attorneys General, it is easily purchased online and the seeds are fairly cheap. They also note there how easy the seeds are to grow as a houseplant. Not that they want to give anyone any ideas or anything.
What irks me about all this and the rash of media interest is that I see the writing on the wall. First, it was the poor hemp plant that got banned from farmer's fields just for being related to the big MJ. Then poppies, whether Oriental or not, and their look-a-likes (okra?!?)are being yanked out of gardener's flower beds by overzealous local police. Now, I'm seeing a whole raid coming on Salvias/Sages and probably all mints. Don't think Datura will be too far off down the road.
I'm just hoping this guilt-by-association thing calms down a bit or we gardeners will be left with just bare dirt and a can of green spray paint.