According to many, Salvia divinorum may be used in a safe and responsible way by adults as it is not habit-forming, not addictive, and does not present a significant risk to public health or safety. Because it is a powerful herb that produces hallucinations and alters consciousness, some regulation of sales is appropriate, but criminalizing possession certainly is not.
When it comes to regulation, restricting sales would be appropriate, as well as obliging shops to provide user information and warnings with all salvia products.
Unfortunately, several countries have enacted laws that prohibit possession and/or sale and/or importation of Salvia divinorum. Here is an overview (last updated October 2016). Do you have updated information on the legal status of Salvia in your country or state? Contact us, and we will add it to this page.
NOTE: Although we do our best to keep this page updated, we cannot guarantee that it’s completely up to date at all times. If you want more certainty about whether Salvia is legal where you live, please read the Legal status of Salvia divinorum page on Wikipedia, or go to www.salviamap.com.
Countries where Salvia is banned
Since June 1, 2002.
Salvia divinorum was added to a list of “illegal products” in May 2006.
Since August 23, 2003.
Since April 2005 Salvia divinorum is listed as a medicinal herb that requires a doctor’s prescription.
Since August 2002, unless with a relevant prescription from a doctor.
Since January 11, 2005, the sale and possession of Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A are illegal.
Salvinorin A is one of the thirthy-three controlled substances that has been said to be banned under a pharmaceutic law that should have taken effect since April 2007.
- New Zealand
Illegal under the Psychoactive Substances Act of 2014.
In 2002, The National Health Council of Norway has listed Salvia divinorum as a medicinal herb that requires a doctor’s prescription.
The sale, possession and consumption of salvia divinorum have been made illegal in May 2009.
Sale prohibited since January 28, 2004.
- South Korea
As of January 2005, both Salvia divinorum and Salvinorin A are controlled.
Since April 1, 2006.
Illegal since 2010.
- United Kingdom
As of 25 May 2016 illegal under the New Psychoactive Substances Bill.
- The United States
The number of states where Salvia is prohibited is rapidly increasing. Once Salvia is prohibited, the possession and sale of it may lead to a prison sentence of up to five years, so be very careful!
In the spring of 2007 one “Salvia bill” died in committee, so it remained a legal substance. But in June 2008 “the hallucinogenic herb law (HB 1363) makes Salvia divinorum illegal and puts it in the same class of controlled substances as marijuana and LSD. Possessing the herb, often sold on the Internet, will be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, when the law goes into effect July 1.”
The new law, called Act No. 159, went into effect on August 15, 2005 (Strain et al. 2005). Thus Louisiana became the first state in the USA to criminalize Salvia divinorum.
Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A also became Schedule I substances in the state of Missouri.
A bill passed that classifies the knowing production, manufacture, distribution, or possession of the active chemical ingredient in the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum as a Class A crime. It went into effect on July 1, 2006.
On May 26, 2006 Salvia divinorum was added to the list of controlled substances.
On March 16, 2006, Salvia divinorum was made a Schedule I controlled substance in that state.
- North Dakota
On January 15, 2007 Senate Bill 2317 proposed to classify Salvia divinorum as Schedule I controlled substance. The original text of the bill only mentioned Salvia divinorum. The Senate Judiciary Committee amended this on April 5, 2007, changing the bill wording to include salvinorin A and “any of the active ingredients” of Salvia divinorum. Daniel Siebert has questioned this vague wording – “since it could be interpreted to include many commonly occurring pharmacologically active compounds, such as tannins, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, etc”. The amended bill passed in the Senate on February 7, 2007 (ayes: 47, nays: 0). It passed in the House on March 16, 2007 (ayes: 83, nays: 6). It was signed into law by Governor John Hoeven on April 26, 2007. The new law went into effect on August 1, 2007.
On January 19, 2006 Senator John J. Millner introduced Senate Bill 2589 to the Illinois State Legislature. This bill sought to add Salvia divinorum to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. The Bill failed to pass as the session ended sine die (adjourned with no date set for resumption). On January 26, 2007 Representative Dennis M. Reboletti filed House Bill HB457 which proposed Schedule I classification for Salvia divinorum (including “the seeds thereof, any extract from any part of that plant, and every compound, […] derivative, mixture, or preparation of that plant”). The bill does not mention the active chemical constituent salvinorin A. Daniel Siebert criticised this wording as being “absurdly broad in scope, for it implies that any substance extracted from Salvia divinorum (water, chlorophyll, whatever) would be treated as a Schedule I controlled substance under the proposed law.” In March 2007 news of the bill’s passage on Reboletti’s website alleged that Salvia is a “powerful psychoactive plant which in appearance looks like marijuana but has the psychoactive properties of LSD”. Reboletti said, “It’s important that we in the legislature are proactive in protecting our children from highly addictive substances” and “For a drug to be classified as a Schedule 1 substance signifies that it’s a highly dangerous and potentially lethal drug for its user. Hopefully, the passage of my bill will bring attention to “Magic Mint” and help law enforcement combat the future rise of this drug.” Salvia divinorum article references and other sources indicate however that Salvia does not look like marijuana. Its psychoactive properties are not like those of LSD, and that Salvia divinorum is not generally understood to be either addictive or toxic. By May 22, 2007, HB0457 had received support from all 173 members in both bodies of the democratic majority Illinois General Assembly. It was signed into law on Friday August 17, 2007. The law came into effect on January 1, 2008.
- North Carolina
In June, 2009, A bill that would outlaw the psychoactive herb Salvia divinorum has passed the state Senate. Senate Bill 138, sponsored by Sen. Bill Purcell, D-Laurinburg, would prohibit the “manufacture, sale, delivery, or possession” of Salvia divinorum. The law calls for a fine for the first two offenses and misdemeanor charges for subsequent offenses. Purcell stressed that North Carolina’s law would not be as strict as those of 13 states, which made Salvia divinorum a drug on par with heroin.
In March 2010, the Senate passed a Democratic-authored bill that prohibits the manufacture and distribution of Salvia divinorum. Violators face up to $10,000 in fines.
Countries where the legality of Salvia is being discussed
On February 15, 2008 Salvia divinorum was added to Appendix I of the Narcotics Act, which will make it illegal to produce, traffic, or possess. The law specifies “Salvia divinorum (plant and plant parts)”, but does not mention salvinorin A.
In April 2009, Salvia divinorum was banned along with Spice and related products, Argyreia nervosa, Nymphae caerulea and others. See http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/crimes/14-04-2009/107400-Light_drugs-0
- . (last updated April 15 2009) (Erowid).
- US – Federal Legislation
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is presently studying Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A, and is considering whether or not they present a risk to public safety that would justify making them controlled substances (and consequently further infringing on the personal freedoms of American citizens). In July 2007, it became known that the DEA had recently initiated an Eight Factor Analysis of Salvia divinorum. The Controlled Substances Act requires that this analysis be performed before a substance can be scheduled as a controlled substance. The eight factors considered are:
- o Actual and potential for abuse
- o Pharmacology
- o Other current scientific knowledge
- o History and current pattern of abuse
- o Scope, duration, and significance of abuse
- o Public health risk
- o Psychic or physiological dependence liability
- o If an immediate precursor of a controlled substance
Based on the results of the analysis, the DEA may recommend that Salvia divinorum be scheduled as a controlled substance. This analysis will probably take several months to be completed. If they do decide to criminalize it, it will take a minimum of 30 days after they give public notice of their intentions in the Federal Register before the change of legal status takes effect. (The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center).
On January 25 of 2007, Representative John Lim (R) introduced House Bill 2494 to the Oregon State Legislature. If passed, this legislation would make Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A Schedule I controlled substances in that state.
- New York
On February 8, 2007, the bill that would make possession of Salvia divinorum a crime punishable by a $ 50 fine passed in the senate. On February 5, 2008, Introductory Resolution 1038 was tabled before the Suffolk County Legislature. The resolution was sponsored by Lynne Nowick (R), Kate Browning (WF), Jack Eddington (WF), John Kennedy (R), Wayne Horsley (D), Daniel Losquadro (R), and William Lindsay (D). It passed a vote on March 18, 2008 (ayes: 17, nays: 0). On April 1, 2008, it was signed into law by Steve Levy, the county executive. The law includes penalties of up to a $1,000 fine and a year in prison.
A proposed law that implies that any substance extracted from Salvia divinorum (water, chlorophyll, whatever) would be treated as a Schedule I controlled substance has gone into effect on January 1, 2008.
Salvia divinorum is still legal here.
On January 16, 2007, a legislation on Salvia was reintroduced but has yet not passed.
- New Jersey
Two bills were introduced that would classify Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A as Schedule I controlled substances in New Jersey. As of today, neither bill has come up for a vote.
Since May 2, 2006 several “Salvia bills” have been introduced to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. None of them has passed yet.
On January 10, 2007 a bill was introduced that seeks to add salvinorin A to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. The bill was approved by a vote of 98-0 in the Virginia House of Delegates, in January 2008.
- North Dakota
On January 15, 2007, a bill that seeks to add Salvia divinorum to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances was introduced, but has not yet come up for a vote.
On January 18, 2007, the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy introduced Senate Study Bill 1051 to the Iowa State Legislature. This bill seeks to add Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. If passed, the bill would make it a serious misdemeanor to manufacture, deliver, or possess Salvia.
On January 18, 2007, a bill that seeks to add Salvia divinorum to that state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances was introduced, but has not yet come up for a vote.
As for January 1, 2009 a new law will take effect which prohibits the sale of Salvia divinorum to minors.
On March 1, 2007, a bill was introduced that classifies the knowing production, manufacture, distribution, or possession of the active chemical ingredient in the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum as a Class A crime. It has not yet come up for a vote.
Two “Salvia bills” that would make Salvia into a Schedule I drug are now being considered by the House. If either bill is enacted, the new law would take effect on September 1, 2007.
In May 2007 Representative Thom Collier proposed House Bill 215 seeking to make Salvia divinorum a Schedule I drug in the state of Ohio. The bill passed unanimously (95-0) on April 16, 2008. The bill moved to the Senate, and passed unanimously (33-0) on December 16, 2008. The bill now moves to conference committee, and then to the governor.
Countries or states where Salvia is (still) legal
Salvia is legally sold to people over 18 years old.
In France there are no laws prohibiting the sale, possession and/or use of Salvia divinorum. However, this does not mean that one could not be prosecuted for selling the plant. The French law on Public Health states that ‘the sale of substances presented as having the same effects as narcotic substances or plants’ is prohibited. Explaining that salvia is legal drug that could possibly have the same effects as illegal drugs is punishable by five years imprisonment. In short, this means that it is legal to sell narcotic plants and substances that are not listed as such, as long as you do not give information about the usage and the possible narcotic effects! Read the entire article about this strange law:
Salvia divinorum, une nouvelle mode arrive en France (sorry French only).
- South Africa
For more detailed information on this topic, visit Sagewisdom and Erowid.
There is now also a Wikipedia page keeping track of the legal status of Salvia: Legal status of Salvia divinorum
Please note that we can not be held responsible for the legal information given here. If you have any doubts about the legal status of Salvia divinorum in your country, you should consult relevant sources in your country (f.i. customs) before buying the plant.