Legal status of Salvia divinorum by country

June 18, 2017 3:51 pm Published by
Country Possession Sale Transport Cultivation Notes
 Australia Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal As of 1 June 2002, Australia became the first country to ban Salvia and salvinorin. According to the Australian Drugs and Poisons Committee, salvia had not yet shown evidence of damage or threat to public health/safety but had potential to be abused. In a statement which has been criticized as self-negating the committee said, “there was no evidence of traditional therapeutic use other than in shamanistic healing rituals”. On 1 June 2008 the State of Queensland made Salvia divinorum a Schedule 2 Dangerous Drug in the same category as Cannabis Sativa and GHB.
 Belgium Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In October 2004, “salvorin A”, a misspelling of salvinorin A, was added to the Belgian list of illegal products, so the law was actually banning a non-existent substance. Two years later, in October 2006, the mistake was corrected, and the whole Salvia divinorum plant was made explicitly illegal.
 Brazil Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia is illegal in Brazil since 2012.
 Canada Legal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Canada Salvia is an unapproved herbal supplement that is prohibited by law for sale in Canada. The federal government says products containing salvia divinorum and its active ingredient, salvinorin A, are considered natural health products and, as such, must be authorized by Health Canada, before they can be sold. Salvia is unapproved for sale in Canada.
 Chile Legal Illegal Illegal Legal “On August 8, 2007, the Chilean government issued a decree making the trafficking of Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A illegal.”
 Croatia Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia divinorum was banned in Croatia in April 2008 by addition to the official list of illegal substances and plants.
 Czech Republic Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia divinorum was banned by law nr. 106/2011 Coll., effective 22 April 2011, which added it to the list of illegal substances. Holding leaves, plants and extracts containing salvinorin A and growing them is considered illegal.
 Denmark Legal Medically and Scientifically Legal Medically and Scientifically Legal Medically and Scientifically Legal Medically and Scientifically With effect from 23 August 2003, Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A were classed as ‘category B’ drugs in Danish law. Category B includes psilocybin mushrooms, cocaine, amphetamine, and several others substances that are only legal for medicinal and scientific purposes. Possession carries a penalty of up to 2 years in prison.
 Finland Legal Medically Legal Medically Legal Medically Legal Medically Finland passed legislation in August 2002 making it illegal to import Salvia divinorum without a prescription from a doctor.
 France Legal Legal Legal Legal It is legal to sell Salvia Divinorium as a non-narcotic.
 Germany Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia divinorum was effectively banned in Germany in February 2008 by addition to the official list of illegal substances. Previously the government tried various ways to make Salvia divinorum illegal in Germany.
 Indonesia Legal Legal Legal Legal
 Ireland Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia divinorum is no longer legal in the Republic of Ireland. Salvinorin A, which is Salvia divinorum’s main psychotropic molecule, is listed as a controlled substance in S.I. 552/2011 Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations, as is “any product whether natural or otherwise including any plant or plant material of any kind or description, which contains any proportion of the said substance”.
 Italy Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In August 2004, the Italian government decreed salvinorin A “a substance with hallucinogenic properties that may cause conditions of abuse and can manifest latent psychiatric pathologies like acute psychosis and depressive psychosis even in an irreversible way” and put it and the plant Salvia divinorum on their ‘table I’ of outlawed psychotropic substances in March 2005. The Italian government referred to an evaluation of Salvia made by the Italian National Health Institute, assessing it as “a powerful natural hallucinogen” to justify their decision. The Italian Ministry of Heath Decree (in Italian) (Google translated into English). Cultivation of the plant or the possession of more than 0,5 mg of Salvinorin A carries a penalty from 6 to 20 years in prison.
 Latvia Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia divinorum was banned in May 2009.
 Lithuania Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia divinorum was banned in May 2008.
 Malaysia Legal Legal Legal Legal
 Myanmar Legal Legal Legal Legal
 Netherlands Legal Legal Legal Legal Salvia divinorum is entirely legal.
 New Zealand Need License Need License Need License Need License In November 2007 New Zealand National party MP Jacqui Dean called for the government to take action, saying – “Salvia Divinorum is a hallucinogenic drug, which has been banned in Australia, and yet here in New Zealand it continues to be sold freely.” and “We’re dealing with a dangerous drug here, with the minister’s wait and see approach like playing Russian Roulette with young people’s lives.” Jacqui Dean has similar concerns about the ‘party pill’ benzylpiperazine (BZP), over which Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton (Progressive party) has accused her of indulging in political grandstanding, saying – “Perhaps Mrs Dean doesn’t subscribe to the idea that any Government must balance the need to act promptly with its responsibilities to act fairly and follow due process, particularly where its actions affect those who are currently acting within existing legal constraints.” When questioned by Maori Party MP Tariana Turia, on why she was unwilling to take the same prohibitory line on smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol as she took on BZP Ms Dean said “Alcohol and tobacco have been with our society for many, many years.” In September 2007, the Social Tonics Association of New Zealand (STANZ) called for Jacqui Dean to step down from speaking on drug issues after she demonstrated “a lack of credibility in calling for the ban of dihydrogen monoxide (H2O – i.e. water.)” STANZ Chairman Matt Bowden said – “The DHMO hoax played on the member this week is not a joke, it highlights a serious issue at the heart of drug policy making. Ms Dean demonstrated a ‘ban anything moderately harmful’ reflex. This approach is just downright dangerous.” – “Jacqui Dean has clearly demonstrated a lack of credibility in her requests to the Minister to consider banning water; She has also seriously embarrassed her National Party colleagues who can no longer have confidence in her petitions to ban BZP or anything else.” As of 18 July 2013 Salvia is illegal to sell in New Zealand without a license under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013. This act is designed to prohibit any psychoactive substances which have not been approved by the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority.
 Philippines Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) declared Salvia Divinorum and its extracts and other forms as illegal in its Board Regulation No. 3, on October 6, 2015.
 Poland Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal The sale, possession and consumption of salvia divinorum (and many other plants and chemicals) have been made illegal in May 2009.
 Portugal Legal Legal Legal Legal The Drug policy of Portugal does not regulate Salvia Divinorium.
 Romania Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia divinorum and Salvinorin A-F has been added as an illegal substance under the Law 143/2000 on February 10, 2010.
 Russia Legal Illegal Illegal Legal Imports and sales of Salvia divinorum, Argyreia nervosa and Nymphaea caerulea are banned in Russian Federation effective from April 17, 2009. The ban has been effected by chief sanitary inspector and the plants have not yet been included on the official list of banned substances maintained by Federal Service for Narcotic Control.
 Singapore Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia divinorum has been made illegal to possess, consume, and sell when the umbrella category New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) were listed as Class A controlled drugs on May 1, 2014. Possession or consumption of NPS carries a punishment of up to 10 years of imprisonment, or S$20,000 fine, or both.
 Spain Legal Illegal Illegal Legal The sale of Salvia divinorum has been illegal since February 6, 2004. The law only prohibits commerce. It does not make possession or use a crime.
 Sweden Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Sveriges riksdags health ministry Statens folkhälsoinstitut classified Salvia divinorum and Salvinorin A as “health hazard” under the act Lagen om förbud mot vissa hälsofarliga varor (translated Act on the Prohibition of Certain Goods Dangerous to Health) as of Apr 1, 2006, in their regulation SFS 2006:167 listed as alla delar av växten Salvia divinorum från vilka salvinorin A inte blivit extraherat och oavsett under vilka benämningar de förekommer, making it illegal to sell or possess.
 Serbia Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Salvia Divinorum and Salvinorin A was banned in 2015.
 Thailand Legal Legal Legal Legal
 Ukraine Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal since 2010
 United Kingdom Ambiguous Illegal Illegal Illegal In September 2001, in answer to a parliamentary question from Ann Widdecombe MP, asking the Secretary of State for the Home Office “what plans he has to review the legal status of the hallucinogen Salvia divinorum”, Bob Ainsworth, a parliamentary Under-Secretary for the UK Home Office, stated that “The Government are not aware of any evidence of significant misuse of this plant and have no current plans to review its legal status”. Following a local newspaper story in October 2005, Bassetlaw MP John Mann raised an Early Day Motion calling for Salvia divinorum to be banned in the UK (EDM796). The motion only received 11 signatures. It was later reported that John Mann had written to the Home Secretary in October 2008, urging her to take action with regard to salvia’s legal status. The same report said that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs had met to discuss salvia, among other substances, in April 2009, and that there would be a follow-up meeting in May. The Observer newspaper gave the content of Mann’s letter to Jacqui Smith “Sadly the issue has come to light again as our young people are using the internet and sites like YouTube to broadcast their friends taking the drug and witnessing the hallucinogenic effects. Our young people are at risk and a wider cultural attachment to this drug seems to be developing that I am sure you agree – regardless of its legal status – needs nipping in the bud.” Home Office minister, Phil Woolas, confirmed to parliament that the market in “legal highs” was now an issue for the government. When asked by an Ulster Unionist MP, Lady Hermon, whether the government intended to classify salvia as an illegal drug, Woolas said the home secretary had written to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, the independent body that advises government on drugs, asking it to investigate. Woolas said the council had been asked to “provide advice to government on the availability and harms of psychoactive legal alternatives to illegal drugs, so-called ‘legal highs’, with a particular focus on protecting young people. I fully anticipate that this work will include salvia divinorum. The government’s position on its control will be informed by advisory council’s advice.” As of August 2013, Salvia divinorum and Salvinorum A remain legal to purchase, possess, sell, and use in the United Kingdom.

As of 25 May 2016, the New Psychoactive Substances Bill has an ambiguous effect on Salvia divinorum with only possession for personal use remaining unlisted in the act.

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This post was written by Todd Messick