A five year fight to ban the hallucinogenic herb, salvia, has come up short again for a Waco representative.
Rep. Doc Anderson has been fighting that long to ban salvia. It reportedly has effects similar to LSD.
All over the website, youtube, videos shows teenagers and young adults getting high from salvia. In many of the videos, laughter turns to screaming when the person smoking the herb supposedly sees something that is not there.
It was the scary experience of a Robinson girl on salvia five years ago that pushed Anderson to propose a ban on the herb. "This is the third session that we've been working on salvia, trying to get a prohibition," he says.
Three sessions and three shut-downs. This time, the salvia bill was thrown out on religious grounds. "There was a tribe in Mexico years ago in the mountains that use this," says Anderson, "but it's not used for religious purposes here and they were just chewing the leaves."
The common form of salvia is up to 70 times stronger than the original leaf form. "With salvia, it's quicker to the brain than cocaine," says Anderson, "within seconds it starts to affect you."
With no local or state restrictions on buying salvia, anyone can go inside a local head shop and purchase the herb - no questions asked.
No Waco-area head shop or tobacco shop owner would talk on camera, but we were told off camera that banning the herb would be a violation of personal rights.
But Anderson says the rights for public safety will keep him fighting. "It's a matter of trying to fight the battle and we'll come back and do it next session and see if we can get that passed," he says.
23 states have banned salvia. 55 Texas cities banned the sale of salvia under local ordinances.