Fake weed, real threat

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force last week made good on Lt. Chris George’s recent assertions that the task force would begin cracking down on businesses selling salvia, otherwise known as “fake weed.”

The task force found salvia illegally sold at Mark’s Quick Stop in Columbiana and Charlie’s Bait and Tackle in Wilsonville. The task force also found drug paraphernalia, used for smoking salvia, at Mark’s.

Salvia, sold as incense, is labeled as “not for human consumption,” but smoking salvia is a trend, especially among teenagers and young adults.

No one knows what the long-term effects of salvia are, which is part of why the practice of selling salvia must be stopped immediately. Short-term effects include headaches, nausea, heart palpitations, hallucinations and paranoia.

We applaud the drug task force’s focus on stopping local businesses that are selling salvia. George said the task force is investigating several other locations for the same offense, so hopefully local businesses will take notice and realize the task force is serious about halting the sale of salvia.

We also applaud observant local citizens who called the drug task force to alert task force officers about businesses illegally profiting from the sale of salvia.

Our local schools are already working with students who use salvia to get high. Anything our community can do to limit the places teenagers can buy this product is a step in the right direction. If you have any information on businesses selling salvia in Shelby County, please call the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force’s confidential hot line at 670-0436.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.