Salvia an illegal threat

Dear Editor,

Serenity, “fake weed” and salvia: These are all names that we have seen in the news recently.

Recently, the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force announced that it served warrants at two local businesses for selling salvia.

Many people are not aware of these substances and the reasons why they were made illegal in our state.

Salvia is a hallucinogenic plant that can be ingested as a drink or smoked, and it was made illegal in Alabama as of July 1, 2010.

Many of the chemicals commonly found in synthetic marijuana products, which are sold under brand names such as Serenity and sometimes called “fake weed,” also were made illegal.

Several states have moved to make these substances illegal and the Drug Enforcement Administration banned many of the synthetic marijuana chemicals late in 2010.

These are dangerous substances with side effects such as hallucinations, paranoia, depression, dizziness, slurred speech and mood swings. Many are designed to simulate the effects of marijuana and other hallucinogenic drugs. It was a great step for Alabama to ban these products due to their dangers and abuse among youth.

Parents have been reporting these substances still being sold to youth, which has led to the arrests being made.

We encourage parents and community members to continue reporting these problems to the sheriff’s office to ensure businesses are following the law and keeping our children and teens safe in Shelby County.

For an informational handout on these substances and information on reporting concerns, you can visit Shelbycountydrugfreecoalition.org.

Carol Williams, Coordinator

Shelby County Drug Free Coalition