Salvia Pulled From Shelves
Salvia is a group of plants, and on Tuesday one specific type from that group became illegal in Florida.
"It's cool, but not that great," said Patrick Patton, who runs Modern Age Tobacco andÂ Gift ShopÂ in Gainesville.
That was Patton's reaction when he tried smoking this plant for the first time, research that Patton says he had to conduct before selling "Purple Sticky Salvia" to his customers.
But, his days of selling those goods over the counter are over.
And though Patton says customers flocked to his store last night to buy his last batch, he says he doesn't expect a black market to spring up.
"Everybody wants what they can't get," said Patton. "But I don't think salvia is one of those things that people are going to be risking jail time over."
This a risk that plant expert Wendy Wilber says most gardeners in our area won't have to worry about. That's because sage and other types of salvia, which can grow in Florida, come from the same group of plants, and those are okay to have. She says it's the other kind, salvia divinorum, which comes from Mexico, that'll cause trouble.
"You know, there's this controlled substance salvia, and there's these fantastic salvia plants that are great for butterfly attracting and hummingbird attracting -- great in the herb garden that's very different from the problem salvia," said Wilber.
Even though the ban on salvia divinorum went into effect on Tuesday, Alachua County Sheriff's Office deputies said they're still learning about the drug and working on ways to enforce the new law.
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