BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 259
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   January 15, 2008
          Chief Counsel:      Gregory Pagan

                                 Jose Solorio, Chair

                    AB 259 (Adams) - As Amended:  January 7, 2008

                                    FOR VOTE ONLY

           SUMMARY  :   Makes it a misdemeanor to sell Salvia divinorum to  
          any person who is under 18 years of age.  Specifically,  this  
          bill  :  

          1)Provides that any person who sells, dispenses, distributes,  
            furnishes, administers, gives, or offers to sell, dispense,  
            distribute, furnish, administer or give Salvia divinorum, or  
            Salvinorin A, or any substance or material containing Salvia  
            divinorum or Salvianorin A, to any person under 18 years of  
            age shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

          2)Makes the offense punishable by imprisonment in a county jail  
            not exceeding six months; by a fine not exceeding $1,000; or  
            by both a fine and imprisonment.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides that any person who sells, dispenses or distributes  
            toluene, or any substance or material containing toluene, to  
            any person under 18 years of age shall be guilty of a  
            misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined in a sum of not  
            less than $1,000, nor more than $2,500, or by imprisonment for  
            not less than six months nor more than one year.  (Penal Code  
            Section 380.)

          2)Provides that it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or  
            corporation, except a parent or legal guardian, to sell or  
            give or in any way furnish to another person, who is in fact  
            under the age of 18 years, any etching ream or aerosol  
            container of paint that is capable of defacing property  
            without first obtaining bona fide evidence of majority and  
            identity.  [Penal Code Section 594.1(a)(1).]


                                                                  AB 259
                                                                  Page  2

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  : 

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, ""Recently, a  
            substance has been discovered being sold on the Internet and  
            in local 'smoke and head' shops across the state which has  
            been identified as a hallucinogenic herb.  This substance is  
            called 'Salvia' or ' Salvia divinorum'.  As of now, this  
            substance is legal to sell to minors in the State of  
            California.  'Salvia' should not be confused with the numerous  
            Salvia plants which can be purchased from nurseries as  
            ornamental plants.  For the most part, 'Salvia divonorum' is  
            grown in Mexico but cuttings can be grown in the United  
            States.  The effects produced by Salvia divinorum are not  
            comparable to any other effects produced by the other  
            psychoactive substances (i.e., peyote, psilocybin, LSD, etc.).  
             This also includes variables of the user, such as body  
            weight, sensitivity, strength, and dose taken and method used.  
             The effects can range from subtle to extremely strong,  
            causing an individual to have out-of-body experiences and  
            create a real potential for physical danger to oneself and  
            others.  Salvia cannot be considered a 'party drug' or have  
            any social use whatsoever.  In fact, people under the effects  
            of Salvia are usually not social with others and do not  
            interact with people while having their hallucinating  
            experience.  This substance is being used by individuals of  
            all ages, but becoming more popular among high school  
          2)Background  :  Savlia divinorum is a native plant to the Mazatec  
            in Mexico.  The Mazatec use Savlia divinorum at low doses as a  
            diurectic or to treat minor ailments including diarrhea,  
            anemia, headaches, and rheumatism.  In larger doses, it is  
            used to enhance visions of the Mazatec shamen during healing  

          The plant's active constituent is salinorin A, a potent -opioid  
            receptor agonis.  When chewed or smoked, Savlia divinorum  
            leaves result in a range of effects including uncontrollable  
            laughter to a change in consciousness for a short time.  The  
            effects peak within one minute and only last for one to five  
            minute3)s more before subsiding.  After 15 to 20 minutes,  
            baseline reality returns.  In comparison, LSD effects can  


                                                                  AB 259
                                                                  Page  3

            persist for eight to ten hours.  The most commonly reported  
            after-effects include an increased feeling of insight,  
            improved mood, a sense of calmness, and increased sense of  
            connection with nature.  In a survey of 500 users, the  
            self-reported, long-term effects (over 24 hours) was  
            "antidepressant-like effects" (25.8%), while 4.4% experienced  
            negative effects (most often anxiety).  

          Salvia divinorum is not generally understood to be toxic or  
            addictive.  Even as Savlia dininorum has become availabe in  
            modern culture, medical experts and accident and emergency  
            rooms have not reported any particular health concerns, and  
            the police have not reported a significant issue with public  
            order offenses.  

          San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department (Sponsor)
          California Peace Officers' Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California State Sheriffs' Association
          Peace Officer Research Association of California
          Sacramento County Sheriff's Department
          Wonderland Treatment Center

          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
          Drug Policy Alliance Network
          Seven private individuals

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916)