By Alden M. Monzon, Reporter

Hallucinogenic plant classified illegal -- DDB

Posted on October 07, 2015

A PLANT SPECIES has been officially classified as illegal, adding to the list of prohibited plants in the Philippines, including marijuana and coca.

On Tuesday, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) declared Salvia Divinorum and its extracts and other forms as illegal in its Board Regulation No. 3, series of 2015.

“Due to its hallucinogenic effect which mimics psychosis, Salvia Divinorum is being sold and distributed through the Internet, and users thereof appears [sic] to be mostly younger adults and adolescents,” the DDB said.

The plant, which can grow well over one meter in height, is part of the mint family and is native to Southern Mexico. Ingestion of the plant through chewing, drinking of its juices and smoking are known to produce hallucinogenic experiences, similar to LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), according to the PDEA.

With the new regulation, the Philippines joins other countries -- including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Sweden -- in banning Salvia Divinorum.

Sought for comment, Isidro C. Sia of the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care said, “Given that the plant may have medicinal value in our society, if there are dangers in using it, there should be some form of regulatory control.”