New York state lawmakers are pushing to outlaw Salvia, the hallucinogenic herb Miley Cyrus took bong hits from in a viral video posted online last December.
The New York state Senate approved a bill that bans the sale of Salvia Monday. The bill imposes a fine of up to $500 on violators, The New York Daily News reports.
Legislation sponsor Sen. John Flanagan said, “We are trying to do something preventative.”
Two weeks ago, film student Ryan Santanna jumped to his death from a Roosevelt Island Balcony after smoking the substance.
Known as “the magic mint,” Salvia can be smoked or chewed with LSD like effects.
According to the Vancouver Sun, Health Canada, a Canadian federal department helping Canadians maintain and improve health, proposed to criminalize Salvia in Canada but met opposition in the country.
“Instead of evidence-based policymaking, we are getting policy by Hannah Montana,” BCCLA policy director Michael Vonn told the Vancouver Sun.
The New York Daily News reports that Arizona gunman Jared Loughner, the accused shooter of Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other bystanders in Tucson two months ago, also reportedly used Salvia.
Although the Flanagan bill has gained state Senate passage four times, the New York State Assembly needs to approve the bill and the governor needs to sign it before it becomes law. Assemblyman Peter Rivera has sponsored the bill and hopes to have the Assembly vote on it by the end of the June legislative session.