Flower power or demon weed?

It came as almost an afterthought to Asheville City Council’s meeting last week: mention by Council member Carl Mumpower of a certain plant called Salvia divinorum, aka Maria Pastora, Sage of the Seers, Diviner’s Sage, Salvia, Sally-D and Magic Mint.

A cultivated herb with origins in Mexico’s Oaxaca state, no federal controls are currently placed on the cultivation, distribution and sale of Salvia divinorum, which, when chewed or smoked, reportedly acts as a mild hallucinogen. But according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Agency, in recent years, individual states have taken steps to rid the streets of Salvia divinorum, including Louisiana’s 2005 ban on its sale or distribution, Delaware and Missouri’s addition of the plant to their schedule I regulations and Tennessee and Oklahoma’s legislation against the furry plant.

Other states including Maine, North Dakota, Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas, have either placed controls on salvia or have sought legislation to that effect.

On March 18, Asheville’s Mumpower urged his fellow Council members to apply pressure to the N.C. General Assembly to do the same. The matter dodged discussion, but, as Xpress reporter Brian Postelle mentioned in his coverage of the meeting, given Mumpower’s historic attitude towards drugs, it’s likely to come up again.

Until that happens, it’s up you, Xpress readers, to give us the dirt on salvia. Ever seen it? Smoked it? Chewed it? Used it in a religious celebration? Bought it from a local head shop? Smuggled bales of it back from Oaxaca

We’re curious, especially given Wikipedia’s mention of the wacky sage’s effects, from Daniel Siebert by way of D.M. Turner:

“Uncontrollable laughter.
Past memories, such as revisiting places from childhood memory.
Sensations of motion, or being pulled or twisted by forces.
Visions of membranes, films and various two-dimensional surfaces.
Merging with or becoming objects (for example a Ferris wheel).
Overlapping realities, such as the perception of being in several locations at once.”

We can’t in good conscience support such behavior as merging with Ferris wheels, but in the event you have, please tell us about it.

— Kent Priestley, contributing editor


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25 thoughts on “Flower power or demon weed?

  1. Flavio Thoth

    Visit with Salvia divinorum, early this century:

    Thought that it be a fortuitous time for underworld travel, it being the waning moon and Holy Saturday in the Christian tradition, when Christ went down to clean up a few items before resurrecting and bridging the worlds. Woke up before dawn, showered and meditated, so it was about 6:30 when I mixed 7 droppers of the green goddess tincture with 5 droppers hot water (labeled a strong dose) and held it sublingual. Made my way to the sofa and fairly quickly began to drift. You are supposed to hold the liquid for 15 minutes. The last song on the cd (Omar Faruk Tekbilek) lasted 10 minutes, and after that the cd changed to an hour long Eno ambient piece. At this point some very strong effects began once the eyes were closed. Very quickly the body ceased to take on any tangible meaning. You weren’t out of your body because there never was any body to be out of.

    Maybe because the back of the sofa was on my left, all experience happened from center to the right. The left was a place that seemed to be blocked off, or just a realm of nothing. Not a void, just a nothing absolute. The “world” experienced is a bit hard to describe. I can see why the salvia literature speaks so often of “breaking with consensual reality”. It is more texture than form. There were layers of planar waves, and thought bifurcated into an “I am” perspective, and this occasional globule of self-perpetuating reflexive thoughts, causing, looping and eating itself.

    I swallowed, which was a cosmic event.

    There was a thought: The body is a silly idea that we are stuck on. A part of me wanted to leave the whole body thing behind, but I had to breathe and take care of the damn thing. Even if it was an illusion I had no choice but to keep it going. Occasionally I would open my eyes and most of the effects would dissipate. I was hoping for some visuals- gnomes, devas, etc.- things were just a bit squelchy, that’s all. Tried to sit up which was a small challenge. Like being very drunk except a clear head. Movement required forethought and focus. Chanted the seed sounds for the chakras, but they were irrelevant. No body meant no subtle body either. It was just gone. Went back to closing my eyes and floating these worlds, which were more like meditative states. There was awareness in my head of an inner organ which that at one time I possessed, by which I could navigate these realms, but it had atrophied through disuse.

    Never had any encounters. No goddess, no minor deities, no guardian angels. Felt very alone. In the end, even though I went into it without expectations, if I wanted anything it would have been some kind of contact.

    After about 45 minutes of intensity it wore off to the point of taking a walk outside. One of the cows, who are always afraid of us, came up to me for a vigorous head rub. Sacred animal of the Goddess. So I guess I am relegated to connect with Her on this level. The sacred is the mundane, samsara is nirvana.

    had i not known
    that i was dead
    i would have mourned
    my loss of life

    Japanese Samurai

    Salvia is a bit of a different entity. She seems to have her own logos. Next time I might realize how to paddle, or that there is an oar, oar a boat.

    Pierce the turbulance and make a road of it.

  2. Never heard of it. Interesting though that Mr. Mumpower would be all up in arms about a plant that might give pleasure. Maybe he should be more worried about Ricinus communis, Castor Bean. The Biltmore Estate had some growing right in the Walled Garden last year. Or maybe he should try to outlaw all the Daturas. Lord knows how many gardeners out there might be growing Papaver somniferum. You can buy the seeds right off the rack. Maybe I should make him a list of plants that need to be outlawed.

  3. flyingangel

    The herb has benfits as for mendiations and sermonal for the native american Indains Religiouses believes, its not illegal, but some people ,think they should be able too run everyone elese lifes, not let people decide for thereselfs if its beneficail too there heritage and way of life, and sermonel right too use the herb ,As Indains and for deep mediations and religous rights. Well it fine if use in the right manner. Im american Indain,Ive used it once it was very relaxing and iI mentantated andf prayed .

  4. tatuaje

    What about tobacco? Hops? Kava Kava? Grapes? This War on Drugs is starting to get a little ridiculous. Why don’t we simply incarcerate anyone who doesn’t alter their perception by using the Big Pharma way or spend money on alcohol. Would someone please dose this man’s coffee….

  5. funcrusher

    It just goes to show that we CANNOT vote for this man to represent us in Washington. Look how many people are locked up due to nonviolent drug related “crimes” already. Are you happy supporting the prison systems for weed smokers with your tax dollars?(albeit that taxation on one’s working wages is nowhere documented by law to be paid, and that the supreme court of the US declared it unconstitutional. No other court room in America will uphold this verdict though.) We cannot continue to be oppressed by a government who is leaning heavily toward world democracy, aka NWO. We need a major Tea Party and a few Paul Revere’s to kick start our brainwashed minds. Or, are we content with merely handing over our rights, one by one, everyday, until we get to the point that we have no rights?

  6. ncain

    This is the Mumpower we all know and love. I got worried when I saw his comments on FISA. I thought he was going to turn into a mature, responsible public figure who makes sensible and well-thought-out suggestions about public policy. I’m glad he’s back to his highly entertaining attention whoring about non-problems that don’t require legislation.

  7. nuvue

    I could swear that any good Reaganesque GOP wanted less govt. in peoples lives.
    Does he want to outlaw corn also? Seems we just had a famous mtn person taken in by the Feds because of illegal corn use.

    I want a tee-shirt FREE POPCORN

  8. homer

    All the problems in NC and old carl is worried about a plant that if lucky gives you a different perception for 15 minutes. Why does anyone pay attention to this guy? Does anyone know where carl gets his coffee???



    Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

  10. Dionysis

    What next? Coast-to-coast napalm blanketing of all vegetation in case there’s something growing wild that might be ingested by people without Big Brother’s sanction?

    This whole focus on criminalizing nature is ridiculous. Can someone empirically demonstrate that this plant is damaging the country? What an major waste of time.

  11. Johnny LEmuria

    What would you guys think about a petition, to be delivered to city council, to direct them to apply pressure to keep it legal? Will of the people, and all that?

  12. Rob Close

    i hope mumpower tries this substance before he attempts to make it illegal.

    Deal with crack and methamphetamines – the hard drugs that destroy lives and communities. These are the drugs that are causing the gangs to form and uprise here in Asheville. While I support the good Dr’s initial goodwill to attempt to rid the community of terrible plagues of drugs and debauchery, marijuana (hemp) and salvia are without question the least harmless plants to attack. It is inane to waste time, energy & taxpayer funds trying to wage battles against these natural substances when there is a REAL WAR on drugs in our communities. Please do something about the concrete issues of hard-drugs on the streets and pharmaceutical abuse with our school-children instead of forming committees that do nothing more than bear down on a few harmless pot-heads and spiritualists. To be frank, a lot of people in our community fall into these categories. Be a real leader in the community instead of just a show-man.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    NO ONE – I repeat NO ONE – has ever made more than a few pennies off of Salvia. As an herbalist who has studied this ancient sage plant to great detail over the past five years, I can assure you it is not a recreational drug. It is meant for spiritual and internal enlightenment. You can’t overdose and it often allows people to heal themselves through internal introspection. Like all substances, it should be done responsibly and with guidance.


    Mumpower’s a politician, this inane tacit is to give him more creditability with the rabid right sitting in corporate church pews who support him.

    Please don’t mention spirituality in this society, whose under lying agenda is to destroy all right brain cerebral functioning and create a uniformity in thought, which is so readily apparent when looking at some of the morons who post here. This show boating BY Mumpower is all a part of the histrionics of image, like the war on drugs and terrorism.

    The government is behind most of the drugs on the street anyway. The war on drugs is an abysmal failure; its real mission historically has been to increase Federal power into the several states, opium being a prime example.

    The government started its encroachment into the federal states at the turn of the 20 the century under the guise of fighting opium addiction, which was virtually a non-existent problem.
    The 1970 drug acts were simply the Modus Operandi to finally destroy any of the sovereignty of the states.

    Mumpower has his own demons in this matter, I know Carl and without divulging anything, he is haunted by his indiscretions of his youth, which have evolved into a guilt-ridden neurosis
    Send me a private email Jo Id like to talk to you more about this out of the limelight of the insidious Sheep people

    Simply put JBo thinking outside the box and using God given herbs to do so is a thought crime possibly under H.R. 1959.
    This government is evil and an affront against the creator who BY 2012 will destroy it

  15. September Girl

    Let’s not forget the ubiquitous Morning Glory and its LSD laden seeds.

    Of all the issues and problems facing our world: the lack of love and peace, the drive to consume at the expense of our environment, societal integrity and general health, what on earth is this man doing with his mind?

    Great thinkers figured it out a long time ago – love what is divine above all else, love your neighbor as yourself (and of course, that means you have to LOVE yourself)

  16. Mumpower is a grandstanding fool of the worst kind; he believes his own grandstanding. Be very wary of any ‘Conservative’ who wants to further his own political career by expanding government power into citizens lives even further.
    How exactly can anyone who considers themselves a ‘Conservative’ possibly support the banning of a plant? Especially a plant like Salvia that has only a rather mild popularity anyway. Why don’t you work on banning mountain top removal if your interested in making laws about how individuals should act?


    Im frankly getting a little sick of tried of living in a “STATE:”of confusion, which is what THE STATE NORTH CAROLINA is.

    In THIS STATE, as it refers to itself, it is illegal to do anything a free man on the land would normally do, without cutting the STATE in on the financial action, or asking its permission to breath, or as to what kind of crops you my grow on “your land” or to tax the water you drink in your well.

    What people do not understand, is that there are two North Carolina’s.

    The real Republic of North Carolina was overthrown by military conquest in 1867, when the then lawfully elected government and its governor, surrendered to the Federal / Yankee occupiers. This was the lawful government ‘on the land. The right of the individual was paramount in that republic, you did not need a stinking license to simply exist there.

    In the republic of North Carolina you could grow and consume whatever you wanted on you own property, you didn’t have a bunch of Nazi cops, like sheep dogs, threatening to bark and bite your head off, if your STATE paperzz weren’t in order.

    Where did this State go? The State never left, we did! We let a Federal insurgent entity, called the United States, come in, steal the land regulate and control its people under Federal statutory code and policy and thus, in a nutshell, this now, explains where we are at currently

    Without getting into too much detail, you can still find the lawful State referred to in the North Carolina Statues, as a separate and distinct entity, usually under the term “other States”.

    Simply put we have all agreed to sign up and live on a federal plantation, a political sub jurisdiction of WASHINGTON, called the STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA.

    I’ll be happy to post the memorandum in law a good friend of mine, John Anisworth, used to beat THIS STATE, on driving matters and to prove THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA is an illegitimate government, he did all this, in their own courts!

    Anisworth is not a citizen of the STATE OF NORTH CAROLNA, he is a state national and domiciled on the land of North Carolina, in the republic of North Carolina, which is the lawful state, in U.S.C. Title 8

    Anisworth does not need a driver’s license in this State and does not have to jump through all the STATE slave hoops, such as taxs and licences etc, that THIS STATE imposes on its subjects.

    Anisworth was stopped and charged by some Nazi State highway patrol state revenue agent, a Thug with a gun, for not having a ‘Driver” license.
    In short Anisworth used his vast historical knowledge of post civil war reconstruction to compel a young Judge in Charlotte, to order the STATE to prove how it was a lawfully created government of the people .THE STATE FAILED, ANISWORTH WON!

    There are two North Carolina’s, the first was the 12th State, which is the lawful Republic and the readmitted post civil war federal State, the 39th State of the Union, the territorial procession of the Federal Government in D.C, called the STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA inc, a Federal plantation run by Congress.

    Anisworth defeated THIS STATE in its own kangaroo court, because THIS STATE was unable to prove how it was a lawfully created republic, because it cannot prove it, BECAUSE IT’S ILLEGITIMATE. John Anisworth as no Federal socialist slave number, no driver License, no property tax’s etc.

    How did he do this D.R ANTINEOCONUS, you ask?? He simply returned to the lawful republic and stopped contracting with the illegal, unlawful, Federal government of THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA.
    Here is a link to the Republic’s Site http://www.ncrepublic.org/Edgefield.html

    I will be happy to post the Anisworth memorandum in law, in a word document on this site, but it is a good read and most here are simply too stupid to take the time to understand the document or because of fluoride poisoning and social conditioning are not capable of grasping it’s concepts

    The remedy, is simply to take back the real state by peaceful means, simply leave the old illegal one and return to a state of peace, joy and happiness, where flowers, herbs and people are not processions of THE STATE, to be ruled in regulated under the Babylonian commercial system.

    Don’t worry all you Federal alphabet soup boys monitoring this blog, the chances of the slaves getting up and walking out of your Federal plantation is slim to none, however, you might loose a few slaves, which I’m sure greatly troubles you, as your goal is to imprison men, so they are mere Chattel property, on your FEDERAL Plantation run BY CONGRES

  18. Aaron J. Gundersen

    I used to smoke Salvia a lot about two years ago.

    Seems to me that either people liked it, or they didn’t. No-one ever got hurt, became a “fiend”, or anything else that is commonly associated with “Drugs”.

    That being said, if I smoke too many tobacco cigarettes, I may get a head buzz and need to lay down.

    Moderation. It’s all about moderation.

  19. Vinnie Tomatoes

    I was down at Pritchard Park the other day. There were a couple of hippies smoking something that smelled pretty rank. I says, “hey you cant smoke pot here.” They says, “hey this aint pot. It’s Sally D.” I says “what is Sally S”. They says “it’s asgood as potbut it’s legal. Dont tell Mumpower or we’ll get kicked off the Park”. I called Mumpower and that is why he brought it up at the Council meeting. I says, get these bums outa here! Let em get a job like the rest of us.

  20. tatuaje

    You’re kidding, right Vinnie? Right? Jeez, man, what about all the people walking around on Prozac? Do they all have jobs? Should we call Mumsy? You’re worse than the 7th grade hall monitor. How do you know they were unemployed? Apparently you’re the only employed person that hangs out at Pritchard Park. You’re probably someone who would turn their grandmother over to Homeland Security for not saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day. I’m gonna stop before my head explodes.

  21. jebbera

    Yea, this is another plant that should be left alone. In the unextracted form it doesn’t do much of anything unless you are oddly sensitive.

    In the extracted form, it can occasionally be intense, but it only lasts like 10 minutes! It is best used as a sacrament rather than recreational…I don’t really see how it could be recreational…

    The plant itself is REALLY hard to grow. Apt dwellers are likely to kill them with every move.

    My main thing is that any un extracted plant should be legal. Education is the key.

    I’d worry much more about datura as that has potential to cause serious harm, if I had to pick a plant to concern myself over.

    I hope silly Mummy fails to win a congressional seat… he isn’t that popular in this area as far as I can tell, so hopefully…

  22. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to remain sane in today’s world is treat the comments of people like Mr. Tomatoes above as what they are, brilliant pieces of trollery, expressed for the amusement of the commenters. Let us not berate Vinnie, but instead applaud him and his performance as a grotesque mockery of the drooling morons that make modern American life so darned tedious. Well done, Vinnie Tomatoes! Bravo!


    Vinnie Tomatoes
    You are an idiot.
    Go join Travelah and tune into Rush
    Lord they have mouths that speak stupidity and they can also pull voting levers for fools as big as themselves.

  24. travelah

    Dr anti, you know, man, if you keep going off your medication, the Feds are going to institutionalize you. They let you out a couple times already and look what happeneded.

  25. Elijiah Goldberg

    Traveler, I think this Dr Anti is a spammer plant. Why don’t they get him off here? All he does is insult people and rant on as if he still lived in the City. I’m from New York but I’ve blended here. Asheville is so much better than NYC, I figure that the locals must be doing something right to make this place so cool. My hat is off to you Southerners.

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