Police: ‘Legal’ weed doesn’t exist

Published 12:03 pm Friday, September 2, 2011

Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell said his department has been receiving complaints of local stores selling a product called “Salvia Divinorum” or “Salvinorum” — also called “legal weed” among teenagers.

Use of the herb or incense is illegal, but has increased in popularity over the past few years. The plant-like material does not contain Tetrahydocannabinol, or “THC,” the chemical in marijuana that causes a euphoric feeling.

Because it doesn’t contain THC, salvia divinorum made its way into convenience stores and novelty shops and was being purchased and when smoked, gave a high, like marijuana, Stilwell said.

The Alabama Legislature passed a law that went into effect July 1, 2010, that outlawed the possession of salvia divinorum.

“I have had parents, business owners and school personnel call and ask if there is such a thing as legal weed and my answer has been, ‘No,”” Stilwell said. “I am advising any convenience stores to strongly look at this law and make sure any herb or botanical product they are selling does not contain any of the chemical compounds listed in the new law.”

Stilwell said his department is enforcing the law and will follow up on complaints of stores selling it.

Penalty for possession of salvia divinorum is the same as possession of marijuana second, a Class A misdemeanor.

The law and what chemicals are illegal in Alabama are below.

Code of Alabama, Section 13A-12-214.1

Unlawful possession of certain chemical compounds.

(a) The possession of the following chemical compounds shall be illegal in this state:

(1) (6aR,10aR)-9-(hydroxymethyl)-6, 6-dimethyl-3-(2methyloctan-2-yl)-6a,7,10,10a – tetrahydrobenzo[c]chromen-1-ol, some trade or other names: HU-210.

(2) 1-Pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole, some trade or other names: JWH-018.

(3) 1-Butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole, some trade or other names: JWH-073.

(4) Salvia divinorum or salvinorum A; all parts of the plant presently classified botanically as salvia divinorum, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, any extract from any part of such plant, and every compound, manufacture, salts, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or extracts.

(b) A violation of subsection (a) shall be subject to the same penalties as a violation of Sections 13A-12-213 and 13A-12-214.