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What’s the legal status of salvia in Colorado?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2021 | Drug Crimes |

People think of Colorado as a state with liberal attitudes toward drug use. After all, Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. However, people can and do still get arrested for drug offenses in Colorado.

Even substances that people think of as legal or low-risk could lead to someone breaking the law, perhaps unintentionally. Knowing what drugs the state has banned isn’t always easy, since the list continues to grow.

Salvia divinorum or salvia is a kind of sage plant. It is popular for arid gardens because it tolerates drought well. However, this plant isn’t just ornamental. People have learned that concentrated extracts from the salvia plant can cause intense is short-lived states of chemical alteration, leading to a massive surge in interest and use of the plant. Is salvia legal in Colorado right now?

Possessing salvia is a misdemeanor in Colorado

Colorado has had to expand its drug laws to reflect changing trends in the substances that people use. Around the same time that it made marijuana legal, Colorado had to consider banning other substances.  Synthetic drugs became popular at the same time as salvia, leading to people conflating the negative effects of certain dangerous substances with the effects of salvia.

The same law that makes possession of salvia divinorum a criminal act also makes synthetic cannabinoids, once called herbal incense or spice, illegal as well. People can possess natural state cannabinoids if they are adults, but it is a crime to possess the synthetic versions of the substances or concentrated salvia.

Understanding the drug laws in Colorado could help you avoid drug charges or defend against them if you are arrested.


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