Let me just start by saying that it is perfectly legal in the state of California to smoke salvia. So the video footage that hit the web over the weekend of popstar Miley Cyrus partying the week of her 18th birthday and smoking a salvia bong doesn't show Cyrus doing anything illegal — but it does show her using the incredibly bad judgement that teens all over the world are noted for.
According to the report and video released to web gossip site TMZ, Cyrus was smoking a natural herb, salvia, which has hallucinogenic effects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, salvia's effects are intense but short-lived, appearing in less than 1 minute and lasting less than 30 minutes. They include psychedelic-like changes in visual perception, mood and body sensations, emotional swings, feelings of detachment, and importantly, an altered sense of reality.
Three years ago, California State Assemblyman Anthony Adams attempted to get salvia outlawed. Adams used recent leaked footage as an opportunity to renew his call for the salvia ban, while also accusing Cyrus of setting a bad example to her fans. Adams told TMZ.com, "Miley is a star and young kids are going to emulate her behavior."
Here's a look at the footage and the behavior that Adams is referring to:
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, 14 states have enacted legislation placing regulatory controls on Salvia divinorum.