Governor Chafee has signed into law legislation to add the hallucinogenic drugs salvia divinorum and gypsum or jimsom weed to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances under state law.
The legislation, (2014-H 7191, 2014-S 2651), was sponsored by Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence) and Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) and is meant to target unregulated substances that are being sold to give users a high. Adding the drugs to Schedule 1 bans their possession, production and sale, and makes violations subject to the same penalties as those for marijuana and other drugs.
The sponsors said the drugs can be found at some convenience stores and gas stations, and their availability can give people the false impression that their high is somehow safe.
Salvia divinorum is an herb that can be used as a hallucinogen. Jimson weed, or datura stramonium, is also used as a hallucinogen, and can be fatally toxic.
Although neither of the drugs is currently banned under federal law, several states other have taken action to control the two drugs due to reports of their abuse.
Last year, the state added synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic substances with more dangerous side effects than the naturally occurring drug they mimic, to the state’s Schedule 1 list. Those, too, were available at gas stations and convenience stores.
The bill was signed June 3 and took effect upon passage.