WTOL Special Report: Easy High - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

WTOL Special Report: Easy High

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The drug is an hallucinogenic. The drug is an hallucinogenic.
Dr. Timothy Valko says Salvia is very dangerous. Dr. Timothy Valko says Salvia is very dangerous.
Melissa Voetsch Melissa Voetsch

Melissa Voetsch delivered this report on Jan. 31.

Did you know that something that can be grown in your own garden can get your kids high? It's called Salvia, reports News 11's Melissa Voetsch.

The drug is not only legal, it's so common it could be growing in your front yard. It's known as Salvia Divinorum, and it's now being called the legal LSD. 

"As soon as you take the smoke in, it's extremely intense. It's nothing to play around with. It's very onset and immediate," says a teen who does not want to be identified.

Teens across the nation are smoking the substance and experiencing hallucinogenic highs.

"You don't see things that aren't there, but you see things in a different perspective. Things don't look like they are normally perceived. They take shapes, shift, and stuff like that," the teen says. 

Toledo psychiatrist Dr. Tim Valko says Salvia is very dangerous.

"It's considered to be just under the potency of LSD. It kicks in in about one minute and lasts up to 30 minutes," Valko says. It's an hallucinogen -- that may not kill you in and of itself but it may cause behavior that could.

"You basically get psychotic on it, and you're not sure what's happening in your environment so you misinterpret everything around you," Valko says.

How easy is the drug to get? To find out, we sent one of News 11's producers into a local store to investigate with a hidden camera.

"This is what it's all about. You just take a pinch and put it in a pipe and hit it, hold it for as long as you can and exhale, and you're off on a 7-minute journey. It makes me laugh uncontrollably," said one user.

The drug is, surprisingly, legal in Ohio. Only seven states in the U.S. have banned the substance. While there is a movement underway to make Salvia illegal, it remains out there at local stores and on the Internet. And users are getting younger and younger.

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