But did you know that what the young pop star was smoking is a powerful hallucinogen that's legal in most states?
Salvia has been a known quantity in some circles for years, but the clip of Cyrus' antics has catapulted it onto the national stage. For anyone in need of a rundown on the drug, here's a quick primer:
Salvia stories vary from descriptions of unimaginable feelings of calm to mind-gripping terror. Users often report dissociative effects, vivid hallucinations or euphoria. The website "Salvia Society" has a section devoted to Salvia stories fantastical and whimsical. Like other hallucinogens, the user's mental state can have a great effect on the drug experience, and people predisposed to anxiety or depression run the risk of a "bad trip."
"Salvia is one of those things that you only try once because it is so intense," a head shop owner told TMZ
Is it dangerous?
A widely publicized 2006 case in which Salvia was blamed in a 17-year-old Delaware student's suicide led to a statute prohibiting the drug in Delaware, but there haven't been widespread reports of people hurting themselves while on Salvia.
Where does it come from?
Salvia is native to the misty mountains of the Sierra Mazateca in Oaxaca, Mexico. It's been used for religious purposes for centuries, as well as a folk remedy for a range of ailments. It was brought to the modern world by an American anthropologist in 1939. Today, however, legal status means that this isn't the kind of thing to get on the street corner. For most users, Salvia just comes via the Internet.
How do you use it?
Most people use Salvia by smoking it out of some kind of pipe, but the dried leaves can also be chewed.
Will it stay legal?
Previous federal efforts to classify Salvia as a controlled substance have failed, but the recent debate surrounding the Cyrus video is leading to renewed demands for a total ban. (Salvia is already illegal in 15 states and Canada.)
Former California assemblyman Anthony Adams is leading the charge, saying that Cyrus' Salvia video has set a bad example for her young fans.
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