A new set of laws in the State of Texas has gone into effect starting September 1st. One of those laws now makes Salvia, a popular hallucinogenic herb often smoked among teens illegal.
Before this law went into effect, Salvia Divinorum was easily accessible online and over the counter at head shops. But now, it will become more difficult to get a hold of. Those caught with this substance will face jail time.
"I think it's a good thing it's illegal. They don't need to be smoking all that stuff. There's no telling what's in it" said Cody Demoss, a Texoma resident.
With its hallucinogenic effects, Salvia has become a growing problem for law enforcement officials and parents.
"We can't stop them if they're gonna continue selling it. They're handicapping us as parents by making it available to children and to people who are willing to sell it to children on the outside" said Valerie Lewis, a concerned parent.
Although this law is a step in the right direction, parents are worried about how far some teens will go to get a hold of this product.
"I think it's gonna be an underground market that's gonna be opening up a lot more for this type of substance. The more you want something the pricier it's gonna get. Children are gonna start doing things they normall wouldn't do for it" said Jesus Vasquez, parent of one boy.
Another Texoma parent, Roy Pierce agrees. "I really do think they'll try to do everything they can to get a hold of that because they're addicted to it. They wana do it" he said.
So in order to keep Salvia away from teens and young children, parents say it's all up to them.
"You have to watch who your children hang out with, what they do after school. Try to give them extra-curricular activities. If not, they're just gonna follow and do what they wana do" said Vasquez.
"It's up to the parents. They should instill and talk to their children about these things. That's what a parent does" said Texoma resident Margaret Testa.
Under this new measure, Salvia will be placed under Penalty Group 3 in the Texas Controlled Substances Act which is punishable by a State Jail Felony.