Sunday, March 20, 2011

Senate's Plate

The state Senate is scheduled to address three health issues during its session this afternoon. Their active list includes bills to ban the sale of salvia divinorum, make it a misdemeanor to sell or own embalming fluid for personal use and give permission to health care professionals licensed in other jurisdictions to work at the at the Ironman triathlon to be held this July in Lake Placid.
According to the memo (AB 1635) on the health care exception bill, the need for this legislation stems from the competitions inability to adequately staff its massage tents.
This bill has (obviously) already passed the Assembly, and will definitely get approved by the Senate, as it represents a proposal that is basically allowed every year.
The back story on the embalming fluid bill (SB 657) is equally strange, but also very sad, as its memo tells the story of a tragic accident that was caused by a driver smoking a cigarette dipped in embalming fluid laced with PCP.
The bill's memo notes how health care officials have seen an increase of drugs being mixed with embalming fluid, as Syracuse area hospitals are now prepared to handle twice as many incidents as they were last year.
This proposal has been around in the past, having passed the Senate last year, and while it is also in the Assembly, the proposal has never moved at all there.
The big attraction, though, is what really should be described as the Anti-Miley Cyrus bill (SB 1833), as the young singer has a notorious video of her taking a bong hit of salvia divinorum.
This bill raised one serious question in a Senate Consumer Protection committee meeting from Sen. Eric Adams, who asked what Salvia is. Counsel for the committee enlightened him (and basically everyone else) by saying, "It is an herb similar to LSD."
To be more specific, though, we can turn to the bill's memo, which notes that Salvia is part of the mint family from Mexico and can be smoked to produce a state of intoxication. Supposedly the high is more powerful than LSD.
Currently, salvia is legally sold in stores, as very few regulations exist of the product.
Going forward it will likely pass the Senate, which has approved this measure in the past. The stumbling block is likely to be the Assembly, where this proposal has never gotten any traction.
There will also be a Senate Insurance Committee meeting on Monday, but for the most part it looks like a light day.
We'll leave you with a brief youtube clip of Miley Cyrus smoking salvia. Enjoy

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