Marine Forces Pacific bans spice, salvia as drugs

10 Dec 2009 | Gunnery Sgt. Bill Lisbon Marine Corps Air Station Yuma

Marine Forces Pacific issued a punitive order Dec. 1, 2009, to its personnel explicitly banning both possession and use of two of the nation’s newest designer drugs: spice and salvia divinorum.  

The order closes a loop hole in previous regulation that didn’t prohibit possession of the drugs.

According to MarForPac Order 5355.2, Marines are prohibited from “the actual or attempted possession, use, sale, distribution or manufacture of spice, salvia, or any derivative, analogue or variant of either substance.” 

Commands were able to charge Marines testing positive for spice or salvia under the December 2005 Secretary of Navy instruction on military substance abuse prevention and control, which prohibited use of controlled substance analogues. 

However, SecNavInst 5300.28D did not address possession of spice or salvia, leaving a gray area in how to punish Marines who were caught possessing the substances but who tested negative for use. 

“This new order eliminates the ambiguity,” said Capt. Levi Larson, station legal assistance officer.

Now Marines can be punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for violation of a lawful general order under Article 92, said Larson.

“The use of spice and salvia directly compromises the safety, welfare, security and good order and discipline within this command,” states the order.

Spice is a mixture of medicinal herbs laced with synthetic cannabinoids or cannabinoid mimicking compounds known to cause decreased motor function, loss of concentration and impairment of short-term memory. 

Spice is also known as Genie, K2, Skunk, Spice Diamond, Spice Gold, Spice Silver, Yucatan Fire and Zohai. 

Salvia divinorum is an herb that is known to cause hallucinations, changes in perception, body or object distortion, loss of coordination, dizziness and other psychological and physical effects. 

Salvia is also known as Diviner’s Sage, Magic Mint, Maria Pastora, Sage of the Seers and Sally-D.

Salvia divinorum and most spice variants are not currently controlled under the federal Controlled Substances Act, according to a Department of Justice Web site. As of October, 14 states have enacted legislation placing regulatory controls on salvia divinorum, although Arizona was not one of them.

The new order also states that it will be periodically updated to ban other substances that are used with the sole intent of generating a “psychotropic high.”

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma