Salvia survivor calls Miley Cyrus irresponsible
Published Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:19AM PST
After the TMZ video of Miley Cyrus allegedly smoking salvia went viral, a Burnaby, B.C. woman is warning that the drug is extremely dangerous after she seriously injured herself while high.
Salvia, which is legal in California, is readily available in Vancouver. Although it's not a controlled substance like cocaine or marijuana, Health Canada has not authorized the sale of salvia, and says that sale of the substance contravenes the Food and Drug Act.
The hallucinogen causes an intense high that lasts a couple minutes when smoked.
Cassie Walde found out about the dangers of salvia the hard way when she unknowingly jumped out of a third storey window after smoking the plant extract. It was her third time trying the drug.
"I'm lucky to be alive," she said. "I had a high. It was really intense -- really confusing -- and I woke up outside on the pavement three stories down screaming."
Walde now has scars where surgeons reconstructed her shattered jawbone and where a breathing tube had to be inserted. She is still missing many of her teeth.
Walde thinks that Cyrus has set a bad example by smoking the drug and is warning others not to mimic the teen idol.
"I think it's irresponsible of her," she said. "With this Miley Cyrus thing they're going to see this and think it's no big deal and go out on a whim and take a hoot and end up like me."
But those who sell the seed insist that Walde's horror story isn't a normal reaction to the drug.
Rebecca Ambrose from the Vancouver Seed Bank defends Cyrus's decision to smoke the drug.
"She is an adult legally," Ambrose said. "She's allowed to make her own choices and it is technically legal so she can experiment. It's O.K."
But Walde strongly disagrees.
"It's quite dangerous and many harmful things can happen because you just completely lose sense of reality," she said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Sarah Galashan