More Details About Restarting the Salvia Divinorum Defense Fund
Updated: Dec. 19, 2003

The Salvia Divinorum Defense Fund was started two years ago, and over that time has received a total of just over $4,000 in donations. When we started the fund we were pretty sure that individual donations would never be sufficient to cover the expenses. Our hope was that we would be able to obtain a grant from one of the major drug policy groups, which might have an interest in beating back further efforts by the government to expand the drug war. But no such grant has panned out in over two years. In addition, although Salvia divinorum has been widely and crassly commercialized in the last two years (a major factor toward political pressures to prohibit it), a disappointingly small number of the vendors have supported the fund.

Needless to say, $2,000 a year is not even enough to pay the costs of monitoring (on a daily basis) the various legal forums that would signal an official effort by the federal government to schedule the plant and/or its active principle.

If the government does move to schedule the plant, and this is done by the DEA pursuant to ordinary scheduling procedures (as opposed to emergency scheduling or by a congressional bill), it would cost us approximately $15,000 to prepare a professional legal response, and another $15,000 (min) to coordinate expert testimony and pay to have these experts fly to Washington DC for a hearing.

If we lost the hearing, and were determined to appeal the results in administrative hearings and then into federal court, the costs could easily exceed $100,000, and could take several years.

So, the bottom line is that we'd need to raise a minimum of $35,000 to restart the defense fund (enough to continue monitoring for another 12 months, plus necessary funds for opposing a DEA scheduling effort at the administrative hearing stage). Despite two years of efforts to raise the necessary funds, we have fallen far short of what is required to professionally defend this special plant.

I'd like to again thank those people whose donations helped make it possible to operate the defense fund for the past two years. But, the CCLE is currently in a financial deficit and, if we hope to remain in existence, we have no choice but to limit our projects to those with adequate funding.

If you know anyone who might be interested in making a major donation toward the CCLE's general cognitive liberty work, or who would be specifically interested in reviving our Salvia divinorum work, please invite them to contact me.

Richard Glen Boire  (rgb at cognitiveliberty dot org)
Co-Director / Legal Counsel
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (ccle)