Salvia Divinorum becoming the next marijuana is about as absurd as crack cocaine becoming the next cigarette. An experienced Salvia Divinorum user knows that this is a ridiculous proposition, but to the uninformed parents of children who are getting to the age of rebellion the idea that Salvia Divinorum may be the next marijuana is a frightening idea. A slue of misinformation about Salvia is coming from the media, who do nothing but hype Salvia as a drug that it is not. Most users of marijuana have likely not even heard of Salvia Divinorum, it is a not a popular drug, and does not produce any similar effects to marijuana.
The wide-spread usage of Salvia Divinorum amongst teens is what is causing it to be linked with marijuana, however most teens are using this drug simply because it is a legal. Many legal drugs are abused by teens if there is a potential to get a "high" from it. There have been many reports of teenage deaths due to Dextromethorphan (DXM, Triple C's) which is the main active ingredient in many over the counter cough medicines. Yet Robitussin has not been compared to marijuana in the way Salvia Divinorum has.
Typically marijuana is used to relax and get the occasional giggles, far from the average Salvia trip. Salvia Divinorum is a psychoactive plant with dissociative effects, and hallucinogenic properties. A typical Salvia trip consists of 5-15 minutes of intense hallucinations followed by a couple hours of a drunk like after effect. One journalist from the UK science magazine "New Scientist" Wrote:
"The salvia took me on a consciousness-expanding journey unlike any other I have ever experienced. My body felt disconnected from 'me' and objects and people appeared cartoonish, surreal and marvellous. Then, as suddenly as it had began, it was over. The visions vanished and I was back in my bedroom. I spoke to my 'sitter'—the friend who was watching over me, as recommended on the packaging—but my mouth was awkward and clumsy. When I attempted to stand my coordination was off. Within a couple of minutes, however, I was fine and clear-headed, though dripping with sweat. The whole experience had lasted less than 5 minutes. —Gaia 2006-09-29 (UK Media)"
To continue to compare marijuana to Salvia just shows a lack of understanding of the different effects of the drugs.