Japan, Okinawa Marine bases ban ‘legal highs’
September 28, 2008
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Tell your friend back in the States: Don’t send that package of dried Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds.
It’s just one of several plants and other substances now banned by Marine Corps Bases Japan.
MCBJ Order 5530, implemented Sept. 10, prohibits the use, possession and distribution of certain substances marketed as "legal highs," according to a Marine Corps news release.
The order was "in response to a growing trend of abusing legally obtained substances to produce mind-altering experiences," the release said.
The substances, which can be ingested or smoked, include salvia divinorum, a psychoactive herb found in Mexico; mitragyna speciosa korth, a medicinal leaf harvested from a tree in Southeast Asia; blue lotus, an aquatic flower; convolvulaceae argyreia nervousa, or Hawaiian baby woodrose; lysergic acid amide, or Mexican morning glory seeds; amanitas mushrooms; datura, also known as jimson weed; absinthe, a liquor containing wormwood; and 5-MEO-DMT, a powerful psychedelic found in a variety of plants.
All of the substances can produce hallucinogenic effects similar to LSD.
The new order supplements existing regulations that prohibit using other lawful substances, such as cough syrup and keyboard cleaners to "produce intoxication, excitement, or stupefaction of the central nervous system," the release said.
The order extends to all active-duty servicemembers, dependents, status of forces agreement personnel and contractors supporting the Marine Corps on the island. For servicemembers, violations come with a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. Civilians face debarment from bases and loss of command sponsorship.
"Enforcement of this order will help to maintain a positive disciplined atmosphere on Okinawa," the release said. "The prohibited substances create a detrimental impact on the Marine Corps’ mission on Okinawa and could adversely affect the Corps’ relationship with the Japanese population it supports."