In our digital society, private moments can go public in a YouTube minute.
For a celebrity, the viral results can be devastating to a career.
It’s too early to know how things will play out in the long run for former Disney star and Walmart clothing endorser Miley Cyrus.
A two-and-a-half minute video clip of her made the Internet rounds all weekend long. In it, the teen phenom can be seen inhaling from a glass bong and then giggling, laughing heartily and exclaiming, “Is that me tripping?”
“Okay, I'm about to lose it now,” she also utters
The talented singer-actor and daughter of “Achy Breaky Heart” hitmaker Billy Ray rose to fame playing the lead character in the smash Disney series “Hannah Montana.”
Dad Billy Ray used his Twitter page to share with the public his feelings about the footage. In his posting, he said of the bong incident, “I’m so sad.”
“Sorry, guys. I had no idea. Just saw this stuff for the first time myself . . . There is so much beyond my control right now,” he lamented.
It turns out that the substance inside the bong was not marijuana as many had initially reported. Instead it was a lesser-known drug, Salvia.
Salvia divinorum, a.k.a. Diviner’s Sage, is a hallucinogenic substance that is said to produce similar effects to LSD. The drug is part of a tradition of religious practice by Mazatec shamans, who use it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions.
It is legal in most countries and is also legal in California. Nevertheless, it is against the law to sell the substance to minors.
The only reason Salvia is lawful in California is the connection to religious services. However, it said to be quite potent.
The Cyrus video has inspired a California GOP state assemblyman, who apparently sought the prohibition of the drug a few years back, to once again seek a Salvia ban.
Assemblyman Anthony Adams admonished Miley for shirking her role model responsibility.
“Miley is a star and young kids are going to emulate her behavior,” Adams told TMZ.com.
“It's time for state and federal governments to renew their push toward an outright ban,” the politician said.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lent support to Adams’s attempted ban, calling Salvia a “drug of concern.”
A DEA spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald, “We are taking steps to look further into it.”
If Disney and Walmart care about their brands, they’ll be doing some investigating of their own.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, commentator, media analyst, and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on various landmark decisions. Hirsen is the co-founder and Chief Legal Counsel for InternationalEsq.com, a legal think tank and educational institute for the study of law in the media. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood.
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