Paul Ray is a member of the Utah House of Representatives in the U.S.. He represents the 13th district which covers North West Davis County. Paul has served since 2001. He serves on the following committees in the legislature:
- Health and Human Services (Chairman)
- Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations
- Veterans Reintegration Taskforce (Chairman)
Sunset Jr high basketball coach from 2009- present.
Paul Ray was born in Peru, Indiana. He graduated in 1985 from Peru High School, and attended Indiana University from 1985 to 1988. He also performed in the Peru Circus in such acts as single trapeze and highwire. Outside of the legislature he works in the security and surveillance industry.
KSL's Utah news channel broadcast a story on November 27, 2006 warning its viewers about what it called "this dangerous herb". The next day, on November 28, 2006, the same channel reported House Representative Paul Ray's "immediate response" with proposed legislation to ban Salvia divinorum in the State of Utah, quoting him as saying - "It was upsetting to see we have a drug of that strength that's legal." and "We're basically going to make it illegal to possess or sell. Period." Ray's bill (HB190) proposed Schedule I classification.
On December 12, 2006, KSL editorial director Duane Cardall published a stance against Salvia divinorum on behalf of the news station as a whole. Cardall's piece closes: "In KSL's view, the legislature should take action to control the sale of Salvia Divinorum before the illicit use of the accessible hallucinogen spreads. That wasn't done in a timely way with Meth, and now we have a devastating epidemic. Preemptive action now with 'Sally D' would likely spare countless families the horror of losing a loved one to the relentless tentacles of drug abuse."
KSL news stories and editorials generally support on-line comments from its registered readers. In this case feedback was overwhelmingly in disagreement with the editorial line.
The House Representatives voted unanimously in favour of the bill however. On February 22, 2007 the bill status was 'House/ passed 3rd reading' (Yeas - 68, Nays - 0). But the bill did not get enacted during its legislative session and was instead sent to the House file for defeated bills on February 28, 2007.
The bill was scheduled to be re-introduced by Representative Paul Ray in a Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee meeting scheduled for September 19, 2007. On October 17, 2007 the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper reported that the proposal had been set aside. Representative Ray said that federal regulators had alerted him that they were close to reaching their own classification for Salvia divinorum. Nonetheless, Ray re-filed the proposed legislation on January 9, 2008 for consideration in the general legislative session. The bill has been filed as Utah H.B. 260.
In the 2009 Legislative session, Ray proposed the bill for a third time as H.B. 277. In a report supporting the 2009 bill the local ABC news station described Ray as a former undercover narcotics officer who has been on a one-man crusade for three years at the capitol, trying to raise enough awareness to get his bill passed. "I’ve been trying for three years to make them aware," said Ray, "Most are waiting to see what the federal government is going to do. [...] We’ll hold committee hearings during the summer and I’ll bring this issue to the table again [...] This substance has absolutely no medical use whatsoever. It’s only used to get a cheap high." The news report closed by saying that Ray knew that it may take a while to get the attention of policy makers who spent most of the 2009 session rewriting some of the toughest liquor laws in America.
Opponents of extremely prohibitive Salvia restrictions argue that such reactions are largely due to an inherent prejudice and a particular cultural bias rather than any actual balance of evidence, pointing out inconsistencies in attitudes toward other more toxic and addictive drugs such as alcohol and nicotine.[i] While not objecting to some form of regulatory legal control, in particular with regard to the sale to minors or sale of enhanced high-strength extracts, most Salvia proponents otherwise argue against stricter legislation.[ii]
- ^ The worldwide number of alcohol-related deaths is calculated at over 2,000 people per day, in the US the number is over 300 deaths per day.
- ^ Those advocating consideration of Salvia divinorum's potential for beneficial use in a modern context argue that more could be learned from Mazatec culture, where Salvia is not really associated with notions of drug taking at all and it is rather considered as a spiritual sacrament. In light of this it is argued that Salvia divinorum could be better understood more positively as an entheogen rather than pejoratively as a hallucinogen.
- Dujanovic 2006-11-27 (US Media).
- Dujanovic 2006-11-28 (US Media).
- Ray 2006.
- Cardall 2006-12-12 (US Media).
- Utah State 2007, agenda item 5 (September 19).
- Erin 2007-10-17 (US Media).
- Ray 2008.
- Du Pre 2009-03-13 (US Media).
- Nutt et al. 2007.
- Siebert (Legal status).
- Lopez 2005, Table 2.
- NIAAA 2001.
- Blosser (Mazatec Lessons).
- Blosser, Brett. "Lessons in The Use of Mazatec Psychoactive Plants". The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- Lopez, Alan D (April 2005). "The evolution of the Global Burden of Disease framework for disease, injury and risk factor quantification: developing the evidence base for national, regional and global public health action". Globalization and Health (BioMed Central Ltd) 1 (5): 5. doi:10.1186/1744-8603-1-5. PMC 1143783. PMID 15847690. - Table 2. Global burden of disease and injury attributable to selected risk factors, 1990.
- MiSP (2006). "Follow the Money". e.g. Utah/Ray. The National Institute on Money in State Politics. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- NIAAA (August 2001). "Number of deaths and age-adjusted death rates per 100,000 population for categories of alcohol-related (A-R) mortality, United States and States, 1979-96.". Database Resources / Statistical Tables. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Retrieved 2007-10-20.
- Nutt, D.; King, L. A.; Saulsbury, W.; Blakemore, C. (2007). "Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse". The Lancet 369 (9566): 1047–1053. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60464-4. PMID 17382831.
- Ray, Rep. Paul (November 2006). "H.B. 190 Controlled Substance Schedule Amendment". Utah State Legislature. Retrieved 2007-12-29. - bill status - bill votes
- Ray, Rep. Paul (January 2008). "H.B. 260 Controlled Substance Schedule Amendment". Utah State Legislature. Retrieved 2008-02-01.- bill status
- Siebert, Daniel. "The Legal Status of Salvia divinorum". The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
- Du Pre, Jon (2009-03-13). "Salvia - The "New Weed" Part 2". ABC4. Utah.
- Alberty, Erin (2007-10-17). "Lawmakers don't touch hallucinogenic herb". The Salt Lake Tribune.
- Dujanovic, Debbie (2006-11-27). "Dangerous Herb is Legal in Utah". KSL.
- - Follow-up story: "Lawmaker Responds to Investigative Report on Dangerous Herb", 2006-11-28.
- - Cardall, Duane. KSL Editorial, 2006-12-01.