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Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia. Kratom plant leaves have historically been eaten for the stimulant and opioid-like effects they may generate. Kratom is gaining popularity in the United States as a herbal supplement and a natural substitute to conventional prescription opioids.

Kratom is a contentious drug in the United States since it is not presently controlled on a federal level and maybe lawfully purchased and used in many parts of the nation without a prescription. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has placed kratom on a list of substances of concern, although it has not yet been scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act.

Conversely, some states and countries have chosen to prohibit the sale and possession of kratom, while others have outlawed it only to reverse their decision. In this post, we will look at the legal status of Kratom in several states.

The Legality of Kratom In Different States

Why is Kratom Illegal In Some States?

Despite being used medicinally in certain parts of the globe, kratom is generally regarded as an obsessive substance. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found little proof that kratom has many therapeutic advantages, undermining the substance’s reputation as a medical product even more.

As previously stated, kratom has a wide variety of possible adverse effects. More severe issues, such as hallucinations or delusions, may occur in addition to nausea, vomiting, chills, sweat, irritation, and lack of appetite. 

Long-term kratom usage may result in severe weight loss, skin darkening, frequent urination, constipation, muscular discomfort, and liver damage. Breathing difficulties, convulsions, and even coma have happened in rare instances. When mixed with other drugs, there is a significant danger of overdose.

Based on these findings, several states and localities have chosen to prohibit the use of kratom. They believe that by making it illegal, they would safeguard their people from the harmful health consequences and potential addiction.

The Debate on Kratom’s Legality

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Kratom’s legal status is continuously shifting. While proponents of kratom advocate for its distribution in new states, consumer advocacy groups advocate for stricter limitations. 

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration is currently discussing whether kratom should be legal. There have been calls to make it illegal since it has psychotropic properties and may lead to addiction. Others, though, believe that it might be the solution to the nation’s opioid epidemic.

In August 2016, the Narcotic Enforcement Administration (DEA) stated that kratom would be classified as a Schedule I narcotic comparable to heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Because Schedule I drugs have a high potential for misuse, the DEA decided to overturn its decision to declare them illegal in October 2016. The DEA is currently seeking public opinions on kratom and its legality in the United States.

When the DEA adds kratom to the Schedule I drug list, it will become illegal, and people will start selling it on the black market. Another reason the DEA is still considering making kratom illegal because the federal agency has seen an increase in calls to poison management centers related to its use.

Kratom State and Local Levels

State regulations regarding kratom production, sale, and use variables in the United States to an unprecedented degree in the country’s history. The most recent comparison is the difference in marijuana laws in the United States during the last decade. However, marijuana regulations are becoming more uniform, and a similar can be said about kratom.

Kratom is presently allowed in 44 states and illegal in six others. This simplistic classification fails to capture the turbulent nature of kratom legislation in many jurisdictions. In contrast to the states that have banned kratom, five states have passed legislation in the past three years that supervises kratom manufacturing and provides quality control procedures for customers in their state. The Kratom Consumer Protection Act is the name of the legislation that is being enacted (KCPA).

The purpose of the act is to “regulate the preparation, distribution, and sale of kratom products; restrict the preparation, dispersion, and sale of adulterated or contaminated kratom products; prescribe fines and penalties and allow remedies; and offer for the abilities and responsibilities of certain state government officers and entities.”

Even though some states ban the use of kratom, several others recognize its health advantages and allow it to be sold. You can currently purchase kratoms online from reputable retailers such as Kratom Caps and Save on Kratom.

States Where Kratom Is Legal

Oregon imposed several limitations on kratom in early 2020, including a minimum age of 21 and a requirement that anybody producing or selling the medication declare kratom as a component. The Kratom Consumer Protection Act is aggressively targeting 19 states, including Oregon.

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Utah approved legislation to keep kratom legal with restrictions to avoid overdosing and other risks associated with impure kratom. Who may sell it, how it’s made, branded, and who can purchase it have all been regulated by lawmakers.

Although a few local governments in Mississippi have banned kratom, the state killed a measure in March 2020 that would have prohibited or controlled the substance. Mississippi is now one of the few states in the South that has taken no stance against the substance. It is prohibited in neighboring Alabama and Arkansas, and it is regulated in Georgia.

Except in the cities of San Diego and Oceanside, Kratom is legal in California. Except in the municipalities of Monument and Parker, it is also allowed in Colorado. Labeling of kratom products is also subject to specific regulations in Denver. Kratom is lawful for individuals over 18 in North Carolina, New Hampshire, Illinois, and 21 in Tennessee. Other than the ones stated, there are still many states where kratom is acknowledged as legal.

Takeaway

To summarize, kratom is a plant that can assist individuals with physical and emotional problems, but, like other medicines, it can be harmful. The present division of kratom regulations into federal, state, and municipal laws has only resulted in a confused understanding of the substance, addressing the reduction issues with kratom in the United States today.

The most acceptable transition to kratom law to improve consumers’ protection across the country would appear to be federal regulation of kratom sale, distribution, and consumption. Still, one can make these decisions after more research is conducted and we better understand kratom’s role in society as a whole. 

A survey study to define consumer knowledge of kratom and a study of consumer perspectives on kratom policy and how it impacts their views of kratom are possible future paths for this research.