What Is The Current Legal Status Of Kratom In The US?
Addressing the legality of kratom products in the US in a single straightforward statement is not easy because of the complications and variations of Federal legislation and state laws. However, it is critical to know what kratom is before delving into its legality in the United States.
Kratom or Mitragyna speciosa is a South-Eastern Asia plant belonging to the Rubiaceae family and close to the coffee plant. Kratom leaves contain two main alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, rich in medicinal and therapeutic effects, you can buy high quality kratom online easily. These two alkaloids also have a stimulating and opioid-like impact on users.
Back to kratom’s legal status within the US, different states have made other laws regarding Kratom’s definition and use within their jurisdictions. At the Federal level, the US government has also made legislations and policy directives that give a divergent opinion from what some state laws prescribe.
Due to the multi-layered legislative nature of the US, it is only possible to approach Kratom’s legal status from the Enforcement authorities and legal jurisdictions’ angle.
The Federal Government Of The US
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which is the Federal organization responsible for enforcing the controlled substances laws of the US, classifies Kratom as a drug of concern. Substances of no medicinal value yet have great potential for abuse are classified according to their assumed threat levels.
Before a legal is banned, the DEA imposes a temporary ban on possession or sale of the drug and classifies it as a Schedule 1 substance. This is what happened to kratom in 2016, only for the DEA to be met by an unprecedented widespread public backlash that forced the DEA to reclassify to reconsider its action.
The public outcry to the reclassification attempt by the DEA arose from the public’s conviction that kratom does not pose the harm that DEA claimed and that it was helpful in the management of pain and management of opioid addiction.
It is important to note that the federal government considers the use and possession of kratom in the United States of America as legal.
State Level Jurisdiction
Kratom’s legality at the state level is, for the most part, approved except for a few states that have not legalized the possession and, or sale of kratom. A paltry six is the number of states that have not legalized kratom products’ sale, use, and control. Only Alabama, Rhode Island, Indiana, Arkansas, Vermont, and Wisconsin have not passed laws to legalize kratom.
The debate on the benefits of kratom is an ongoing and active issue. There is a probability that these states will change their laws to allow for the use and possession of kratom if the growing number of users is anything to go by.
Another critical aspect to note in kratom legal status is the role of advocacy groups and pressure groups in the US. Two influential groups stand out in this struggle; The American Kratom Association (AKA) and The Kratom Consumers Protection Act (KCPA). These two outfits continue to advocate for the rights of kratom users and the legalization of kratom products in their entirety.
Kratom possession and use are legal in 44 states, albeit with a few state, municipal, and county-level regulations.
Sub-State Legislative Regulations
Out of the 44 states where kratom is legal, four states, namely Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Utah, have already passed the KCPA. This law advocates for the protection of the consumers of kratom through regulation. The KCPA focuses on six crucial areas;
- Manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of kratom
- Manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of adulterated or contaminated kratom.
- Testing kratom
- Age limits
- Fines and penalties
- Labeling of kratom products
The main focus of the KCPA is to ensure that vendors only distribute high-quality and uncontaminated kratom to the users.
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Different states have set various regulations on the use, possession, and sale of kratom within their jurisdictions as follows;
- Kratom is legal in the entire state of California, with San Diego being the only exception after effecting a ban on kratom products in June 2016.
- The same applies to Colorado, where kratom is legal except in Denver, which is illegal for human consumption.
- In Florida, kratom products are legal according to the state laws except in Sarasota County, which banned vendors and users in 2014.
- Outside the city of Jerseyville, kratom is legal for anyone above 18 years within Illinois.
- Mississippi deems it legal to use and possess kratom in the entire state except in Union County.
- New Hampshire and Tennessee kratom recognize the legality of kratom for use with anyone over 18 and 21 years, respectively.
The journey towards the legalization of kratom products has for sure seen some challenges. However, it is an achievement-loaded process that ensures that the American population is adequately made aware of the great potential that kratom products have.
The advocacy and public interest in the legalization and recognition of kratom as a medicinal and therapeutic alternative to modern medicine are encouraging. The public interest has given rise to a need for public sensitization and a research-based approach to kratom products’ misconceptions.
Now more than ever, it is critical for the federal and state governments to reconcile their policies and laws so that the American population can access kratom products without unfounded restrictions based on fear and not science.
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