The Current Legality Of Kratom In The United States

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Although kratom has made a recent debut in the U.S herbal and botanical market, it has been in use in various parts of the world for a long time. It is famous because of its natural origin and several excellent benefits associated with it. These benefits are the reason for the public of the U.S. reacting to the kratom exceptionally well. People belonging to every age group and social sector have not only become curious about it, but a large population of the U.S. has tried kratom as well.

Due to the increase in the attention towards kratom and its use, the FDA, DEA, and various government officials have become concerned about its safety and the proper method of regulating it. Because of these concerns, several kratom users are confused regarding the substance’s legality in their state. We are here to help with that confusion with this article, explaining kratom’s legality in the U.S.

The FDA and DEA’s original contention

The FDA and DEA are two government organizations in the U.S. concerned with the general public’s health. They ensure the quality and goodness of various food items, human and veterinary drugs, and are making sure there is no harmful drug in the market, which is legal. A short while after kratom appeared in the U.S. botanical market, there was a strong response from both of these organizations.

DEA and FDA made collaborative efforts to include kratom in the Schedule 1 drug list in 2016. Schedule 1 drugs involve drugs with no medicinal use and serious abuse danger, hence endangering the general public if not restricted and controlled. These include MDMA, LSD, marijuana, heroin, etc. If kratom had been included in this list, there would have been strict rules set in place regarding its use.  

However, kratom enthusiasts around the U.S. spoke against these efforts of the FDA and the DAE. This criticism and protest from kratom users in the United States made the officials stop their efforts of naming kratom a Schedule 1 drug. However, the organizations still demanded more accounts of actual kratom users to make a better decision regarding the product.

The Import Alert 54-15 from the FDA

When the FDA was initially unsuccessful in their efforts against kratom, they resorted to other means to dampen kratom’s popularity. The first was directing kratom suppliers not to make any medical claims about the substance, and its uses are not regulated nor approved by the FDA currently. Another effort of the FDA against kratom was the Import Alert 54-15. 

This Alert allowed law enforcement officials to confiscate any shipments that were determined to carry kratom freely. No physical examination was required for the products to be confiscated either. Because of this act, a number of suppliers have lost thousands of dollars because of their kratom being confiscated when they are importing it.

The current status of Kratom in various states

Even though there are no federal laws in place that regulate kratom, various states took action and created their own law regulations. The states which have kratom banned currently include Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin, there also regulations for Jerseyville, San Diego, and Sarasota County. 

There is medical research and studies regarding kratom’s safety currently going on, and hopefully, for the kratom lovers, the substance will get more clarity in the future.

Matt Tatem

Matt Tatem

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