When dealing with Kratom legal questions, it is often quite challenging to give an absolute yes or no answer. Within the United States, the answer varies depending on state, federal, and age requirements.
Here, we will take a look at what Kratom consists of and how lawmakers regulate it.
Scientifically referred to as Mitragyna Speciosa, Kratom is an evergreen tree found in Southeast Asia. This plant has a long history of medicinal use dating back to the 19th century.
Traditionally, healers administered this plant to patients suffering from various symptoms. Patients suffering from muscle pain, intestinal infections, and diarrhea would chew the leaves to treat their ailments. In Thailand, they use the plant as an intestinal deworming agent.
Many compare Kratom and its use to Khat, a similar substance used across the world. These plants have their roots in ancient medicine but have transitioned to recreational substances in the modern world.
Today, people know of Kratom not as medicine but as a quick and easy recreational drug.
Kratom’s modern medicinal use is prevalent among recovering addicts, specifically those suffering from opioid withdrawal. The opioid crisis is a worldwide epidemic. More than ever, people worldwide are suffering from this addiction with minimal to no support.
For some addicts, the herb is useful as a stepping stone to sobriety. Like methadone with recovering heroin addicts, it can mimic the effects of opioids to a lesser degree and help a user transition back into a healthy lifestyle.
The United Nations Drug Convention, the highest drug authority in the world, does not regulate Kratom. On a global level, the plant is not a classified drug and not subject to the restrictions of substances like alcohol or marijuana.
The grey area of Kratom is not to say that it flows freely without regulation. Within the United States, the question of ‘Is Kratom legal?’ creates confusion because of its precarious legal position.
On a federal level, Kratom is a legal, unregulated substance. However, this classification conflicts with state and local jurisdiction. In some states—such as Alabama, Vermont, and Arkansas—the substance is illegal. In other states, the law may require an age restriction, and in some cases, its legality differs from county to county.
This situation leaves a user in an interesting position. Their use of Kratom may be illegal in the view of state officials, while their behavior is legal on the federal level. In America, this position is similar to the one in which marijuana users find themselves. State laws conflicting with federal laws conflict with medicinal instructions.
Under the DEA, there is a growing movement to ban Kratom within the United States. However, at present, there have been no motions put forward at this time.
When it comes to the Kratom legal situation, the lines are often blurry. It appears that at this moment, the substance is in a sort of grey zone between legal and illegal. Time will only tell how the world changes its stance on this ancient plant.