Mathews Journal of Psychiatry & Mental Health


Previous Issues Volume 6, Issue 1 - 2021

Kratom in America: Legal Differences across Federal, State, and Local Jurisdictions

Ethan Ramirez1*, Bardia Adibmoradi1, Marie Bourgeois2

1University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, Florida, USA

2University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Florida, USA

*Corresponding Author: Ethan Ramirez, University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, Florida, USA, E-mail: [email protected].

Received Date: December 04, 2020

Published Date: January 27, 2021

Copyright: Ramirez E, et al. (2021). 

Citation: Ramirez E, et al. (2021). Kratom in America: Legal Differences Across Federal, State, and Local Jurisdictions. Mathews J Psychiatry Ment Health. (6)1:28.         


Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical plant species that is indigenous to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the kratom plant have traditionally been consumed for the stimulant and opioid-like effects it can produce. In the United States, kratom is gaining popularity as an herbal supplement, and a natural alternative to traditional prescription opioids. Kratom is a controversial substance in America as it is not currently regulated on a federal level in the United states and can be legally obtained and used in many areas of the country without a prescription. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has listed kratom on a list of drugs of concern, but kratom has yet to be scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act. On the state level, kratom laws are constantly changing and vary greatly from state-to-state with some states completely banning the substance and other states adopting legislation that protects kratom consumers by regulating its manufacturing and sale. Most states have no kratom laws and have ultimately left the decision up to the federal government. There are even instances where local counties and cities have abolished kratom in opposition to their own state laws. The majority of readily available legal information on kratom is dispersed amongst individual state government databases. Most of the consolidated legal information on kratom can only be found on websites supported by pro-kratom lobbying organizations which are inherently biased in their representation of the laws in place. The purpose of this article is to provide a complete, current, and unbiased review of federal, state, and local kratom laws in the United states while exploring state and local rationales for such legal variance. This article concludes by discussing possible implications of these differing laws on legislators, consumers, and the healthcare providers moving forward.

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