Some people who decide that they want to try kratom, a tropical evergreen plant whose leaves can be used as a recreational drug and as medicine, wonder about its legality. So, is mysterious plant legal in the United States? Well, the answer isn’t so simple. Basically, it depends.
In the U.S., kratom is not a federally controlled substance. However, state and city legislation comes into play, depending on where you are.
Kratom is not legal in Vermont, Tennessee, Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The cites that have so far banned the plant are San Diego, Denver, and Sarasota. Other cities are sure to take a ban into serious consideration in the years to come.
What do the authorities have against kratom? Well, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) says that people who consume it for its supposed medical or health benefits are better off being guided by a health care professional. The FDA also claims that the plant has abuse potential, calling attention to the nation’s opioid epidemic.
However, the FDA seems to have an uphill battle when it comes to fighting kratom. In 2016, when the FDA tried to fast-track the effort to put the plant on the list of Schedule 1 drugs, alongside substances such as heroin, the agency faced very vocal pushback.
Thousands of people mobilized to oppose the FDA. The agency backed down and decided it would simply do more research.
If you’re wondering about “kratom near me” and whether or not it’s legal, check your local laws before buying.