Following in the footsteps of states such as Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin and Indiana, lawmakers in North Carolina have started the process of outlawing kratom. Kratom is a substance obtained from a species of coffee plant called mitragyna speciosa found in Southeast Asia.
It has been used as a painkiller due to its opioid like effects, as well as detoxication for opium.
Lawmakers have cited that teenagers and youngsters are getting addicted to this drug thinking that it is harmless, but the effects of kratom on the body have yet to be studied properly. The DEA included kratom on their list of cautionary substances, but the FDA does not classify it as a controlled substance. This means that kratom is an over the counter substance whose adverse effects on the body are unknown. The substance is freely available online at costs as low as $6.99, meaning that it is a popular recreational substance among youngsters.
With Senate Bill 830, lawmakers are trying to change that. They plan on including kratom in the list of controlled substances, alongside drugs like heroin and opium. This will outlaw the possession and consumption of kratom and hopefully keep the streets a bit safer. If things go according to plan, the bill might be passed in the Senate within 2 weeks. This will make North Carolina the fifth state in the United States of America to outlaw kratom.
Some people are advocating kratom for being a medicinal herb to help relieve chronic pain and for rehabilitating drug addicts. But store owners and lawmakers alike think that it is yet another harmful drug like Xanax or Ritalin. Many stores refuse to sell the substance but places offer it to anyone, without any age limit in place.
But with states such as North Carolina and Alabama making plans to outlaw kratom, it is unclear what is to happen of this herb.