Kratom Laws in Kentucky
As natural supplements become more of a part of society’s daily lives, there are those products that still have a distinct amount of scrutiny focused on them, despite the potential benefits. The latest such product at the center of this discussion is kratom.
Known scientifically as mitragyna speciosa, the tropical tree that kratom is found in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The leaves, which are ground into powder, have been part of traditional medicine in Southeast Asia for centuries. The first recorded use of this botanical by Western observers occurred in the middle of the 1800’s. Kratom first became noticed in Europe and the United States around 2010, thanks to a combination of increased interest and its availability online.
This interest and usage caught the attention of the federal government, mainly the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food & Drug Administration. These two agencies felt that kratom was a dangerous substance to be consumed, and were poised to declare a ban on it but delayed doing so at the behest of advocates from the public along with medical researchers.
Kratom’s Presence In Kentucky
For those residing in Kentucky, there was a significant degree of interest in kratom thanks to peer discussion that centered on the natural product’s potential to alleviate discomforts. Many people claimed mood enhancement and digestive relief as well as assistance in weaning themselves off of pharmaceutical opioids.
Initially, kratom wasn’t widely available in physical locations within the state of Kentucky so some opted to go over the state lines into Ohio to procure kratom. As availability expanded throughout Kentucky, it coincided with an increase in other states which led to cases of adverse effects and even deaths. These fatalities were studied by medical examiners who cited kratom and kratom derivatives as the cause for these deaths. What they left out was that many of these cases involved kratom being taken with other drugs and medications.
The discussion over how safe kratom was would soon take center stage in Kentucky as a nationwide discussion began to bubble up over whether it should be banned or given more leeway to be researched.
Kratom’s Legality In Kentucky
Currently, kratom is still legal to purchase and possess in the state of Kentucky, with warnings by the FDA still being observed. There was a bill proposed in the state legislature in 2016 that aimed to ban kratom outright along with other substances. Senate Bill 136, introduced by Sen. Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville, would have prohibited the use of kratom and added to levy a jail sentence of up to 30 days for any who possessed it.
The bill wound up being delayed, and was then modified to cover the installation of a medical marijuana program in the state, leaving kratom off entirely. In the interim, kratom is still used by those dealing with chronic pain and opioid addictions in Kentucky, and the state has now become a place for those in Ohio and Indiana (which banned kratom) to venture to obtain the natural product.
For more information on kratom laws across the country, check out our Kratom Legality Map.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Adminstration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.