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Why is Kratom Legal?

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Kratom is a popular drug derived from the Asian Mitragyna speciosa tree, which is also highly addictive. Some people can use it casually and not feel the need to continue often. Some people have addictive genes and cannot simply use it just once. The Food and Drug Administration has recalled kratom products for one reason, due to salmonella, not for its addictive properties. [1] The question is, why is kratom legal in the US if it’s so highly addictive? The general public opinion is that kratom is safe “in moderation,” and therefore, it has not been banned by the Food and Drug Administration.  The key word in that sentence is moderation. When someone has an addictive personality, they don’t always know how to use things in moderation. When we take into consideration the millions of people who have been affected by addiction, how is kratom still legal? Let’s explore kratom’s legality status across the US and why.

A Safe Herbal Supplement

As mentioned, some people simply do not get addicted to kratom. It is legal under federal law because it is not potent in small doses. In fact, it actually has health benefits when it’s taken in low doses every so often. According to Organic Facts, kratom has been known to boost metabolism, increase sexual energy, improve the immune system, and ease anxiety. [2]

Kratom is an all-natural supplement, so the benefit it has over other drugs is that it’s not laced with a bunch of dangerous synthetic ingredients. It’s rich in analgesic properties, meaning it can act on our endocrine system to relieve pain and stress. Many people drink kratom tea to relax after a long day of work. Often, people try it for the first time while traveling to its country of origin, Southeast Asia.

Each strain of kratom is supposed to bring about a different effect. Green Malay Kratom gives a boost of energy and euphoria. White Borneo Kratom is said to be like coffee, making users more alert and focused. If kratom affects the mental functioning of a person and can help them to be more focused, this could be seen as a good thing.


Simply put, kratom tea and other kratom products can be harmless if used every so often.  For this reason, it’s easy to understand why it’s not seen by some as a threat to the public. The shift in perspective comes from the fact that it has been used in other countries as a substitute for opium.

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The Drug Enforcement Administration’s View of Kratom

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) views otherwise regarding the casual use of Kratom products. Kratom affects the brain as any opioid would, so understandably its legal status comes into question. In 2016, the DEA released a statement that highlighted the danger of the opioid properties that are found in every strain of kratom. They even proposed to place kratom on emergency scheduling while its health risks were further investigated, but withdrew this notice following the subsequent public uproar.

Over half a decade later, you can still buy kratom online. You can buy kratom tea at Kava bars around the world and you can even purchase it at the gas station. Kratom is still fully legal. It’s abused for its ability to relax the body and the DEA points out that it’s marketed as a legally controlled substance. It’s hiding in plain sight that kratom affects a person the same way a controlled substance would, yet it’s still out there for the world to access.

Despite the efforts of the Federal Government to ban kratom products, there has not been enough evidence that it is an imminent threat to public health. Although some have called kratom a gateway drug to using more opioids, there is insufficient research yet to label it an illicit drug. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration watch for its misuse, but as far as banning Kratom goes, further research is required before action will be implemented.

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Kratom Legality by State

As of late, Kratom is illegal to buy, sell, possess, or use in:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

Parts of California, Colorado, Florida, and Illinois have banned kratom. Some states regulate kratom use under the KCPA regulations [3], and others ban specific forms of the substance.

So what states is kratom legal in the US? Well, other than the states listed above, the entire country is open to buying kratom powder online and in stores. Unfortunately, until there is further evidence of its inherent danger, the drug does not yet pose a large enough threat to become illegal.

If you have experienced the negative effects of kratom tea, kratom capsules, or any other kratom products in the US, do not hesitate to contact the DEA. All experiences can help the research attempts of the Federal Government who are looking into it. In the addiction world, anything that creates euphoric feelings or acts as an opioid is seen as something that can be an illicit drug. Herbal supplements are not supposed to feel like a gateway drug. While it is still legal, it is hoped that this will cease to be the reality in the not-too-distant future.

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Kratom Addiction Treatment at Avenues Recovery

While kratom use can begin infrequently, the strong addictive properties of the drug can rapidly spiral its use into a full-blown addiction. At Avenues Recovery our specialized staff guides individuals back from the world of dependence and cravings, helping them to regain control of their lives.

Contact Avenues Recovery today for guidance or more information on our treatment programs. We’re here to help you move forward and turn your life into one with a future and freedom ahead!

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[1] www.fda.gov

[2] www.organicfacts.net

[3] www.senate.mo.gov

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