Kratom Legality Update: Georgia House Votes to Regulate, Ohio Board of Pharmacy votes to Ban, Public Hearing on Kratom Ban in Lowndes Co, MS

Georgia House Passes Bill Requiring Age Restrictions, Labeling Requirements for Kratom

Following advocacy from the American Kratom Association as well as Georgian kratom consumers, the Georgia House of Representatives voted 164-1 to move forward on a bill regulating kratom in the state.

House Bill 551, should it pass through the Georgia Senate and be signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp, will make it illegal to sell kratom to persons under the age of 18, as well as establish labeling requirements that “provide for the identification of a standard level of kratom alkoloids [sic] and establish recommended dosages”, among other things.

The bill is flawed in that it leaves establishing alkaloid and dosage standards up to law enforcement, namely the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in cooperation with the DEA. These kinds of standards should clearly be left to scientists.

However, the bill is encouraging in that it states, “The General Assembly finds that research of the benefits and safety risks of kratom and its role in battling opioid addiction is important to the public welfare of the citizens of Georgia.”

Ohio Board of Pharmacy Moves Forward with Kratom Prohibition

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy, on the other hand, voted to move forward with a ban on kratom. It will be a months-long process before kratom prohibition kicks in. The board’s unscientific approach to both kratom and legislation is discouraging, especially after resources and time were spent by the AKA to oppose such action.

“The American Kratom Association (AKA) is very disappointed at the decision,” said the AKA in a statement. “This action was taken at the behest of the FDA despite the evidence that was presented showing conclusively that the science directly contradicts the false claims by the FDA.

Not only is the Ohio BOP not following the science on kratom, they refuse to follow the social science on the impact of drug prohibition.

In one of the many studies outlining prohibition’s failures, the journal Norteamerica in an article entitled “Slowly Learning the Hard Way: U.S. America‚Äôs War on Drugs And Implications for Mexico“, professor Glen Olives Thompson writes,

“By regulating drug use rather than criminalizing it, per capita recreational drug use in the United States would be the same or even lower than it currently is, safer for consumers, and far less costly to society in terms of socioeconomic harm.

Glen Olives Thompson

Lowndes County, Mississippi to Hold Public Hearing Today on Whether to Ban Kratom

Two Lowndes County, Mississippi towns, Columbus and Caledonia, have already voted to ban kratom. On Friday, the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on whether to ban kratom county-wide.

We asked local kratom activist Bethany Cook about the hearing. Ms. Cook was interviewed last month by WCBI when the town of Columbus, MS banned kratom.

“We do have one person on the agenda to speak,” she told Kratom Science. “I know the Mayor of Columbus is on the board and I am really praying hearing my story at least opened him up to listen. He looked like he was really listening. I was given a five minute time limit, but he let me speak for eight and a half minutes, and asked if i was done telling my story. So I think that is a good sign, maybe.”

Harry Sanders, president of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, told WTVA News “Personally, I think that, uh, that maybe Tylenol or aspirin or Advil or ibuprofen and other over-the-counter drugs, pain medication, can probably help these people rather than kratom.”

According to a StatPearls article on NCBI, updated in November 2018, “Acetaminophen [Tylenol] toxicity is the second most common cause of liver transplantation worldwide and the most common in the US. It is responsible for 56,000 emergency department visits, 2600 hospitalizations, and 500 deaths per year in the United States. Fifty percent of these are unintentional overdoses.”

Another StatPearls article lists various types of toxicity caused by ibuprofen. In it, the authors write, “Among all analgesic overdoses, 29% had used ibuprofen exclusively or in combination with other analgesics, making ibuprofen the most common NSAID involved in overdose.”

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