On January 8, 2021 a Mississippi Senate Bill was proposed calling to add Kratom to Schedule I of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
After a brief holiday break period, statewide legislative sessions are now back in full swing. If those of us in the Kratom community have learned anything from the past around this time of the year, it is that a new year often signals new kratom ban bills being filed. Such is the case in Mississippi.
On January 8, 2021 a Mississippi Senate Bill was proposed calling to add Kratom to Schedule I of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. This comes at the heels of a county wide ban of Kratom in Lafayette County, Mississippi. Lafayette County is most well known for being the home of the University of Mississippi, which is interesting considering that the university was once spearheading scientific research on Kratom.
Their findings, published in 2013 and 2019 respectively, shed Kratom in a positive light, going as far to conclude that Kratom’s main alkaloid, Mitragynine, “completely blocked all withdrawal symptoms,” of the test mice who were habituated to morphine for their experiments. The city of Oxford, where the University of Mississippi resides, banned Kratom 16 months ago.
Such a debate is not new to the state of Mississippi, for a similar bill was proposed in March of last year. Due to the overwhelming support from the AKA and the rise of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, the bill was eventually deemed dead, and Kratom supporters breathed a sigh of relief, until now.
An Uphill Battle
Currently, there are over 30 counties and cities in the state of Mississippi that have made the possession or sale of Kratom a misdemeanor. The overwhelming majority of these banned locations are in the Northeastern part of the state.
It should be noted that anti-kratom bills should be expected, for 12 states last year alone tried to propose statewide bills to ban Kratom. All were unsuccessful. These states include: Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia.
Kratom support is needed now more than ever. Big pharma has lawmakers in their pocket, with over two-thirds of the sitting members of Congress receiving some sort of financial backing from drug manufacturers. It is an uphill battle, but it is a battle that has been won before.