District Attorney warns DeKalb: Kratom “supplement” now illegal
May 13, 2016
Southern Torch (3842 articles)
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District Attorney warns DeKalb: Kratom “supplement” now illegal

Featured image: Recently outlawed Kratom in its natural plant form


By Joseph M. Morgan

joseph@southerntorch.com

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala.—Alabama Ninth Circuit District Attorney Mike O’Dell announced this week the Alabama Legislature’s recent passing of Senate Bill 226, a new law that makes the possession and/or sale of the drug KRATOM illegal. Governor Bentley signed the bill on Tuesday.

District Attorney warns DeKalb: Kratom “supplement” now illegal

State Rep. Mack Butler, also a Reserve Deputy with the Etowah County Sheriff’s Department, inspects a recently outlawed box containing the “herbal supplement” Kratom. Butler supported legislation to outlaw the drug.

The Bill amends 20-2-23(4)(a) of the Code of Alabama by adding the two alkaloids of the plant Kratom to the controlled substances list. These two alkaloids are Mitragynine and Hydromitragynine, which research shows, connect to the brain at the opioid receptors and cause the documented opiod effects and major addiction issues.

In Alabama, Kratom has been commercially available in gas stations, various retail stores, and on the internet, and is sold under names such as Green Vein, Krishina Green Malay, Krazy Kratom, K Chill, Kali Green Indo, Viva-Zen, Viva-Lize, Zombie Matter, to name a few.

“As a result of the Legislature’s action relating to Kratom, local law enforcement, and my office, will immediately begin enforcing this new law,” O’Dell said. “Thus, I am issuing this notice and warning to anyone who is possession of, or offering for sale, Kratom under any of the brand names being utilized and containing the illegal alkaloids, that violation of the new law is a Class D felony, and you will be prosecuted. A Notice and Warning is being disseminated to businesses throughout our two counties. Merchants in possession of these products should remove them from their shelves and destroy these products. Any further sale, or offer for sale, of such products shall be subject to swift legal action.”

District Attorney warns DeKalb: Kratom “supplement” now illegal

Kratom as packaged similarly to energy supplements

According to O’Dell, law enforcement agents will begin identifying locations where the drug is stored or being sold, and will be authorized to seize the illegal substances and make the appropriate arrests.

Since, until yesterday, these substances were legal in Alabama, O’Dell felt the need to issue an “Advisory Notice” to merchants and/or individuals who may be engaged in “Although possession and/or sale of Kratom is a criminal violation, I am most concerned about the health concerns involved with Kratom use,” O’Dell pointed out. “Research shows that Mitragynine and Hydromitragynine are very powerful and dangerous substances, with Mitragynine being 13 times more powerful than morphine, and Hydromitragynine- found in much smaller quantities in Kratom-is 4 times more powerful than Mitragynine.”

According to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, there is currently is no legitimate medical use for Kratom in the United States. Available as liquid shot bottles, powder, leaves, and pills, Kratom substances may be smoked, taken as a pill, snorted, or brewed into tea.

The two alkaloids found in Kratom are dangerous and addictive by themselves, and mixing them with propylhexedrine found in nasal decongestants and Tramadol has been associated in multiple deaths. Kratom has been indicated to have both narcotic and stimulant-like effects and withdrawal.

“My major purpose is to educate the public that Kratom, as a botanical substance, can pose a substantial risk to public health and has the potential for abuse,” O’Dell stated. “Senate Bill 226 was passed in response to numerous complaints and concerns raised by the public, not law enforcement.

Unfortunately, the state was originally slow to respond to this threat. Now that it has, we are making up for lost time, and will be aggressive in removing this threat to our O’Dell pointed out that consumption of Kratom can lead to a number of health impacts, including respiratory depression, nervousness, agitation, sleeplessness, hallucinations, delusions, tremors, loss of libido, nausea, vomiting and severe withdrawal signs and symptoms.

“There were a number of legislators who helped get this law passed, but I want to specially thank Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter and Senator Steve Livingston who brought this matter to my attention after they had been contacted by several of their constituents,” O’Dell said. “We took the samples they provided, that had been purchased locally, to the Department of Forensics Science in Hoover. We had a very productive meeting with the chemists there, and, after having them tested, the decision was made to pursue adding these substances to the list of Schedule I drugs, making the possession and/or sale of Kratom illegal. Nathaniel and Steve were very instrumental in getting SB 226 passed, and I am very grateful for their efforts.”

O’Dell recommends that if you have any questions concerning the new law that you contact either the Sheriff s Office or the Police Department. ‘It is my hope that area merchants will cooperate in removing these products, voluntarily, without the need for law enforcement involvement. But rest assured, officers will be aggressive in identifying and handling violations.”

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Southern Torch

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