Is kratom legal in Colorado?
Colorado is a state known for its closeness with nature and relaxed attitude. It was the first state to repeal prohibition in 1932, and it was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. People don’t use kratom to get drunk or high, so there should be no problems here, right? Kratom is legal in most of Colorado, but it may come as a surprise that it’s illegal in two towns–-Parker and Monument–-and the City of Denver has placed restrictions on selling kratom. People in Denver, Parker, and Monument feel cheated by the bans and restrictions. Why is marijuana legal but not kratom?
History of kratom legality in Colorado
In 2017, The Department of Public Health and Environment in Denver issued a restriction on selling kratom. This restriction is based on the FDA’s temporary ban on kratom in 2016, and remains even after they repealed the ban. The restriction requires all retailers selling kratom in Denver to label the packages with a statement that “kratom is not intended for human consumption.” Additionally, they must list the potential dangers associated with kratom use. Kratom retailers cannot provide any advice or recommendations regarding kratom use, either. Unfortunately, this treats kratom similar to drugs and alcohol, despite the fact that there are no proven deaths caused by kratom overdose. The libertarian Party of Colorado publicly criticized the government for these restrictions. Their spokesperson, Caryn Ann Harlos, said that she doesn’t believe it’s the government’s place to ban a plant that can help people (like her) suffering from excruciating chronic pain to have a more functional life.
In 2018, Castle Rock, a town halfway between Colorado Springs and Denver, placed a temporary ban on legalizing any new kratom businesses. The ban was intended to last for six months, while the town’s authorities would decide whether or not to make kratom illegal. In 2019, Castle Rock reversed the ban and chose to keep kratom legal for anyone over age 18.
In October 2019, the town of Parker became the first Colorado town to ban all sales of kratom. They based their decision on the FDA’s stance on kratom (which scientists have called unreliable and lacking evidence), as well as the deaths linked to kratom (despite the fact that the victims had other substances in their body). In November 2019, the town of Monument followed Parker’s lead and became the second location in Colorado to ban all retail sales of kratom.
How to Help Make Kratom Legal in All of Colorado
The stance that Denver, Parker, and Monument have taken on kratom is a step backwards for the opioid crisis. These restrictions prevent people from using kratom as an alternative to prescription medications to help them overcome opioid addiction, manage chronic pain, PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
One way to help kratom become legal in all parts of Colorado is to get state legislators to pass the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, which keeps kratom legal and regulates it for quality standards.
Tell the state Senators and Representatives of Denver, Colorado about your views on kratom and how passing the act could help those who benefit from kratom.
Wherever you are in Colorado (or other states), contact your Representative and Senator.
- Castle Rock
- Colorado Springs
- Fort Collins