Georgia

3 months ago

History of kratom legality in Georgia

In 2017, Georgia introduced a bill that included kratom on the list of substances they wished to ban. This bill was a response to a Georgia medical practitioner’s statement that kratom caused 11 deaths in Georgia. In reality, there are no proven deaths from kratom—all fatalities linked to kratom included the use of other substances, including well-known dangerous drugs.¹

The bill did not go over well with kratom consumers in Georgia. They shared their stories about kratom as an herbal treatment for chronic pain, mental health disorders, and overcoming addictions.

In response, in 2018, Georgia’s House of Representatives created a committee to study the risks of kratom, where they met with medical experts who would educate them on the topic from a neutral perspective.

Jack Henningfield, Ph.D,—leading expert on addiction and the effects of drugs on the brain—explained how kratom works. While its alkaloids bind to opioid receptors, it doesn’t act the same as opioids. It doesn’t suppress respiratory function, which is the main reason for opioid overdose. He claimed that the FDA has been wrong about science and their views of kratom as dangerous.

The result of Georgia’s education into kratom and its effects led to a meeting with the American Kratom Association to design laws based on the American Kratom Consumer Protection Act.

¹ Singh, Darshan & Narayanan, Suresh & Vicknasingam, Balasingam. (2016). Traditional and non-traditional uses of Mitragynine (Kratom): A survey of the literature. Brain Research Bulletin. 126. 10.1016/j.brainresbull. 2016.05.004.

¹ Singh, Darshan & Narayanan, Suresh & Vicknasingam, Balasingam. (2016). Traditional and non-traditional uses of Mitragynine (Kratom): A survey of the literature. Brain Research Bulletin. 126. 10.1016/j.brainresbull. 2016.05.004.

2019 Georgia’s Laws Regulating Kratom

Once Georgia state lawmakers learned about kratom, they worked with American Kratom Association to pass a bill in 2019 that was their version of the consumer protection act. 

An overwhelming 164 against 1 of the Georgia House voted for it. The Governor of Georgia passed the bill in late April 2019. Only Rebublican Representative Matt Gurtler voted against it.

As a result, the age requirement to buy, sell, or possess kratom is 18 years of age or older. Furthermore, all kratom sellers must include information on the package that outlines the age limit, ingredients, specific kratom alkaloids, manufacturer/distributor details, instructions for use, and disclaimers.

It is illegal in Georgia to sell unsafe kratom that does not provide proof of its ingredients.

Urge Other States to Follow Georgia’s Lead

In some states, kratom is currently legal in 2021, but this may change. Law enforcement and numerous state representatives and senators believe kratom should be banned. A bill that’s based on the Kratom Consumer Protection Act is the best bet to keep kratom legal in the United States.

Florida is one of the many states where the legality of kratom is uncertain. Georgia was once one of these states where kratom had a likelihood of being banned, but after learning more about kratom from experts, they decided to regulate it.

Whether kratom is legal or not in other states, educating lawmakers on it and getting a bill passed to regulate it is important for kratom consumers everywhere. It’s unfair that in some states, people can face the same charges for possessing kratom as they would possessing cocaine, heroin, or other schedule-1 drugs.

On the American Kratom Association’s website, you’ll find a map of where kratom is legal, regulated, or illegal. Next, you can find your congressional representative and contact them to let them know why it’s important to regulate kratom. Find your state senators here to contact them.

  • Athens
  • Atlanta
  • Columbia
  • Savannah