Is kratom legal in Hawaii?
It might seem like Hawaii wouldn’t be a state to consider a kratom ban. Hawaii inhabitants often enjoy drinking kava—an herbal drink that’s known for its mood-boosting qualities and relaxing effects. Currently, kratom is legal in Hawaii.
However, in 2020, Hawaii introduced two articles of legislation that aim to classify kratom as a Schedule V drug, implementing a ban on it. Kratom almost became illegal in Hawaii in 2021. Though the legislation was rejected, further attempts to ban kratom in Hawaii could be reintroduced. Let’s look more closely at Hawaii’s kratom legislation, and what you can do to help keep it legal.
History of kratom legality in Hawaii
The first attempts to place legal restrictions on kratom in Hawaii appeared in February 2018. The State Legislature added kratom to its list of substances to be considered illegal for use while driving in the bill SB2826.
Hawaii’s Office of the Public Defender responded with a letter in opposition to the bill that reflected the public’s worries. This letter refers to a lack of “appropriate scientific confirmation or verification as to what amount or concentration of the substance would or could cause impairment,” further stating that the bill operated on “an assumption” rather than “proof” that natural substances could impair driving.
The Hawaii State Senate didn’t care much about the Public Defender’s complaint and responded with bill SB41 that would directly classify kratom under the list of intoxicants that would impair highway driving.
2020 Kratom Ban Attempt in Hawaii
In 2020, SB3064 was introduced, attempting to ban kratom, designating it a Schedule V controlled substance.
In 2021, the kratom legislation to ban kratom died in committee. However, further attempts to revive a kratom ban in Hawaii in 2021 or in upcoming years may occur.
Hawaii lawmakers want to schedule kratom as an illegal drug due to the warnings issued by the FDA and DEA law enforcement (despite the fact that the DEA changed its mind about banning kratom in 2016). Also, according to NIDA, “kratom abuse is on the rise.”
This view goes against recent studies conducted by researchers that show kratom to be relatively safe and effective for pain, anxiety, depression, and opioid withdrawal.
Keep Kratom Legal in Hawaii
The best way to keep kratom legal in Hawaii is to pass legislation regulating kratom. Georgia was in a similar boat as Hawaii—legislators and law enforcement wanted to ban it, attempting to make kratom illegal in 2017.
However, Georgia’s state government listened to its citizens and decided to learn more about kratom. They listened to citizen testimonies, met with the American Kratom Association to create legislation to regulate kratom for quality and safety according to the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. Now, kratom is legal in Georgia, with regulations.
To prevent Hawaii from banning kratom in 2021 or later, contact Hawaii State Officials and let them know your story, and why they should consider meeting with the AKA to discuss regulating kratom and keeping it legal.
- Hawaiʻi County
- Honolulu County
- Northwestern Hawaii Islands
- Kalawao County
- Kauaʻi County
- Maui County