Herbal Supplement Kratom Target Of Lawsuits After String Of Deaths – Part 2


Sources: Socratic Solutions.us; National Public Radio

Kratom is legal in New Jersey. Because this plant has opiate-like qualities, the government created a bill, NJ A443 make it illegal to possess, produce, distribute, and promote. But after three attempts, in 2015, 2018, and 2020, it has not passed. Registered individuals suffering from severe illnesses can buy Kratom from pharmacies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns Americans not to use kratom — it stimulates the same brain receptors as morphine and could be addictive. But the agency regulates it as a food rather than a drug.

That leaves consumers to guess at the makeup of myriad powders, capsules and concentrates flooding the market, and how to use them safely.

The American Kratom Association (AKA) says it advocates for the rights of Americans to consume kratom safely and legally. According to the group, kratom is a billion-dollar business in the U.S., with vendors importing more than 2,000 tons of it into the country every month.

“The case in Florida was egregious,” says Mac Haddow, a lobbyist with the AKA. “They had nothing on it — it’s called, ‘Space Dust!’ It’s the poster child for why regulations need to be put into effect.”

Its asking for government regulation, so long as kratom is regulated as a legal, over the counter supplement and not as a drug. The association is pushing states and the federal government to pass some version of a Kratom Vonsumer protection act.

“It really brings to bear the question in the marketplace: What is safe? What isn’t safe?” says Dr. Christopher McCurdy, a medicinal chemist at the University of Florida. He’s been studying kratom for nearly two decades, supported by millions in grant funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. McCurdy says the plant shows tremendous medicinal potential, interacting with novel combinations of brain receptors.

But a fresh leaf plucked and chewed by a farmer in Southeast Asia is vastly different from the concentrated kratom extracts U.S. companies are squeezing out. And McCurdy says there’s at least one big reason why there’s no usage guidance listed on many kratom products: No one knows what it should be.

“There’s just a ton more science that needs to be done,” he says.

Governor Murphy Urged To Veto Expansion Of Mental Health Involuntary Commitment
Herbal Supplement Kratom Target Of Lawsuits After String Of Deaths