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What Floridians Should Know About The Kratom Consumer Protection Act


Kratom, which is the common name for the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree and products derived from them, has been at the center of legal controversies in recent years.  M. speciosa is native to Southeast Asia and is a close relative of the Coffea genus of plants from which coffee is derived.  In Thailand and nearby areas of Southeast Asia, people have taken kratom for centuries, either to relieve pain, to stay awake, or as a social drink.  It has also been used topically for pain relief.  For a brief period, federal law declared kratom a Schedule I controlled substance, but now it is available in retail stores in most counties in Florida.  A bill is advancing in the Florida legislature that would regulate the legal manufacture and sale of kratom and impose criminal penalties on people who illegally sell kratom or whose product does not meet legal standards for safety.  If you are being accused of criminal activity related to marginally legal drugs, contact a West Palm Beach drug offenses lawyer.

Is Kratom the New Cannabis?

The Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act is close to becoming official policy in Florida; all HB 179 needs is one more vote from the House of Representatives, and then a signature from Gov. DeSantis, before it becomes law.  Currently, kratom products are legal for sale in all Florida counties except Sarasota County; you can buy them from most places where you can buy cannabis.  The Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act sets a more precise legal definition for “kratom products” and makes it illegal to label products as “kratom” when they do not fit this definition.  It would also ban the sale of kratom products to anyone under the age of 21.

Demand for kratom is robust because of its pain relief properties.  Some people use it to relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.  In other words, legal kratom could be part of the solution to the problem of widespread addiction to opioids, whether prescribed or illegal.  Kratom is not without its dangers, though.  Prolonged use of kratom can lead to dependence, and discontinuation of it can lead to withdrawal symptoms, similar to the effects of opioid withdrawal.  Ingestion of high doses of kratom can lead to liver dysfunction, but these effects tend to reverse upon discontinuation of kratom use.  High doses of kratom can cause a variety of adverse effects, ranging from anxiety and insomnia to seizures and death.  Although dosing is not strictly regulated, at least not until the Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act, most kratom products sold legally in the United States contain between two and six grams of kratom leaves per dose; the new law would increase the standardization of doses.

Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Attorney William Wallshein has more than 39 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County.  Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.





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