The State of Kratom Legality in 2023

Ever since Kratom’s popularity in the United States began to rise, vendors and community always knew it was only a matter of time before the government made an attempt to either ban the supplement or regulate the access users had. And in 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration tried to make Kratom illegal. The attempt was to designate it as a Schedule I substance alongside heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. Thankfully, the Kratom community did push back on this to thwart the proposal. Since then, the Federal government has allowed each state and their comprising towns and counties to make up their own rules on Kratom. 

Let’s find out more about where kratom legality is in 2023.


States & Kratom Legality in 2023

Most states have opted to keep the supplement legal within their borders. However, there are some states where this herb has met with considerable adversity. Some states have opted to ban Kratom outrightly while in other states,  it is legal in some areas and illegal in others. This creates a confusing environment for the members of the community that live there. And In October, the Kratom community was rocked by the news that the World Health Organization was instituting a committee to review Kratom and its future as a supplement. For members of the community, a negative outcome could also mean new bans on the supplement. 

In December, the committee came back with a verdict – Kratom was not to be subject to critical review. For many members of the Kratom community, this was it. The hope was the verdict would begin Kratom’s legalization within the United States and other countries. 

After WHO Ruling on Kratom Legality

Sadly, that has not been the case. As it turns out, 2023 has begun with new attempts to ban Kratom in two states within the country. Within a Senate committee hearing recently, news comes that leaders at the National Institute of Health (NIH) had chosen to go on the attack against reputable scientists. These scientists disagreed with them on an issue pertaining to COVID-19. According to a statement made by the director of the NIH, they had to “take down” the scientists that publicly disagreed with them. Sadly, this is the same thing happening with Kratom.

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At the moment, there is an online news organization that is consistently churning out fresh attacks on all supporters. Starting from the scientists who do research on kratom, our allies, and the AKA. These attacks are spearheaded by a journalist who alleges that his nephew died of a kratom overdose. Every death is tragic, but there are times when assumptions based on misinformation or outdated science need to be fact-checked. If kratom did indeed cause someone’s death that is very serious. However, to claim that this is the case without clearly knowing this is true is problematic.

Regardless of this, these are vicious attacks. They are full of distortions, deliberately misleading information, and a couple of times, some information that is just plain wrong and all designed to divide the kratom community and stop our successes. 

In Kentucky, House Bill 142 is looking to “Amend KRS 218A.010 to define “kratom”; amend KRS 218A.1412 to include kratom to the list of controlled substances that are unlawful to traffic; amend KRS 218A.1415 to include kratom in the list of controlled substances that are unlawful for a person to possess.”. Also in Washington State, SB 5743 – 2022-23 wants to “Designate kratom as a controlled substance.” These are other potential updates to kratom legality in 2023.

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Final Thoughts

All of these point to the same thing, that is that Kratom is under attack. It is necessary we come together as a community to fight the ongoing attacks. You could choose to share material containing the right information about Kratom or correct misinformation when you see it. And most importantly, locating and supporting your local Kratom community so collectively your legislators in the states will feel our presence and hear our voices.

Want to learn more about what’s going on in the world of kratom? Find our other blogs here! We hope this blog has been helpful for those wondering about where kratom legality stands in 2023!



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