Legislators Go Slow on Kratom

by North Carolina Health News

Posted on June 15, 2016

A legislative proposal to ban kratom, a mood-altering drug, has been dialed down so that its use would only be illegal in North Carolina for people younger than 18.

Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Rockingham) presents his bill at the Senate Health Care Committee Tuesday, as Sen. Tommy Tucker (R-Waxhaw) looks on.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a number of states have either banned or restricted the use of the substance.

Kratom users, store owners, and advocates gathered at a hearing of the Senate Health Care Committee at the General Assembly in Raleigh Tuesday, where they discussed House Bill 747. As amended Tuesday, the bill would prohibit the use of kratom for minors and call for a public health study on its effects.

“We could end up in a scenario where we ban kratom, we could end up in a scenario where you have be 21 or older to buy kratom, we can end up where you are 18 and older and you can buy kratom, or there’ll be no restrictions on it whatsoever,” said Senator Tommy Tucker (R-Waxhaw), who presented the bill to the same committee in May. “We simply want to find out the facts and… not move too fast.”

“We want to look at this very hard,” he said.

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