Despite being consumed safely for millennia in Southeast Asia, kratom legality is a surprisingly complex and patchy affair in that region. It’s also the same with kratom legality in the USA. The states, counties, and cities where kratom is legal, or illegal, form a strange patchwork quilt that is difficult to decipher.
Even though it’s helped thousands of people to get off dangerous opiates, and given tens of thousands a safer form of pain relief, kratom is often targeted for banning just through suspicion in many parts of the world.
So let’s take a look in detail at where kratom is legal, where it’s not, and why that’s the case. That way, you’ll know exactly what the law is where you live.
Why Kratom Is A Legal Problem
Kratom is a legal problem for several reasons. It’s not actually a simple as you would think, it’s not about kratom being proven to be damaging. In fact, no studies have found kratom to be guilty of causing long-term health problems or deaths.
But because it’s key mechanism is as an agonist of the opioid receptors in the body, a lot of people assume it’s the same as heroin or opium and is immediately negative and suspicious towards it, despite the overwhelming practical evidence.
You’ve also got an ignorance driving policy. Especially in the USA, policymakers and law enforcement seem willing to ban anything that they are suspicious about. Plus, you have to nod towards the possibility that the big pharmaceutical companies don’t like something so cheap and side-effect free taking away their market share of expensive opiate-based medications, so they pressure policymakers.
Plus, in Southeast Asia, you’ve also got the crazy fact that kratom legality is dubious in some countries because the governments wanted to corner the market in the opium trade, so banning kratom was a means of taking away a safer and cheaper alternative.
Kratom Legality Is Complex In The USA
Kratom legality is especially complex in the USA because of the different levels of lawmaking.
You have federal law, which takes precedence over every other law. If kratom was banned at the federal level, then it technically wouldn’t matter what was passed at the state level.
In some states it’s legal, in other states it’s partially, or completely illegal. That then drills down into some counties, and even some specific cities. So you got a four tier system of kratom legality in the USA.
Plus, you’ve also got competing agencies feeding into this madness. You’ve got the DEA, the FBI, and the FDA, awe looking into kratom but from different angles on whether it should be legal, or a Schedule I Controlled Substance.
States Where Kratom Is Illegal
So let’s try to make things easier for you now by telling you the states where kratom is illegal. Kratom is currently completely illegal, meaning you can’t buy it, sell it, possess it, grow it, nothing, in the following states:
Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin.
In New Hampshire and Illinois, you can buy kratom if you are over the age of 18. But you can’t sell it. However, in Jerseyville Illinois kratom is completely banned. So that’s an example of how complex it can be within a single state.
In Colorado, kratom is legal. However, in the city of Denver, it’s banned if you are buying it or selling it for human consumption. You often see people selling kratom in Denver packaged up as incense.
California has total legality for kratom, except for San Diego. In San Diego, it’s completely banned.
That’s the same in Florida, where the only place it’s not legal is Saratosa County. That’s the same in Mississippi, apart from Union County, where it’s completely banned.
Tennessee has yet another slight difference in its kratom legality. It’s legal for use, but you have to be over the age of 21 to buy it and use it.
Above all that you have federal law. Although the FDA has kratom currently classed as a “substance of concern”, it’s not banned under federal law. However, both the FDA and the DEA are pushing to try and get kratom to be upgraded to a controlled substance under Schedule I, however, they have been trying to do that for five years with great opposition, and no luck to date.
Kratom Legality By Country
So now we have clarified the states where kratom is illegal in the USA, let’s look at kratom legality by country. It’s a big subject, and we can only cover it briefly. However, we will look at the main areas where kratom is bought and sold.
In Southeast Asia, the home of kratom, it’s actually surprisingly illegal to buy. In Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, and Myanmar, kratom is completely illegal. That’s slightly different in Thailand, where the growing of kratom is banned. In terms of consumption, it’s classified in the same class as marijuana.
In Australasia, kratom is completely banned. Australia and New Zealand both have very strict laws making it completely illegal in every way, including importation.
Baltic countries are another area where kratom is mostly banned. Poland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Norway, Sweden, all of these places have completely banned kratom from being bought, sold, consumed, and being imported or exported.
Within the Western EU countries, kratom is completely banned in the UK and Italy. However, it’s legal in Holland, France, Germany, and Spain.
Let’s finish this whistle-stop tour of kratom legality by country, by heading back over the Atlantic to Canada. There, kratom is not legal if it’s bought or sold for human consumption.
However, as long as it’s not sold as a human consumable product, you’re fine. Again, just like with Denver, that’s why it’s always sold in Canada as something like incense, or another, let’s be honest, cover story.
So there you go, despite the fact that the early scientific evidence suggests some strong positive benefits of kratom with minimal evidence of addiction or health problems, kratom legality by state and country is a very confusing and ever-changing situation.
However, it should be noted that very few people have ever been arrested and prosecuted, especially in the USA, Australasia, and Europe. In fact, in the USA, I couldn’t find a single piece of evidence to suggest that anyone has been directly arrested and charged successfully for possession or selling of kratom.