By: Phil | 01-03-2018 | News
Photo credit: AR30mm |

Tennessee State Attorney General Rules Botanical Kratom As Fully Legal

Exciting news for Tennesseans, kratom is no longer in the gray market. Up until now, there has been much confusion about the legality of the South East Asian plant used by millions in the US. Since 2007, a law regarding synthetics mentioned two of the constituents of the plant and since then many vendors refused to sell it or to Tennesseeans. Over the past few years, few precedents were set leading to today's happy news.

I had written Governor Bill Haslam years back regarding the confusion in the bill. Kratom was never named in the law which (in its title and wording) refers solely and specifically to synthetic substances like cathinone based "bath salt" drugs and the spice or incense "cannabinoid" products. When I initially pointed this out to the governor in the email he promised to send the information over to the state Health Commissioner.

It wasn't until November of this year that this became vitally relevant again for me. In the case of Christopher Miller, who was arrested for selling kratom I wrote several articles pointing out the issues with the body of the law and its application. Chris' case was thrown out by the District Attorney for that reason and in early December, Representative Tony Shipley (author of the bill itself) clarified that the bill is only in regards to synthetic constituents of kratom and not the botanical leaf product itself.

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As of December 20, 2017 however, with Tennessee State Attorney General's Opinion No. 17-55 regarding the legality of possessing the kratom plant in Tennessee, the official court-ordered opinion regarding interpretation of the law states that "Possession of the kratom plant in its natural botanical form should not subject a person to potential criminal prosecution under Tennessee law. The kratom plant in its natural botanical form is not a prohibited controlled substance under Tennessee law."

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Opinion 17-55 fully clarifies finally, fully and legally the State's position on the possession and sale of Mitragyna speciosa pointing out there is currently "no Tennessee statute that expressly criminalizes possession of kratom plants in their natural botanical form." This isn't just a win for Tennessee either. Other states like Indiana had similar laws that came out during the "bath salts" years that also name mitragynine but refer only to synthetics. Hopefully, this new opinion from the Tennessee State Attorney General can set a precedent for other states to enact sane legislation regarding this plant that has helped so many.

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9 Comment/s
Justeen Cosar No. 15184 2018-01-03 : 15:03

Such good news. This plant has enabled me to discontinue use of pain medication for two painful chronic medical conditions. It’s efficacy speaks for itself. Bravo, Tennessee!

Diane Ellis No. 15188 2018-01-03 : 15:41

This is great news. I can finally get off all prescription medication and use Kratom. I am in several groups. I’ve researched Kratom for 6 months. Every thing I’ve read says it’s better for people than opioids.

Scot No. 15222 2018-01-04 : 06:27

What I thought about this article? is that the people that did the real work we're not given credit. What about Melanie Victor? What about Kelly Devine these are the women that reached out to Tony Shipley and senator pody.. they didn't just decide to do this on their own you know it took alot of work, passion, and time. And I feel this is a slap in the face to the people that actually made this happen. I'm happy for the people in Tennessee you don't get me wrong. But I think it's disgusting that people are not given credit for their hours,day,weeks and months spent in communication with Shipley and pody. smfh at this article.. I would actually go as far to say as I think there's something illegal about it… if nothing else at very least you know who did the work and I know you do. Just because someone broke the law and happened to get lucky because of other people's hard work does not a hero make

Lianne No. 15223 2018-01-04 : 06:36

I dont live in America, i have never been able to use kratom for withdrawls, so when i read thes stories, its wonderful

Maysgpa No. 15256 2018-01-04 : 16:24

It has helped so much with my akathisis, since I can't use anything else to help me.

Dijon Evans No. 15414 2018-01-06 : 21:19

I want to have there Reps talking to [email protected] hoorray Tenn!!!!! GOOD FOR YOU GUYS, THATS AWESOME!!!!!

Anonymous No. 15786 2018-01-11 : 10:09


Scot, I have plenty of stories of Kelly Devine breaking the law as well. She is CERTAINLY not a hero, I wish more people knew that.

Anonymous No. 15998 2018-01-13 : 10:46

OK… Restricting it to a natural green leaf form I can go with.

It is when it is commercialized, concentrated from extracts, into non-natural use forms and marketed as "best" "strongest" etc… that I was having issues with. Because there was no telling what active or inert fillers or processes were used.

Those using it for honest medical related reasons will see this as a win.

Those abusing it for recreational use and/or making $$$$ from it, will be very unhappy.

Anonymous No. 16119 2018-01-15 : 05:14

This is out of hand. It is getting to the point a person is unable to read anything concerning Kratom without either Kelly singing her own praises or someone doing it for her. I’m happy for TN but she acts like she got a ban reversed and that did not happen. A good part of the community knew it was legal and when she was approached about that in the past she let more than one person know she thought they were stupid and didn’t know what they were talking about. All the lobbying she did after Miller’s arrest wasn’t to get the law clarified (would have been the same result) she was lobbying to end the ban, educate people and end the BAN a ban that did not exist. She solicited funds using Millers name, to the point Miller and Devine both bad to release statements clarifying that donating to her fundraiser was not going to Millers defense like she made it appear. It was to buy her a CAR. She used him for his name, period. How is she even lobbying? Explain that please. She isn’t even a nonprofit yet she solicit funds. A lot of us are getting very tired of this. Her ego is more important than anything. Period. Praising Kelly and seeing even her repeat how her team did this she did that, ultimately there is no doubt if the war is won on Kratom she will claim it was her and the BEA and if lost she will blame the only organization that refused to put up with her lies and defrauding the community. In case you are wondering. No, I don’t know who the commenter above is but they have correct information. One of the loudest most narcissistic people I’ve ever seen just happens to be someone speaking to the people who make final decisions on Kratom. Someone who has broken many laws and still does to this day. It’s gotten to the point where now that you can’t even simply avoid one social media platform to avoid her, she is everywhere. Seeking attention, praise, awaiting the day all her minions bow and recognize she is the true Kratom god. It had to stop.

I seriously hope her followers get a grip. She didn’t save Kratom in TN it never needed saving. If Kratom were truly important to her and her follows as claimed, less time would be spent seeking praise and talking about only things that she can take full credit for even if she is lying, and more time talking about the cause itself. If you don’t think this is a problem, you are wrong. Numbers are down in the Dear Collegue letter as well as participation period. That is due in part to people unable to handle the hypocrisy and what she has done to this community. You know it’s bad when people walk away from a cause rather than just avoid the person. It is that bad. I beg you. If you care about Kratom. Do your own research just like so many of us have. Just don’t justify what you find. I miss the community but until she is gone. I’m gone. Until people hold her accountable she will continue to hurt Kratom and but the time her followers realize just how bad it is, oops, too late. Unforgivable. There are peoples lives at stake, I don’t care how god like any of her minions feel she is or how far the wool is pulled over their eyes. It is their duty being voices of the community to research themselves and get to the truth about her. Hold her to the same standards every other advocacy group is held to. Simple as that. Stop allowing her to bully an entire community. Peoples lives are on the line my God.

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