Late January two bills were introduced to the Mississippi State Legislature that would effectively ban kratom in the state. SB 2475 in the Senate and HB 974. The billl was referred to the Senate Drug Policy Committee Thursday January 25, 974 was referred to the House Drug Policy Committee. Luckily kratom users and advocates fought full force to educate lawmakers about the plant that millions safely use for a variety of conditions.
As of the 25th the committee chair was still convinced the plant should be banned. Kratom, a South East Asian botanical related to coffee, has been safely used as a folk medicine indigenously for centuries but in the past several years more and more people around the world have found kratom more effective and with fewer side effects than prescription drugs for chronic pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, anxiety, PTSD, depression and other conditions.
As of the 29th, lawmakers decided to strike the lines related to kratom from the bill but the Senate Bill was still a concern for kratom consumers in Mississippi who had found it to improve their quality of life. By early February, SB 2475 was reported dead due to not making the bill deadline and HB 974 had been passed through the committee with a due pass recommendation regarding striking the two lines pertaining to kratom.
Kratom users aren't entirely out of the woods yet, however. As the Botanical Education Alliance, noted, Kansas and West Virginia are still under fire and the recent controversy from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb still puts the plant at risk on the federal level. As has been reported previously at the Goldwater however, this year (as last year) kratom advocates have mustered bipartisan support from both houses of Congress and the support of medical researchers, scientists and pharmacologists who feel banning the plant would be a mistake. As always, we will be keeping a close eye on the developments both on the state and Federal level.