DA warns merchants: Products with kratom illegal in Alabama

Published 12:58 am Thursday, May 12, 2016


District Attorney Walt Merrell Thursday warned local merchants they should not sell any items containing kratom, in view of a new law signed by Gov. Robert Bentley this week.

The measure amends section 20-2-23 (4) (a) of the Code of Alabama 1975, adding the two alkaloids of the plant commonly called kratom, Mitragynine and Hydromitragynine, which have opioid effects and addiction issues.

“Research shows that Mitragynine is 13 times more powerful than morphine. Hydroxymitragynine, found in much smaller quantities in kratom, is four times more powerful than mitragynine,” Merrell said in an email distributed to local media Wednesday. “With the changes made to 20-2-23(4)

(a) of the Code of Alabama, possession, selling, transferring, giving away, consuming, purchasing and otherwise trading in Kratom is no illegal and those found to be in violation are subject to being charged with a felony offense.”

In Alabama, Kratom is commercially available in gas stations and via the internet and is sold under names such as Green Vein, Krishina Green Malay, Krazy Kratom, K Chill, Kali Green Indo, Shiva Red Maeng Da, Phoria, Mitra Red Boreno, Space-K-det, Vita-Lize, Viva-Zen, Rela-K-zpro, K-shot, Dr.K and Matrix.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has declared Kratom a drug of concern, he said. The plants are cultivated and processed in Southeast Asia, then packaged and shipped to the United States directly to a buyer through a web site that appears sterile and antiseptic

“This notice should serve as a warning to local merchants that any substance containing these portions of the Kratom plant are now a scheduled controlled substance and are illegal to possess or sell,” Merrell said. “Merchants need to remove these items immediately, and contact the Drug Task Force at 222-3532 for disposal. Otherwise they will be in possession of a Scheduled I drug and subject to criminal penalties.”