Oregon Lawmakers To Pass a Law to Regulate Kratom?

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Advocates of Kratom are rejoicing throughout Oregon, as the state is set to regulate the Kratom industry through passing a bill.  The versatile drug Kratom is found across Southeast Asia and claims to replicate opioid effects.  The drug may be consumed within a tea, as an extract, or as a handy capsule, providing a mode of consumption for each and every potential user.  However, until regulation occurs, it is highly likely that the Kratom drug may have been mixed or contaminated with other substances, resulting in controversy and uncertainty for the user.

Usage of Kratom

Kratom is said to mimic opioids and provide relief for most symptoms of pain, although without the addictive quality of opioids.  In addition, Kratom is used to wean individuals off of substances which do possess addictive properties and which are much more harmful to their body.

Kratom in Oregon

Kratom is legal to sell, to buy, and to use across the state of Oregon.  Furthermore, Kratom is actually freely available to buy across many convenience stores within the state.  However, without the legal requirement to regulate the production of Kratom, controversy has ensued, and the drug itself has raised numerous questions.

Controversy of Kratom

The Salem Statesman Journal has led the way in reporting the controversy faced by Kratom.  The Journal has reported that a Kratom company based in Oregon has subsequently recalled their product due to salmonella contamination fears.  Additional controversy has been courted through the Federal Drug Administration which has claimed that Kratom has resulted in many, many deaths.  Such claims have led to the banning of Kratom across six states, including the prominent Washington DC.

Claims of contamination and user deaths have enraged advocates of the drug, such as Sam Chapman of the American Kratom Association, who endorses that such instances have courted a great deal of unnecessary confusion.  Chapman was present at a Friday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing along with two other advocates, endorsing an amendment to Senate Bill 1005.  Senate Bill 1005 is a placeholder bill and therefore contains very little detail at the moment.  However, this action of an amendment would create a Kratom regulation bill, ensuring that Kratom products are not mixed with additional substances and that all ingredients are labeled correctly.  In addition, all Kratom retailers would be required to register with the state Department of Agriculture.

Benefits of the Amendment

Such an amendment, or the Kratom regulation bill, which it is known by in some quarters, would eliminate the confusion surrounding the drug, and it would contribute towards reducing levels of stigma in using Kratom in safe dosages.  Regulations would mean that users are protected when using Kratom, and that harmful substances are not mixed with the drug, and purer blends of the substance are therefore available.

An additional advocate of the amendment is Jen Lauder, the Portland-based PDX Aromatics director, who ensures that Kratom is available for sale in their stores.  Tighter controls can become more difficult for some manufacturers and vendors, although Lauder explains that “all legitimate, responsible Kratom vendors” share a concern for the health and safety of customers.

Kratom Moving Forward

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairperson is in favor of the amendment.  Senator Floyd Prozanski is a vocal supporter and has cited the benefits experienced for all concerned through the regulation of cannabis.  So too, cannabis has faced misinformation across many decades, although the drug has benefitted from similar regulations which are proposed for Kratom.  Senator Prozanski explained this point further as the public hearing came to a penultimate point, stating that a similar experience was experienced by cannabis throughout the state in the 1970s, although advocates of the drug have never looked back since the regulations came into effect.

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