By Triumph Kratom | November 03, 2019
When it comes to natural products being embraced by society, there has always been a distinct journey that involves a high level of scrutiny to go along with some fanfare. For some of these products, that scrutiny also comes with heavy legislation or attempts by authorities to control availability and use.
Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom, is one of those products. Hailing from the tropical expanses of Southeast Asia, kratom became a go-to natural product for the indigenous people living there. Kratom usage goes as far back as the middle of the 18th Century according to initial anecdotes from Western travelers. Most traditional users turned to kratom for its natural anagesic properties, and also as a digestive aid.
As the decades progressed, governments in the region began to clamp down on kratom use through the same laws used to ban narcotics. Word of the positive effects of kratom spread to Europe, and eventually the United States thanks to the growth of the Internet. As curious users began to take kratom for their ailments, the federal government kept a skeptical eye on the usage. This turned into an effort by the Drug Enforcement Agency to place a ban on kratom nationwide.
The proposed kratom ban in 2016 was thwarted due to protests by botanical advocates with the support of members of Congress. The aftermath left it up to state governments to find the best way forward when it came to kratom usage and regulation by their citizens.
The expansion of the onilne marketplace in the early 2000’s brought kratom to interested people across the United States. This included people in West Virginia, who were intrigued by the natural product for a couple of reasons. First, those who tried it initially were drawn to it as a way to help improve their
behavior and mood. Many others began to consume kratom as a possible way to help wean themselves off of dangerous cycles of use they with opioid medications, which was becoming a public health issue in the state.
This led to a demand for more kratom, which prompted convenience stores and other retail establishments that sold health products to make it available for purchase. Between 2010 and 2014, there was an increase across the country of kratom users falling ill or suffering adverse effects after using kratom, often in combination with potent pharmaceuticals and/or illicit substances. Federal authorities began to keep track of these incidents, which led to the Food and Drug Administration issuing a health advisory regarding kratom in 2017.
At the moment, kratom is legal to purchase and consume in the state of West Virginia. After the FDA health advisory was issued, state legislators aimed to ban kratom by classifying it as a Schedule I drug in 2017.
West Virginia House Bill 2526 was introduced in February 2017, but a committee on health attached to the state house amended the bill to remove kratom from the list along with its more active components.
The West Virginia Senate then looked to enact a ban on kratom with a bipartisan bill that was first introduced in January 2018. The state senate bill, known as SB2, had minimal progression and wound up failing. There is a belief that the public response period that was held prior to the bill’s introduction helped members of the senate to have a different outlook on kratom, due to the fact that the survey itself centered on opioid abuse within the state. A few people spoke about their experiences with kratom in West Virginia, which speaks to the importance of advocacy among those seeing beneficial effects.
For more information on kratom laws across the country, check out our Kratom Legality Map.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Adminstration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.