By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, May 10, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed legislation that would add Kratom to the banned substances list. Senate Bill 226 was sponsored by State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur). State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) carried the bill in the Alabama House of Representatives.
Representative Butler said in a statement, “Today with the stroke of a pen, Governor Bentley added Alabama to the growing number of states that have banned Kratom. I was proud to have carried this bill in the Alabama House of Representatives and I was also proud to help the Etowah County DEU and Sheriff’s Office tonight with the confiscation in our county. Sheriff Entrekin had his teams in place and ready to move the minute SB226 was signed.”
Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a tree found in some parts of southeastern Southeast Asia. It has a long history of use in this region for it’s stimulant and narcotic effects. Kratom is heavily used by older males in Thailand and Malaysia, even though it is illegal there. It mimics the effects of opiates. Here it is commonly sold in convenience stores usually in a blended form. The bill outlaws it as well as synthetic substances which mimic the action of actual controlled substances.
Rep. Butler said, “SB226 which makes Kratom a Schedule one has been signed into law. FYI the United States military already has a ban in place for Kratom and now Alabama does as well. Thank you Gov Bentley, Barry Matson, Sen Author Orr, Dana Craig, Joe Godfey, Eric Johnston, Rick Hagans and many others who worked on this issue.”
The Alabama House of Representatives passed SB226 59 to 24.
The legislation reads, “New synthetic substances are being created which are not controlled under the provisions of existing State law but which have a potential for abuse similar to or greater than that for substances controlled under existing state law. These new synthetic substances are called synthetic controlled substances or synthetic controlled substance analogues” and can be designed to produce a desired pharmacological effect and to evade the controlling statutory provisions. Synthetic controlled substances or synthetic controlled substance analogues are being manufactured, distributed, possessed, and used as substitutes for controlled substances. The hazards attributable to the traffic in and use of a synthetic controlled substance or synthetic controlled substance analogues are increased because their unregulated manufacture produces variations in purity and concentration. Many new synthetic substances are untested, and it cannot be immediately determined whether they have useful medical or chemical purposes. The uncontrolled importation, manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of controlled substance analogues has a substantial and detrimental impact on the health and safety of the people of this state.” The bill goes on to list a large number of substances that are now banned.
These kinds of products are now illegal to possess or sell.
Representative Butler joined Etowah County Sheriff Entrekin on a raid of convenience stores which were selling these previously unregulated products.