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Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer > > Drug Crime > Pennsylvania Senator Introduces Bill To Restrict Sale Of Kratom

Pennsylvania Senator Introduces Bill To Restrict Sale Of Kratom


So many substances that one might ingest are either a death trap or a miracle cure, depending on who you ask.  Some drugs that have been implicated in numerous fatal overdoses were once widely used in medicine, or at least were investigated for their therapeutic potential before researchers determined that the drugs’ risks outweighed their benefits.  In the 19th century, morphine was an ingredient in over-the-counter medicines that people took as a remedy for health complaints ranging from cough to menstrual cramps, and sometimes people even gave it to children before traveling so that the children would sleep through the trip.  In the 1970s, dancing all night in the disco thanks to cocaine seemed like harmless fun; it was not until John Belushi overdosed in the early 80s that the entertainment industry decided that cocaine might not be so harmless.  Likewise, after decades of fear mongering in the government and the media about cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms, these substances are getting a chance to revamp their image; to say that medical cannabis has gained mainstream acceptance is an understatement.  In the past few years, kratom has shown its good side and its bad side to the American public.  The Pennsylvania Senate is considering a bill that would impose stricter regulations on kratom.  If you are facing legal trouble because of substances of ambiguous legal status, contact a Pittsburgh drug crime lawyer.

Is Kratom a Drug or a Superfood?

Kratom is the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, which grows in Southeast Asia; it can be consumed as a pill or a beverage.  It has stimulant effects and binds to the opioid receptors of the brain.  Kratom beverages, marketed as health food products, have become popular among consumers who want to avoid alcohol, but kratom can be addictive.  Over the years, there have been several efforts to schedule the active ingredient in kratom as a Schedule I controlled substance, but it remains unscheduled at the federal level, although the FDA has never approved it as a food ingredient or over-the-counter medication.

In the News

Several states have laws restricting the sale of kratom or even banning it entirely, but as of 2023, Pennsylvania does not.  After Caleb Sturgis of West Chester died in 2018 at age 25 from an accidental overdose on kratom, there has been a growing movement to restrict kratom in Pennsylvania; before his death, Sturgis drank commercially produced kratom beverages sold as dietary supplements.  This year, Sen. Tracy Pennicuick introduced SB 614, which would ban the sale of kratom products to people under the age of 21.  The bill also provides for more specific labeling of products that contain kratom.

Contact Gary E. Gerson About Drug Cases

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of illegally possessing or selling a substance that may or may not be an illegal drug, depending on who you ask.  Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.




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