Bill prepared to keep kratom legal in Utah
The FDA is no fan of it, some states have banned it, but a proposed bill at the State Capitol would keep kratom legal in Utah.
The substance from a plant that grows in Southeast Asia, is sold in pill, powder, and in as an extract at Jennie’s Smoke Shop in downtown Salt Lake.
Ron Anderson works at the store and has sold kratom to people from “all walks of life,” who tell him it relieves their pain. He uses it too, saying there’s no high, but it boosts his mood.
Still, the FDA issued a news release several months ago, urging people “not to consume kratom,” saying among other things, marketers have made “unsubstantiated claims” about some products containing it.
Rick Beckstrand, with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, said the agency tracked salmonella linked to kratom products last year, has no actions against companies now, but is still “concerned” about Kratom because it does not know how the substance is being processed in Asia.
“I view this kind of in the same vein as medical marijuana,” said Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, who will sponsor the bill to keep kratom legal here in its “pure” form, but illegal in an “adulterated” form with other additives. “I’ve had people tell me kratom is an alternative for addictive opiates, and that’s what convinced me.”
Mac Haddow, who said he ran Orrin Hatch’s first campaign for U.S. Senate, is a Washington, DC lobbyist representing the American Kratom Association, a group of users. He gave language in the proposed bill to Bramble.
Haddow insisted pure kratom is safe, and only becomes dangerous when it’s mixed with other substances such as fentanyl, morphine and heroin.
But on its website, the Mayo Clinic reported kratom has “known side effects,” including weight loss, vomiting, muscle pain, dizziness, seizures, depression and delusion.
The proposed bill has a title, but its text is not yet available.