At the October 7, 2014, Commission meeting, the Board of County Commissioners directed the Office of the County Attorney to draft an amendment to the Code to prohibit the sale, giving away, offer, or advertisement for sale, or public display for sale, of kratom (mitragyna speciosa).
Kratom, a tropical tree indigenous to Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, and other areas of Southeast Asia, is used as an herbal drug that produces stimulant and hallucinogenic effects at various doses. Due to its psychotropic and addictive nature, the U.S. Army and Navy banned the use of kratom, and the Drug Enforcement Agency has placed kratom on the DEA watch list. In February 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert that permits the FDA to detain products which contain ingredients that are found in kratom.
According to the FDA, consumption of kratom can lead to a number of health problems, including respiratory depression, nervousness, agitation, aggression, sleeplessness, hallucinations, delusions, loss of libido, tremors, skin hyperpigmentation, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and severe withdrawal signs and symptoms. Despite its dangers, kratom is promoted as a legal psychoactive product.
As a result of the dangers associated with kratom use, numerous other counties, municipalities, and states are taking action to prohibit or restrict the sale of kratom due to its potential health effects. Kratom poses public health, safety, and welfare issues for the County and it is, therefore, necessary to identify and control this substance that mimics illegal drugs.
At the direction of the Board, County staff will provide as additional material, further information regarding kratom.