(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)-- St. Joseph's city council on Monday night voted down a proposal to ban Kratom, a controversial herbal supplement that some call an addictive and dangerous drug.
Before the vote, several people came forward both in support and against the measure.
Those against banning Kratom included current users, who say it has helped with pain management and and treatment for opioid addiction. Others for the ban included the director of the Kolbe-Puckett Center for Healing, who said Kratom has no scientific benefits for those suffering from addiction.
Council member Bryan Myers voted against the ban, saying that being the first municipal community in the area to ban the substance would be a mistake.
"All we're going to do if we ban this locally is create an artificial black market and shove people off into other counties or on the internet where they can still lawfully get it," Myers said. "We've got much bigger things to worry about in the city of St. Joseph than a substance that is still very much up in the air whether or not it's addictive."
There was some agreement among council members to possibly banning the purchase and possession of Kratom by those under the age of 21. That issue will be taken up at a later meeting.