(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph City Council will consider whether to ban Kratom, an herbal supplement the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to use.
Council members are expected to vote on an ordinance at its Monday City Council meeting that would specify Kratom and its psychoactive compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, as a drug and prohibit its possession.
Kratom is a plant that grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In the U.S., Kratom is sold in the form of pills, powders and tea as an over-the-counter remedy for pain relief and to treat opioid withdrawal and conditions like anxiety and depression.
But the FDA warns Kratom may affect the body the same way opioids do, and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and in some cases, death. The FDA also said there is no evidence to support the use of Kratom as a treatment for opioid use.
The FDA said Kratom has been linked to at least 44 deaths, however, critics note that some of the victims were mixing it with other drugs.
The proposed ban would make possession of Kratom an ordinance violation that can be prosecuted in Municipal Court. There has been an effort by federal agencies to classify Kratom as a Schedule I drug but that recommendation has not been approved.
The council will vote at its meeting at 7:00 p.m. Monday.