Is Kratom Legal in South Carolina? Should it Be?

Kratom has been under fire from the federal government for some time now, but it is still sold legally in South Carolina – you can find it in gas stations, smoke shops, vape shops, and other businesses throughout the state, or you can order it online.

Is kratom a dangerous drug that should be regulated by the government? Is it helping people or is it killing people?

Let’s look at some of the facts.

What is Kratom?

Kratom is a member of the coffee family and, although some people in the United States may be hearing about it for the first time recently, it’s been used medicinally in Southeast Asia for centuries.

You can chew kratom leaves, make tea out of the plant, smoke it, or vape it. Its uses include:

  • Relief from opioid withdrawal;
  • Pain relief;
  • Treatment of diarrhea; and
  • Cough relief.

What about side effects? Is it addictive? Does it hurt people, kill people, or cause seizures? That depends on who you ask…

Is Kratom Dangerous?

Maybe – I’ve never used it and I’m no scientist. But the FDA and the DEA are not happy about it:

  • The FDA classifies it as an opioid (although it’s not), and says it has “opioid-like qualities,” can be addictive, and is linked to negative health consequences and death.
  • The FDA also says kratom use may expose users to salmonella.
  • In 2016, the DEA recommended criminalizing possession and distribution of kratom, but then withdrew their recommendation.

So, what studies have been done to support the FDA and the DEA’s positions?

Have Studies Been Done on Kratom?

It appears that there is a combination of big brother, big pharma, and scare tactics surrounding the kratom phenomenon.

I don’t know, but a recent review of 57 years’ worth of international research on kratom published by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center says 1) it is a safer substitute for opioids and 2) it has potential to “reduce negative mood and relieve anxiety.”

The study’s lead author says, “This study clarifies that there is no good scientific basis for claims that kratom causes psychosis, suicide, or violence, and the available data do not indicate that kratom is a significant public health problem.”

The Regional Medical Director for Doctor’s Care is quoted in a WMBF article as saying kratom is dangerous – “…what’s the dose that’s going to get me a little bit high, what’s the dose that’s going to take care of my pain, what’s the dose that’s going to cause a seizure and I die?”

Which sounds like paranoia to me – does kratom causes seizures and death? If so, it should be pulled from the shelves immediately. What evidence is there that kratom causes seizures and death, though?

I assume he is referring to the FDA’s published list of reports of kratom-related deaths, anecdotal evidence all of which involved the use of kratom in combination with other drugs

I don’t know if kratom is safe or not, but the lack of evidence combined with what could be construed as misleading evidence from the FDA makes me think the government should leave it alone until further studies are done.

South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Lexington

Lacey Thompson is a criminal defense attorney with offices in Myrtle Beach and Columbia, SC who focuses her practice on criminal defense cases in SC state courts.

If you have been charged with a crime in South Carolina, call the Thompson Defense Firm now at 843-444-6122 or email us to talk with an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

2 Responses to “Is Kratom Legal in South Carolina? Should it Be?

  • Kratom does not cause death. Study shows it cannot cause death on its own if unadulterated. Kratom deaths that the fda are pushing are all positive poly drug panels. Please see the American Kratom Association website for studies and facts. Kratom has saved my life!

  • Cody Alan Smith
    12 months ago

    Kratom is only dangerous to the profits of big pharma cartels and government run methadone (liquid heroin) clinics.

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