Kratom Ban Back on the Table in Oxford

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

Oxford leaders are considering a proposed ban on products sold containing Kratom, a tree from Southeast Asia, with leaves that contain compounds that can have mind-altering effects.

Oxford leaders are once again considering a proposed ban on synthetic products claiming to contain Kratom, a tree from Southeast Asia, with leaves that contain compounds that can have mind-altering effects.

In May, Oxford Police Interim Chief Jeff McCutchen presented the proposed ordinance to the Oxford Board of Aldermen for the first reading; however, during that meeting, Alderman Mark Huelse said that the plant can have medicinal uses and mentioned ongoing research by former Ole Miss professor Christopher McCurdy, an expert on Kratom and who studies the use of Kratom to treat opioid withdrawal syndrome.

The Board agreed to table to ordinance until police and city officials could do more research on Kratom and speak to McCurdy about his findings.

On Tuesday, an amended ordinance was presented to the Board for its consideration by OPD Maj. Sheridan Maiden.

He told the board that there has been an “uptick” in North Mississippi where Kratom has been found in postmortem blood tests from people who have overdosed on a combination of drugs.

The Mitragyna Speciosa tree, where Kratom comes from, has been used in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years to relieve pain. The leaves are often chewed or crushed and brewed as a tea. However, now synthetic versions in the form of pills, tablet, liquids and gum are being sold online and at gas stations, tobacco stores and other businesses.

Trade names selling the synthetic Kratom include Krathom, Kakuam, Ketum, Kratum, Ithang, Thang, Thom, Biak, Biak-Biak, Mambog, Super K, Life Force K, K-Chill, Herbal Speedball, K-shot and others.

Itawamba, Union, Monroe, Lowndes, Alcorn and Tishomingo counties have banned the substance, as have the cities of Fulton, New Albany, Mantachie and Pontotoc.

The ordinance would only ban the synthetic products being sold locally in stores.

While some studies may show medical benefits of the plant itself, the Federal Drug Administration says the synthetic products being sold over the counter have not been proven to have any known medical benefits.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill said should the FDA approve the use of controlled medication containing Kratom in the future, the Board of Alderman would re-evaluate and update the ordinance at that time.

A public hearing and second reading of the ordinance will be held at 5 p.m. on Aug. 7 before the Board of Aldermen at City Hall. The entire proposed ordinance amendment can be viewed online at: https://www.boardpaq.com/pdfViewer?c=vdGRucaEoDKKu5%2fmOP6Rgw%3d%3d.


13 COMMENTS

  1. Big pharma can’t patent Kratom chemical compounds, so they cant make money on people recovering from opioid addiction – that they created – so they send out their FDA lapdogs to scare police and uninformed city councils to ban the competition.

    An ‘uptick’ in people who OD’d that also had Kratom in their system? Was Kratom responsible? Well, no. The fact is more people die PER WEEK from ibuprofen complications than have been found dead with kratom in their systems.

    Do research, city council. Ask questions. Who is feeding this information to you? who is feeding it to them? What, exactly, is the problem with kratom? Why now? Who is funding the campaign?

  2. There isn’t anything synthetic about it. Kratom is a tree and the leaves are brewed into a tea or taken in capsules since some people don’t like the taste. I feel bad for anyone in the Oxford area. It gave me my life back after years of crippling opiate addiction. I’m working and going to school instead of being homeless or dead and my family doesn’t hate being around me anymore. A ban would be extremely devastating for people in my situation. It’s scary to think about having finally found something that works and it being taken away. Im happy for the first time since becoming addicted to opiates. I think the fact that it’s so much weaker than heroin and pain pills makes it easier for me to eliminate opiate cravings without feeling stoned and unable to function. Just like alcohol and tobacco, it should be labeled properly and not be sold to anyone under age.

  3. Of the 100 or so “kratom related deaths”, 90 involved other substances. There were under 10 in which kratom was the only substance. That number is incredibly low for the thousands of people taking it especially when compared to opiate related deaths. The same goes for alcohol and tobacco.

    • Thousands of people taking it? A study found over 5 million people taking it in the US alone. So yes, 4 deaths in the US in 10 years amongst 5 million, is so low that there’s no way to rule out that those people had other medical conditions that caused their deaths instead of kratom.

      Over 155 people die a year from acetaminophen (tylenol) overdose but I don’t see the fda and cdc running around trying to outlaw that.

      States and the government do not have your health in mind when it comes to banning kratom. It’s about the money playin send simple.

  4. The local authorities should give enough space and power to researchers to conduct research on the potential benefits of alkaloids presence in various strains. Capsules shouldn’t be on the list of the synthetic as it actually contain natural powder .. nothing else.

  5. THE AMERICAN KRATOM ASSOCIATION STRONGLY ENDORSES DR. HENNINGFIELD’S REVIEW THAT QUESTIONS THE CONCLUSIONS RELATED TO KRATOM SAFETY IN THE EGGLESTON ET AL. BRIEF REPORT
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Washington D.C., July 16, 2019 – The American Kratom Association (AKA), representing more than 15 million kratom consumers in the United States, strongly endorsed the review and critique by Jack E. Henningfield, Ph.D. of the deficient Eggleston, et al. report on “Kratom Use and Toxicities in the United States.” read the entire report by clicking the link
    https://americankratom.salsalabs.org/pressreleaseegglestonresponse?wvpId=8a7e4366-4d0a-45ee-961e-2a35cf80fdd2&fbclid=IwAR2Nz2GAZ9dYi3YUfr85GwoCGneYQauIgdzsq4egJtaCYAsi1cQTg021osg

  6. How is Kratom, which doesn’t cause resp depression, to blame for these deaths when “a combination of drugs” were found in the deceased?! The FDA should help Regulate it as an herb supplement with quality standards, but they refuse. Why? Why would it be ok/safe if Big Pharma makes a synthic version of it, but plain leaf Kratom isn’t safe?! It Is safe, Big Pharma just can’t make money off of it & Kratom is causing them to lose money. Any Pharma version would be less safe because of the extra chemicals they would add and would be very expensive for 10+ years because they’d have a patent. Kratom is used safely by Millions of Americans for various reasons. Follow the actual science, not FDA lies.

  7. Ban tylenol first if your true efforts and I mentions are to prevent death. Kratom alone as an herbal supplement does not kill. There are no south east Asia documented deaths from it in the centuries it’s been utilized. I, of thousands and thousands of others attest to the miraculous benefits this plant has provided. Without it my quality of life would be unlivable, I’d likely have ended life on my own terms since the suffering would be unbearable. Kratom alleviates my anxiety and sciatic nerve problems just enough to be fully functional again. I went cold Turkey off percocet which was slowly destroying my liver (I’d be on dialysis by now and still unemployed with 6 kids)

  8. Like what the Govt (tried) to do with cannabis (let Big Pharma create synthetic cannabis (Marinol) which is a dismal failure, a patent was filed for Speciofoline (in Kratom) on August 10, 1964. The patent claims the “alkaloid has useful pharmacodynamic activity, particularly analgetic and antitussive activity.”

    The patent was filed by Smith Kline, of Glaxo Smith Kline, & French Laboratories.

    Aside from a patent on Speciofoline, US 20100209542 A1 is an application that was entered for University Of Massachusetts Medical School, University Of Mississippi in 2010. The application recognizes kratom as a treatment for opioid withdrawal. US 20100209542 A1 goes on to claim that kratom could be used to help withdrawals from other drugs as well.

    See the pattern yet?

  9. WHAT EVER THE GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO MAKE IT ILEAGLE. THE OLDER GENERATION DOES NOT HAVE PAIN PILLS FOR THE ELDERLY WHO ARE SUFFERING IN PAIN BY ARTHRITIS, MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, HELPS IN SOME DENTAL PROCEDURE FOR PAIN, IF I FALL AND HURT MY KNEE SO BAD I CAN’T WALK. THEY JUST TAKE A COUPLE TYLONALS AND SOAK IT. THEY ACT LIKE ASSES SINCE THEY ARE NOT THE WHO IS HURTING. AND WJAYS WORSE ELDERLY ARE BUYING COCAINE IN THE STREETS JUST TO EASE THE PAIN. BUT THE GOV. WANTS US TO SUFFER I GUESS THEY LIKE TO SEE US SUFFERING I GUESS SO WE DIE QUICKLY. THEY LIE SO BAD THAT THE GOV. REPLICANS TELLS THE 911 NO MORE MONEY FIRST RESPONDERS. AS LONG AS THEY DIE QUICKLY. THE DICTATOR HAS WON, TO THE WORLD THEY CAN SEE IT. AND YET WE ALLOW IT. NOTHING CAN STOP THEM, NO FORMAL PRESIDENT HAS DONE THIS. YET HE GETS AWAY WITH EVERTHING. FROM THE BEING POOR YOU PAY FOR IT, MED. CLASS WE PAY FOR IT. NOW RACE ARE GOING BACK TO SLAVERY. OUR RIGHTS ARE STRIPED AWAY FROM US, NO MATTER WHAT COLOR YOU ARE. ACCEPT FOR SOME OF THE FRIENDS OF THE XCXF. THEY GOT IT MADE. AND BY THE WAY HOW MUCH DOES A REPLICANS PAY IN TAXS, AND MAKE FROM THE GOV. TO ALLOW SUCH NUTS TOES TO CONTROL ALL THE US. HE HAS GONE TO FAR. HE SHOULD BE IMPEACHMENT NOW

  10. “Trade names selling the synthetic Kratom include…”

    Imagine if someone were mixing coffee with bath salts and people were calling for a ban on coffee. That’s the current situation.

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