Kratom Legality in the U.S. By State (2020 Updated)

Centuries back when the farmers in Indonesia first discovered Kratom, they were quite happy.

They found something which cured their fatigue and lethargy and alleviated their stress. Those were the good days when Kratom was only used for medical conditions.

However, gradually the world got to know about this supplement. Many were curious to find out the effects of Kratom.

Once they discovered that it causes euphoria and stimulation at low doses, they were enthralled.

This was when Kratom’s use increased in parties and clubs. The FDA and DEA noticed the use of this drug and immediately took action to regulate it and to reduce its recreational use.

However, they failed to produce a scientific basis for the rumors attached to the drug. Many states in America were alarmed at the rumors and started banning it.

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Legal kratom edges closer

Proposed legislation that would remove kratom from the list of narcotics has taken a step closer to being tabled before parliament, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) said on Tuesday.

The Council of State, the government’s legal arm, finished examining the amendment to the Narcotics Act last Wednesday, and will send back to the cabinet for endorsement before it is forwarded to parliament, ONCB secretary-general, Niyom Termsrisuk, said.

The cabinet approved in principle to remove kratom from the drugs list in March.

Mr Niyom warned the public that the plant is still considered a narcotic at present, which means possessing it is illegal.

The warning came in response to a recent surge in drug cases involving kratom.

The number of cases logged by the ONCB’s operations centre rose sharply by 46% between April and June, which suggested many people believe the plant had already been delisted, Mr Niyom said.

Bangkok Post

Marijuana legalization successes pave way for national conversation on drug laws: Experts

A majority of voters in five states, both red and blue, passed ballot measures that legalized marijuana on Election Day.

This show of support at the polls will put more pressure on other states and the federal government to update its drug policies, according to advocates and experts.

“This indicates that people are frustrated with the outdated drug policies from the 1970s,” Mason Marks, a law professor at Gonzaga University and a fellow in residence at Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, told ABC News.

In some cases, like New York, elected officials are publicly sounding the call for major policy changes.

In ballot measures passed in New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana and Arizona, residents over 21 will be able to purchase and consume marijuana for recreational purposes.

Continue reading at ABC News

Kratom Legality Case in Indiana: What Residents Need To Know

Despite being dubbed as the “drug of concern” by FDA, Metragyna Speciosa, or in other words, Kratom has been the miraculous lifesaving drug for many. As a herbal tea used by Asian farmers in the 19th century, it is intriguing that the Americans have gotten fond of Kratom so quickly. There are 16 million Kratom users in the USA at the moment, who are using this beneficial botanical for pain relief, anti-depressant, and as a remedy for drug addiction.

However, the legality concerns surrounding Kratom has dampened moods of everyone around, as they never know when and where it can be made illegal. At the moment, Kratom is illegal in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Columbia, and Washington DC. For the rest of the USA, it is entirely legal to use, sell, and buy.

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Drug legalization makes big gains with voters

Voters in six states and the District of Columbia approved measures that will broaden the availability of previously illicit drugs for recreational or medical use on Tuesday in an across-the-board win for legalization advocates.

In Arizona, almost 60 percent of voters approved Proposition 207 to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, and to allow adults over the age of 21 to possess up to six marijuana plants in their homes.

In Montana, a legalization measure passed with more than 56 percent of the vote. More than two-thirds of New Jersey voters approved Question 1, which will amend the state constitution to allow recreational marijuana use. South Dakota voters approved measures seeking both medical and recreational use of marijuana; the medical measure passed by a wide margin, while legalization passed by a slimmer 53 percent to 47 percent margin.

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How you can help 6 state legalization campaigns right now

In the final two-week run-up to Election Day on Nov. 3, legalization efforts in six states are looking for a final push to win over undecided voters.

Here’s how you can help.

Arizona

Prop. 207, adult-use legalization, is gaining support among Arizona voters as Election Day nears. In a mid-October poll, 56% of contacted voters approved of Prop. 207, while 36% opposed and 7% were undecided.

To move those undecideds into the approval category, the Smart and Safe Arizona campaign can use your help.

Mississippi

Mississippi’s Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign has a tough challenge: Convince residents to vote for Initiative 65 (the real legalization measure) and not Initiative 65A (the fake measure).

Every dime makes a difference! Donate here.

Series of Illinois Cities Ban Kratom

Sound the alarm. At least four communities in southwest Illinois recently banned the sale of kratom—an herb used for its painkiller-like properties—in an effort to crack down on the herb’s growing popularity.

The cities and communities of Jerseyville, Alton, Glen Carbon and most recently, Edwardsville City banned the sale of kratom. In Edwardsville, people who violate the new ordinance banning the herb are subject to a $750 fine.

“We were presented with quite a bit of health-related data, and members of the community spoke out against it because of its potentially harmful side effects,” Ward 1 Alderman S.J. Morrison stated. “There’s just not a lot known about it.”

Other communities in the area are exploring options for cracking down on kratom sales. CBD Kratom in Belleville sells both CBD supplements and kratom supplements, among other similar products.

Keep reading at Dope Magazine

New Arizona Polls Show Narrow Support for Legalization

Arizona voters will likely support cannabis legalization during November’s General Election as a new Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network poll found 45.6 percent back the reforms with 34.2 percent opposed, AZ Central reports.

The poll comes about one month out from the election.

The poll did find 19.2 percent of respondents were still undecided – a large enough cohort to defeat the initiative. In 2016, Arizona voters narrowly rejected the reforms 52-48 percent.

The poll found 59 percent of Democrats support Proposition 207, with 20 percent opposed and 21 percent undecided. Just 30 percent of Republicans said they supported the reforms, with 50 percent opposed and 20 percent undecided.

A separate poll by Smart and Safe Arizona – the campaign behind the initiative – released last week found 50 percent support and 34 percent opposed, according to the report.

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Lawyers who specialize in cannabis are eyeing the burgeoning psychedelics industry as companies studying magic mushrooms go public

Lawyers who specialize in the cannabis industry say they’re getting inquiries from a new kind of client: psychedelics companies.

The calls started coming in around a year to a year and a half ago, as the psychedelics industry began to ramp up and garner more investor dollars, half a dozen cannabis lawyers told Business Insider. It’s accelerated in recent months as companies seeking to use psychedelic substances as medical treatments have gone public on US and Canadian stock exchanges.

Like cannabis, psychedelic substances like psilocybin and ibogaine are Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act in the US, which creates complications for businesses seeking to work with them. That helps create new clientele for cannabis lawyers, who have the expertise of helping cannabis companies navigate complicated laws and regulations over the years.

Read the full story at Business Insider

Why Investing in Psychedelic Medicine Could Be Better Than Cannabis

The burgeoning psychedelic sector is attracting attention from investors as more companies have gone public, and research has increased rapidly due to greater mainstream and government acceptance and decriminalization.

Decades of research have demonstrated that psychedelics, which are hallucinogenic drugs, are effective in treating mental disorders such as depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD and anxiety. The Food and Drug Administration has approved and fast-tracked several clinical research trials.

Dozens of biopharmaceutical companies are competing against each other since the ones that develop the intellectual property to synthesize the molecules to help treat disorders will likely be profitable and attract more capital.

“There is a smaller subset of investing verticals in the psychedelic space as it is more of an intellectual property race to develop drugs,” says Michael Sobeck, managing partner at Ambria Capital, a San Juan, Puerto Rico-based asset manager.

Read more about the key issues here

Some veterans hope Oregon will legalize psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic use

While vaping has falling out of favor, mushrooms are headed in the other direction in Oregon.

The state may be just a few months away from legalizing psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic reasons, if Measure 109 passes in the November election.

Psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in some mushrooms, has been outlawed in the United States since 1968. But over the years, studies show the drug may have lasting benefits for mental health patients.

“I’ve just seen these incredible changes occur in people who come into a room closed-off, angry, suspicious, and just really hurting and then after one session of psilocybin therapy, come out the other side smiling,” said Chad Kuske, a former Navy Seal who’s been undergoing psilocybin therapy to cope with post traumatic stress disorder.

Four veterans groups are endorsing the measure.

Keep reading at MSN

Congress set to vote on legalization of Marijuana in September

The House is preparing to vote on the legalization of marijuana next month — a bipartisan bill whose lead sponsor in the Senate is Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

Under the MORE act, cannabis would be removed from the 1970 federal Controlled Substances Act.

House members were alerted to the possibility of an upcoming vote via an email from from Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, writes Politico.

Cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 substance, just like heroin, ecstasy and LSD.

Removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act would decriminalize it at the federal level.

The act, which stands for Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, would also encourage the expunging of most cannabis convictions on the state level.

More at New York Post

Cannabis Legalization Officially Added To Arizona Ballot

Arizona voters will have a chance this year to make their state the latest to end pot prohibition.

A petition spearheaded by a pro-legalization group had its signatures officially certified by Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on Monday, clearing the way for the proposal to qualify for the state’s ballot this November.

Hobbs, a Democrat, said on Twitter that the “the petition exceeded the minimum requirement with approximately 255,080 valid signatures,” and that the measure will appear on the ballot as Prop. 207.

The petition was circulated by Smart and Safe Arizona, a group that has centered its pitch for legalization around economic opportunity for the state, saying that a marijuana industry would create jobs and opportunities, with revenue providing “additional resources for police training, enforcement and task forces,” as well as more funding for the state’s community colleges. The group said it had submitted more than 420,000 signatures.

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Lawsuit Filed To Block Arizona Cannabis Legalization Initiative

Opponents of a voter initiative that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Arizona have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the measure. Supporters of the initiative, known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, submitted more than 420,000 signatures earlier this month, far more than the 238,000 needed to qualify the measure for the ballot in the November general election.

If passed, the measure would legalize cannabis for use by adults and create a legal framework to regulate and tax commercial marijuana production and sales. The office of the Arizona Secretary of State is currently verifying the signatures to ensure that enough registered voters have signed to have the initiative included on this fall’s ballot.

Read more here…

Illinois pulls in $52 million in first 6 months of marijuana legalization

The legalization of marijuana in Illinois brought in $52 million during the first six months of 2020, the governor’s office said Tuesday.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said the $52 million makes up the industry’s tax revenue for the first half of the year, and he promised to reinvest that money in local communities.

“Illinois has done more to put justice and equity at the forefront of this industry than any other state in the nation, and we’re ensuring that communities that have been hurt by the war on drugs have the opportunity to participate,” Pritzker said.

The sale and usage of marijuana in Illinois was legalized effective Jan. 1, though both remain heavily regulated.

Read more at Stl Today.

Biden-Sanders task force comes short of calling to legalize marijuana

The camps of presumed 2020 Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden and former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders have come together to hammer out joint policy recommendations to unite the moderate and progressive wings of the party — but marijuana was one issue they could not agree on.

Sanders vowed to legalize marijuana via executive order on his first day in office. Biden, however, has been reluctant to call for legalizing pot.

As a compromise, the “Unity Task Force” instead calls for rescheduling the drug and decriminalizing its use, legalizing it at the federal level only for medical use.

The difference is this: Decriminalization would only relax penalties for marijuana use and possession. Full legalization would open the doors for marijuana to be regulated and taxed on the federal level.

Continue reading here…

New York looked poised to legalize marijuana in 2020. Then COVID struck. Here’s what is next

Count legal marijuana in New York among the victims of COVID-19, along with the hundreds of millions in tax dollars and thousands of jobs legalization might have generated.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on the last day of March that the state’s spring legislative session was “effectively over” after several state lawmakers tested positive for the coronavirus.

They came back in June to address COVID-related issues, but didn’t address other outstanding issues.

Among the unfinished items Cuomo said would have to wait until next year was the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use. Of the eight other states that were poised to legalize pot this year, only three appeared on track for legal weed in 2020.

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Psychedelic mushroom legalization moves closer to appearing on Oregon ballot

A push to legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in therapeutic settings is one step closer to appearing on the Oregon ballot in November, The Oregonian reported.

The Oregon Psilocybin Therapy Initiative announced this week that it has received the necessary amount of signatures for the measure to appear on the ballot.

Election officials will now work to verify whether the 164,782 signatures collected are valid.

Psilocybin is currently listed as a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, meaning the U.S. government has determined it has “a high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.”

The Oregon campaign, known as Initiative Petition (IP) #34, would legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in controlled doses when administered by professionals in the state.

Read more at MSN.

Why We Might See a Wave of Cannabis Legalization in 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has slowed a number of states’ efforts to legalize recreational cannabis, at least in the near term. However, it could have the opposite effect in 2021.

In an article on Barrons.com, Barron’s report Connor Smith says as many as 16 states had initially planned to include cannabis legalization issues on their ballots for the fall 2020 election. COVID-19 may have slowed that down this year, but with many states facing budget shortfalls thanks to major shutdowns in the spring, the potential tax revenues from legal cannabis could make it a major focus in 2021.

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State legislators seek kratom meeting with FDA commissioner

In a letter to FDA’s commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, lawmakers from four states suggested it would be a “fool’s game” for the agency to try to keep kratom from consumers.

Four lawmakers from Arizona, Georgia, Utah and Nevada who sponsored kratom legislation in their states have requested a meeting with the top official of FDA—an agency that has long raised concerns about the safety of the botanical from Southeast Asia.

Positions held by FDA related to kratom and another botanical ingredient—CBD—were adopted long before Dr. Stephen Hahn was appointed commissioner, the lawmakers wrote to Hahn in a June 8 letter.

Read more at Natural Products Insider.