A bill by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, who is also chairman of the Florida Republican Party, would have regulated a different drug, kratom, a medicinal plant with opioid properties.
Gruters withdrew the bill after it passed two committees unanimously but then stalled. The Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act was intended to protect people’s rights to consume the drug safely in Florida, Gruters said.
Sarasota County has banned possession of kratom, citing the decision by the U.S. Army and Navy to ban the drug. Their findings said the drug has addictive properties and causes symptoms like dry mouth, insomnia, anorexia, hallucinations and confusion.
Gruters said the drug is good overall and wants to prevent manufacturers from mixing the drug with harmful substances. The drug can be found in many smoke shops around the U.S. and is typically consumed in tea.
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