Should Zachary outlaw kratom? Council to take up issue at Sept. 12 meeting

Zachary officials want to ban kratom in the city, citing concerns about the potential hazards associated with the controversial herbal substance.

The City Council unanimously introduced an ordinance prohibiting the sale and possession of kratom during its Aug. 22 meeting. If formally adopted at the council’s next meeting on Sept. 12, people caught with kratom in Zachary could face fines and jail time.

“This substance does not belong in our city,” said Council member Ambre DeVirgilio, who spearheaded the ordinance.

Kratom is the common name for a substance made from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a tree native to Southeast Asia and a relative of the coffee plant. It can produce stimulant and euphoric effects.

“The DEA classifies kratom as a chemical of concern,“ DeVirgilio said. “The FDA has ruled that it has no medical use or benefit.”

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