4
| Drugs |

Bill Would Outlaw Kratom, Internet's New Favorite Drug, in Florida

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Kratom, a plant in the coffee family, has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes in Southeast Asia for thousands of years. Chewing on its leaves provides a mild opium-like affect.

And, thanks to the internet, its found itself at the center of growing popularity in America. Mostly because its a technically legal way to get a little bit high. Well, a new bill wants to change that in Florida.

SB 0764 in the Senate and its House companion HB 0287 would add kratom to the list of controlled substances in Florida. The Senate version was filed by Republican Sen. Greg Evers.

Evers was moved to file the bill after Linda Mautner blamed her 20-year-old son's suicide on the substance. Last July, the Palm Beach County man jumped to his death from an overpass onto I-95. A mix of anti-depressants and the active ingredient of kratom were found in his system.

Kratom itself has never been documented as directly responsible for a death, and its effects on user's mental state are not well studied. Cases of psychosis and hallucinations have been reported but are rare. However, the drug's effects are generally thought to be mild. As Vocativ points out, users on the internet have made all sorts of claims about its effects, many of which contradict each other and some of which could be chalked up to a placebo effect.

The substance is generally not thought to be especially addictive.

It's currently sold openly on the internet and can be found in some stores.

Despite little being known about the substance, the effort to make it a Schedule I substance in Florida passed its first committee hearing yesterday after a narrow vote. According to the Palm Beach Post, some are concerned that the substance does not meet the criteria to be listed as a Schedule I substance and point to the fact that the federal government has not listed it as such. However, the DEA has added it to a watch list.


Follow Miami New Times on Facebook.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.