What is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree, mainly grown in Southeast Asian countries, like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, etc. It is used for many purposes, like relieving pain, alleviating headaches, inducing euphoric feels and helping the user destress. Considering its many advantages and the effects it has, as mentioned above, it is no surprise that it has become extremely popular.
The Legality of Kratom in the USA
According to the federal laws in the USA, Kratom is legal. This means that on a federal level, US citizens can engage in the consumption and distribution of Kratom and can also possess it without any legal repercussions.
This information may provide some sort of relief to Kratom enthusiasts. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Kratom is only legal at a federal level. And hence, state laws have to be considered as well. If the state laws differ from the federal laws and indicate that Kratom is illegal, then State law will be upheld over federal law most of the time.
Some states have banned Kratom, while some have openly spoken in favor of it. The states that have banned Kratom are Vermont, Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Washington and lastly, Rhode Island. There are many reasons why these states have banned Kratom. A major one being the fear of the unknown; Kratom is essentially a kind of drug about which a lot of research has not been done. And that is why some organizations are hesitant in approving its consumption. This can be seen by the attitude of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has continually cautioned US citizens against the consumption of Kratom. The FDA concerns grew even further when there were confirmed reports of contamination of Kratom with bacteria and Salmonella.
The Legality of Kratom in the State of Illinois
For this article, the specific state that we are concerned with is Illinois. At first, Kratom was not as widely consumed and accepted before as it is today in Illinois. However, with increased consumption and realization of the benefits of Kratom, it became more accepted and widely consumed in Illinois. Still, this did not completely erase the wariness. This can be seen from the fact that in 2014, a bill (House Bill 5526) was introduced concerning Kratom, which was successfully passed. This bill stated that citizens below the age of 18 cannot consume Kratom and only citizens over the age of 18 can consume Kratom. This law essentially made it illegal for minors to indulge in Kratom in whatever way possible. It can be said that the law did not introduce any major change as the minors were discouraged from consuming Kratom already and it only reinforced that discouragement.
In 2017 and 2018, two cities in Illinois, Jerseyville and Alton, introduced laws that essentially banned the use and distribution of Kratom. This law proved to be a disappointment for Kratom lovers in these 2 cities. It highlights the mindset of the people in these cities and shows that the use of Kratom was not tolerated.
In 2018, a bill was introduced which highlighted an attempt to ban Kratom in Illinois. This ban would not only have been applicable for citizens under the age of 18 but also for citizens over the age of 18. It was State Representative Katie Stuart, who introduced the House Bill 4106. Enactment of such a law would have resulted in a statewide ban of Kratom. The bill was introduced but it was later abandoned in the year 2019. It was mainly discarded due to a lack of support. Consequently, since no law in the state of Illinois declares Kratom illegal for citizens over the age of 18, one can safely arrive at the conclusion that it is in fact, legal. This means that adults residing in Illinois can consume, possess, distribute and deal with Kratom without any fear of legal liability arising. However, it must not be forgotten that this does not apply to those residing in Jerseyville and Alton.
What to keep in mind when buying Kratom in Illinois?
Any customer buying Kratom must be careful to buy only high-quality products. Due to the presence of so many vendors in the market, it can usually be really tough for customers, especially those who are beginners, to differentiate good quality products from bad quality products.
A good vendor will have conducted lab tests of their products. They would have gone a step further and disclosed those test results. The advantage of this is that it assures customers about safety in consuming that particular product. A good vendor would have assured its customers about its quality and would have come up with some policies to highlight their confidence in their product. An example of a policy could be that the vendor could offer a money-back guarantee if the customers are not satisfied with the products and its outcomes. Such policies reflect very positively on the vendor and make the customers feel really safe when dealing with them. A good vendor should also be able to trace the origins of their products back to its authentic source. Keeping in mind the fact that Kratom is a product grown and harvested in Southeast Asian countries, it is essential that customers make sure that the source of their product is the aforementioned countries and not some artificial farms.
The aim of this article was to educate the general public about the status of the laws concerning Kratom in Illinois. And to some extent, relieve the minds and hearts of some as a result. The citizens of Illinois should rest easy knowing that they would not be penalized for indulging in Kratom. And should also take comfort in the fact that this legal status will not probably change in the near future, especially considering the increased use of Kratom and the change in the attitude of the people.