Kratom, AKA Mitragyna speciosa, is legal in 44 states. So, what is the status of the Alabama Kratom legality of Kratom, you might ask? Well, we have that answer for you, Golden Monks, and the truth is that ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ ain’t so sweet for Kratom enthusiasts. Unfortunately, Kratom, in any form, is outlawed in the Yellowhammer State. This means that any attempts to buy, sell, manufacture, or distribute Kratom within Alabama’s borders could lead to serious legal trouble, including possible jail time. Yikes!
On May 10, 2016, Governor Bentley signed Alabama Senate Bill 226 into law. Although the bill didn’t mention Kratom specifically, it did outlaw two of the natural plant’s most prevalent alkaloids: Hydromitragynine and Mitragynine. Since true Kratom always contains these alkaloids, the ban automatically included all Mitragyna speciosa products.
Stores that sold Kratom in Alabama had only 48 hours to remove it from their shelves and dispose of it. Anyone who didn’t comply risked a felony charge.
As Huffington Post pointed out, Alabama law enforcement officials are very zealous when it comes to enforcing the Mitragyna speciosa ban. One woman the media outlet interviewed received a felony trafficking charge after police raided her home. She only had 1 kilogram of crushed leaves, but that’s enough to put her behind bars for several years.
In this particular case, the woman didn’t purchase Kratom in Alabama or have it shipped to her state. Instead, she had it shipped to Florida. Authorities still found out, though, and got a search warrant for her home.
Alabama’s harsh penalties stem from the mischaracterization of the two targeted alkaloids. Despite Kratom being a natural substance used in various ways for centuries, Alabama’s lawmakers labeled Hydromitragynine and Mitragynine as synthetic substances.
Both alkaloids are now legally referred to as Schedule 1 controlled substances, meaning they’ve been unfairly lumped in with serious drugs such as heroin.
Kratom advocates haven’t let the ban stop them from fighting for their rights. A petition launched before the vote on SB226 collected almost 800 signatures. In 2017, close to 1,000 people signed a petition asking for the repeal of SB226.
As of July 2019, there’s no current pending legislation seeking a repeal. The American Kratom Association does continue to lobby state lawmakers in order to introduce a repeal bill as soon as possible, though. The advocacy group also released an Advocacy Toolkit for Mitragyna speciosa supporters who wish to contact their local representatives.
We join the American Kratom Association in urging Alabama residents to reach out to local lawmakers. Advocacy efforts have saved Mitragyna speciosa in the past, including the DEA dropping their proposed nationwide ban after a widespread campaign of phone calls, letters, and petitions.
If repeal efforts are successful, businesses in major Alabama cities such as Birmingham will regain the right to sell Kratom in their shops. Stay tuned for legal updates.