(Albany, NY) Kratom is an opioid-like plant which produces a similar neurological reaction. Despite alleged medicinal benefits, the Drug Enforcement Administration lists it as a drug of concern with no medicinal value. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration compares kratom to morphine in its risks for addiction, abuse and dependence. Additional FDA studies are continuing to evaluate the scientific information on kratom but warns consumers to not use any products containing kratom until it is better understood.
According to the Center for Disease Control, kratom was listed as the cause of death for 91 individuals out of 152 who tested positive for kratom between July 2016 and December 2017. While the sale of Kratom to an individual under 21 is already illegal in Suffolk County, Senator Martinez recognized that this practice needed to be in place statewide.
Under this legislation, a person or business who knowingly sells kratom to individuals under 21 will face up to a $500 fine.
“When you consider the fact that we are in the midst of an opioid epidemic both locally and nationwide, it is not only logical to prohibit young people from accessing this drug, but it is also our responsibility as lawmakers to keep our residents safe. This legislation will go a long way in keeping kratom out of the hands of children and young adults, and it is my hope that we will continue to enact legislation to prevent further tragedies amongst our youth,” said bill sponsor, Senator Monica R. Martinez.