Our country’s drug laws frequently are in flux. There are also different laws regarding the possession and use of these substances in the 50 states. So, it’s no wonder that it can be challenging to know the status of every drug law here in Tennessee.
Many people have found relief from pain and opioid dependence through the use of kratom. But is it legal to use kratom in our state?
Status of kratom in Tennessee
As of this writing, kratom is legal in the state of Tennessee. However, there still can be some confusion on this matter due to a law passed back in 2014.
Legislators in that year passed a law making synthetic versions of certain natural substances — including kratom — illegal. Thus, possessing any form of kratom that is not its botanical form found in nature could result in a drug charge. But anyone 21 and older who sells, uses and/or possesses kratom extract, the powdered form of kratom leaves and/or capsules of kratom is within their rights to do so.
Recent legislative reviews of kratom
Tennessee senators considered bills in both 2017 and 2018 that included kratom as a banned and controlled substance. Kratom lobbyists and users fought hard against these measures and the bills did not pass. There is no pending legislation at this time related to kratom here in Tennessee.
One other caveat
Under the law, legal kratom must be labeled with disclaimers as follows:
- Do not use kratom when taking medicine or drinking alcohol
- Those who are nursing, pregnant and those younger than 21 should not use the substance
- Doctors should be consulted when patients take any medicine, kratom included
- Those suffering from liver disorders, heart disease, hypertension and certain other health conditions should also consult with their doctors before using it
With all of the above stated, could kratom possession ever get you in trouble? It is possible, as officers might not know whether it was natural or the illegal synthetic version. If charged with any counts of drug possession, remember to exercise your Constitutional right to remain silent and seek legal counsel.