Arkansas is one of the six states in the United States that ban kratom. Thus, the answer to the question, “Is Kratom Legal in Arkansas?” is no. The substance’s possession, sale, and distribution in the state have been considered illegal since October 2015.
What You Need to Know About Kratom Legality in Arkansas
Kratom is legal at a federal level, but it’s up to each state and municipality to determine how they will handle kratom. Many states don’t ban kratom, while some impose a kratom regulation. But if you’re traveling to Arkansas, you must first ask, “Is kratom legal in Arkansas?” before you try to get your hands on the substance.
Learning about kratom’s legal status could save you from encountering problems in the long run.
Arkansas residents and tourists can sell and buy kratom within the state. They were able to carry and consume the substance without the need to worry about legal consequences. But that changed in October 2015 when the state introduced a statewide kratom ban.
The ban prohibits Arkansas residents, as well as tourists, from buying kratom and vendors from selling any product containing the substance within the state. Of course, you can still choose to do so, but you can face criminal charges.
Why Is Kratom Illegal in Arkansas?
The legality of kratom has been a controversial topic in the United States. In 2015, Arkansas became one of the first states to ban the substance, and it remains illegal in the state to this day.
Kratom, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a tree that grows in Southeast Asia, specifically in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The plant’s leaves contain psychoactive compounds that can produce stimulant and sedative effects. It can also be highly addictive, and those who stop kratom use can experience a wide range of withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom became illegal in Arkansas after a medical professional informed the Arkansas Department of Health that the substance contains drug agonist properties. The Senate amended a bill that lists all controlled substances, which includes kratom.
As a Schedule I controlled substance, kratom has no accepted medical use and a high possibility for abuse. Hence, the substance is illegal to possess, buy, and sell in Arkansas.
Criminal Charges in Arkansas for Possessing Kratom
Until Arkansas lawmakers regulate kratom and make it legal, you can face harsh penalties if authorities catch you carrying, buying, or selling any product containing the controlled substance within the state. Kratom possession and sale can result in a range of penalties. The severity will depend on the amount of the substance and circumstances.
If authorities catch you carrying less than two grams of the substance, they can charge you with a Class D felony. Having 28 more grams results in a Class C felony. If authorities find more than 28 grams, you could face a Class B felony charge of up to a $15,000 fine or 20 years of jail time.
Punishments are even harsher for repeat offenders or those caught carrying the substance 1,000 feet from certain facilities. These include schools, daycares, churches, bus stops, alcohol or drug treatment centers, and parks.
Can You Carry Kratom in Arkansas as a Tourist?
“Is kratom legal in Arkansas for tourists?” you might wonder.
No, it’s illegal to possess kratom in Arkansas, regardless of whether you’re a resident or a tourist.
The state’s laws on kratom apply to everyone within its borders, and anyone caught possessing kratom can face criminal charges and legal penalties. This means that tourists visiting Arkansas should not bring kratom with them and should not attempt to purchase or use it while in the state.
Even if Arkansas is just a layover, you should not carry the substance to avoid any airport security issues.
Can You Buy Kratom From Online Vendors?
Kratom is illegal in Arkansas, no matter where you get it. Even if you purchase the substance from online vendors who are located where the substance is legal, you can still face legal consequences. Aside from that, no legitimate online store will be willing to ship and sell kratom in the state.
The American Kratom Association
The American Kratom Association (AKA) is a non-profit organization that works tirelessly to advocate for the safe and legal use of kratom in the United States. The AKA was founded in 2014 and has since been promoting education, research, and advocacy for the responsible use of kratom.
One of the primary goals of the AKA is to ensure that kratom remains legal in the United States. The organization has actively fought against state and federal efforts to ban kratom.
In addition to fighting against bans, AKA has also been working to establish standards for producing and distributing kratom products. The organization has developed a set of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that encourages kratom vendors to follow. These practices include testing for purity and potency, proper labeling, and adherence to quality control standards.
The AKA has also been working to educate the public and healthcare professionals about the potential benefits of kratom. The organization provides information about the plant’s traditional uses, potential medical benefits, and safety profile.
Another important aspect of AKA’s work is advocating for the rights of kratom consumers. The organization has been working to ensure that consumers have access to safe and high-quality kratom products.
The AKA has been advocating for establishing a regulatory framework that would ensure the safety and purity of kratom while allowing consumers to access them without undue restrictions.
The AKA has also been working to address concerns about the safety of kratom. The organization has developed a Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), which seeks to establish a regulatory framework for producing, distributing, and selling kratom products. The KCPA includes provisions for testing and labeling of products and penalties for law violations.
Activist Efforts: Will Kratom Become Legal in Arkansas?
Now that we’ve answered the question, “Is kratom legal in Arkansas?” we can still find comfort in the fact that the legal status of kratom in the state isn’t permanent. Much like any other policy in the state, kratom laws are subject to change. Take Indiana, for example. The state is among the six that banned kratom first, but bills designed to decriminalize the substance have recently made progress.
If you wish to help overturn the kratom ban in Arkansas, you can show your support for the KCPA and other states fighting to pass pro-kratom legislation.