Sheriff begins seizing kratom after governor signs bill banning the drug

Published: May. 10, 2016 at 8:59 PM CDT|Updated: May. 11, 2016 at 12:04 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - Governor Robert Bentley has signed a bill into law that makes kratom a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

The new law puts kratom on the same level as heroin and LSD.

The bill states that "possession, distribution, and trafficking of these compounds are unlawful, and violations are subject to the existing criminal penalties for distribution and possession."

Over the past year, several municipal law enforcement agencies in Calhoun, Talladega and Shelby counties have told shop owners to pull products containing kratom from the shelves over health concerns.

Supporters say that when used properly, kratom can be used to manage chronic pain as an alternative to other powerful pain relievers.

Authorities contend those products are 13 times stronger than morphine, has the same effect as OxyContin 10 and comparable to lethal street drugs.

The Etowah County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that they have begun seizing kratom products. They will begin arresting and prosecuting people for the possession, distribution or manufacture of kratom on Wednesday. They say if any merchant in the county has questions about a product in their store, they should call the Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit at 256-549-5465 or the Etowah County Sheriff's Office at 256-546-2825.

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