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DA warns of new law banning kratom

Butler County District Attorney has a strong message for anyone using or selling a substance containing alkaloids of the plant kratom.

If you’re caught, you’re going to jail.

Last week, Gov. Robert Bentley signed into law a bill criminalizing products that use the plant, which is native to southeast Asia. A variety of products have been available statewide in gas stations, some retail stores and online.

“Any business selling any product containing the two chemical alkaloids Mitragynine and Hydromitragynine which are derived from the kratom plant grown in Southeast Asia will be violating Alabama Controlled Substance laws prohibiting the sale, possession, manufacturing or trafficking of controlled substances,” Tesmer said in a statement.

According to Tesmer, the products have been sold in Alabama under names such as Green Vein, Krishina Green Malay, Krazy Kratom, K Chill, Kali Green Indo, Shiva Red Maeng Da, Phoria, Mitra Red Boreno, Space-K-det, Vita-Lize, Viva-Zen, Rela-K-zpro, K-shot, Dr.K and Matrix. The products are products are available as liquid shot bottles, powder, leaves and pills.

“The substances may be smoked, taken as a pill, snorted or brewed in tea,” Tesmer said.  “Promotors of kratom suggest it cures everything from Leukemia to ADHD, but no FDA approval or scientific studies prove any such claim.”

Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said deputies are checking local convenience stores for products containing kratom.

He said store owners who have the products on their shelves can either dispose of it themselves or contact the BCSO to assist in its removal.

“If they’ve got it and they call us, we’ll come by, pick it up and give them a receipt for it,” Harden said. “It is illegal. If you get caught with it, it’s possession of a controlled substance.”

Violation of the new law banning the products is a Class D felony.

The new designation of Class D felony, which took effect Jan. 30, includes a punishment of up to five years in prison.