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Society warns legislature about kratom legalization proposal

July 15, 2021 10:16 AM | Anonymous

WMS Medigram

The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) warned state legislators this week about a proposal that would remove two compounds from the state’s list of controlled substances that are found in leaves of the kratom tree and can have psychotropic effects. The proposal from State Assembly Representative David Murphy (R-Greenville) would also create a state regulatory system that would enable companies to sell kratom as a therapeutic product, including the ostensible ability to help people “alleviate their opioid dependency.”

Working with physician members of the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WISAM), the Society sent a message to all 132 State Assembly Representatives and State Senators asking that they not co-author the proposal. The message from the Society included:

  • warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that kratom “appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse and dependence,”
  • information from the Mayo Clinic discussing how “evidence suggests that rather than treating addiction and withdrawal, the use of kratom may lead to them,” and
  • a recent literature review published in WMJ on how to best treat what the authors term “Kratom Use Disorder (KUD),” pointing out how increased use of kratom is an emerging public health concern.

The proposal is spearheaded by the American Kratom Association, which has unsuccessfully lobbied the state’s Controlled Substances Board to remove the compounds from the state’s list of illegal substances. Once the proposal has circulated for legislative cosponsors, it will likely be officially introduced and assigned to a legislative committee.

Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information. 

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