Kratom In Arkansas – When Will The Kratom Be Legal In Arkansas?

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Kratom Legality

Arkansas, also known as “the natural state”, is one of the most popular and beautiful states in the US. Be it picturesque mountainous ranges or lush green wilderness areas, you will find all the mesmerizing wonders of nature in this state.

Whether you are planning a short trip to visit the natural landscapes there or permanently moving to the state for a living, Kratom legality in Arkansas might be a worrisome subject for you.

In this article, we will delve into the legal complexities behind the status of Kratom in Arkansas, the reasons behind the ban, and potential future developments in detail.

Let’s dig in!

Is Kratom legal in Arkansas?

Although Kratom is completely legal on a federal level, legislative ruling varies from state to state. In Arkansas particularly, the status of Kratom has been a subject of debate and regulatory scrutiny since 2015, when the state government decided to ban this herb.

Yes, unfortunately, it is completely illegal to possess, buy, & sell Kratom in Arkansas. There are severe repercussions, like monetary fines and jail time, for anyone failing to abide by the laws within the state border.

Kratom Legislative History In Arkansas

Ever since the FDA and DEA issued warnings against the safety of Kratom and prompted people to be wary of this botanical, several states started outlawing it. Arkansas was also one of these states that was quick to follow suit by putting forward a state-wide ban under the Arkansas Controlled Substances Act (ACSA) in October 2015.

The first person to push start this legal motion was Dr. Thomas Atkinson, who drafted a letter to the Department of Health citing medical concerns over Kratom causing adverse effects in some of his patients admitted at the Addiction Treatment Center. Following this, Bear State, director of the Department of Health, pushed to add Kratom to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, placing it alongside heroin and LSD in terms of its perceived potential for abuse and lack of accepted medical use.

The next year, some modifications were done in the ACSA by adding Kratom alkaloids namely Mitragynine and 7- HydroxyMitragynine, in place of the Kratom plant as a whole.

Last year in April 2023, Kratom advocates presented the Arkansas Kratom Consumer Protection Act in hopes of lifting the ban and easing the life of the users within the state. However, to no avail, the bill remains sitting in the Senate, and no action has been taken in favor of it yet.

Consequences Of Using Kratom In Arkansas

Using Kratom in Arkansas is completely illegal and can result in serious criminal charges. The sentences are classified as “offence classes’, depending on the amount of the botanical found possessing or distributing.

Penalties For Kratom Possession

  • Possessing Kratom less than 2 grams is considered a Class D felony that is punishable by up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Keeping the botanical from 2 grams to 28 grams is considered a Class C felony, liable to a prison time of 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • 28 grams to 200 grams of Kratom possession is a Class B felony, causing punishment of up to 20 years in jail and a fine of up to $20,000.
  • Possessing more than 200 grams of this botanical is a Class Y felony, the most serious category, punishable by 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Penalties For Kratom Distribution

Distribution of Kratom is taken more seriously than possession. Therefore, in addition to the possession charges, mandatory minimum sentences are also added.

  • Distributing less than 2 grams causes a mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison.
  • 2 grams to 28 grams of distribution is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 6 years in prison.
  • 28 grams to 200 grams of Kratom distribution can make you liable to a mandatory minimum jail time of 10 years.
  • If you are found distributing more than 200 grams of Mitragyna, you can be charged with a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.

Kratom Advocacy In Arkansas

Despite the ban, the debate surrounding kratom legality continues. Kratom supporters argue that the ban is based on misinformation and exaggerates its risks compared to its potential benefits. They further urge the state government to make some evidence-based policies that can be in favor of all citizens.

In 2019, a lawsuit was also filed by the American Kratom Association (AKA) that aimed to overturn the ban. They argued that it violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

While the initial lawsuit was unsuccessful, it highlights the ongoing efforts to challenge the ban through legal channels. Several online petitions have also been signed to reverse the ban. However, a positive legislative change is yet to be seen.

When Will Kratom Be Legal In Arkansas?

The future of Kratom legality in Arkansas remains uncertain. It is possible that the Arkansas government could reconsider its stance on this botanical, opting for a finer approach that balances potential risks with potential benefits and tries to align with evolving legal and scientific perspectives.

Moreover, the approval of KCPA and its implementation can help regulate Kratom within the state by setting an age limit for purchasing, proper labeling of products, ensuring safe lab-tested Mitragyna products, and much more.

To help change the legal status of Kratom in Arkansas, you can register your voice by signing petitions or writing to the local representatives. Every voice matters!


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