NEW ALBANY – A sweep through New Albany and part of Union County Thursday morning, May 9, netted Union County deputies a quantity of kratom, a controversial herbal substance which Mississippi Bureau …
NEW ALBANY – A sweep through New Albany and part of Union County Thursday morning, May 9, netted Union County deputies a quantity of kratom, a controversial herbal substance which Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) agents have termed dangerous and addictive.
The substance was banned by county and city ordinances in 2017, Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said this week.
Following efforts by the sheriff, the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 17, 2017, banned the substance. New Albany followed shortly afterward.
The Union County ordinance indicates that possession of kratom is misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine, six months in jail or both.
“We got a tip this morning that this stuff was back, and we were told where it was being sold over the counter. We confiscated some of it from the Murphy Oil gas station in front of Wal-Mart in New Albany. We also found some at the Poolville Quick Stop on Highway 30 between New Albany and the Lafayette County line, and J&J Grocery on Highway 15 in Ingomar.
“No one was arrested this time, but we said that after this sweep, anyone caught selling it would be fined and/or arrested,” the sheriff said.
MBN agents have termed the substance dangerous and addictive, and have said people often use kratom to supplement their drug use. It can produce effects similar to some drugs and can interact dangerously with other drugs, they have said.
The substance is made from the leaves of a tree in Southeast Asia.
Kratom is not approved for human consumption by the FDA. MBN advises that kratom, which targets the same brain receptors as morphine, seems to have properties that expose users to the possibilities of abuse, addiction, and dependence.
MBN agents have said people often use kratom to supplement their drug use. It can produce effects similar to some drugs and can interact dangerously with other drugs. They believe the substance is connected to numerous drug overdose deaths in the state.
MBN agents have said said kratom is available in capsule, liquid or powder form, with pills the most potent. He said the cost ranges from $15-20 per shot.
Chickasaw County is considering legislation to ban the sale or possession of the substance: Said MBN Agent Jon D. Lepicier, who spoke at a recent supervisors’ in that county: “It’s a public safety concern. We want to keep kids who might buy it out of the stores. We’re currently going county to county seeking public feedback.”