The Controversy Surrounding Kratom: Legal Status and Debate

The Controversy Surrounding Kratom: Legal Status and Debate

Kratom, a plant with a long history of traditional use in Southeast Asia, has become the center of a heated debate over its legality and potential benefits. With its popularity on the rise, government agencies and lawmakers have started to take notice of kratom's presence in the market.

Why Is Kratom So Controversial?

Traditionally, kratom has been used as an energizer, similar to coffee, in Southeast Asian cultures. However, in modern times, it has gained attention for its potential as an alternative to opioid pain medications. Some view kratom as a safer alternative to addictive painkillers, while others fear that it could serve as a gateway to more harmful substances.

Despite being less addictive and dangerous than synthetic opioids, kratom can still lead to addiction and misuse. The ongoing debate revolves around whether kratom should be banned or regulated to prevent potential harm.

Kratom Legal Status: 3 Schools of Thought

In the realm of kratom legality, there are three main approaches taken by governments:

  • Allowing kratom to remain legal and unregulated
  • Restricting the sale, possession, and use of kratom
  • Banning kratom entirely

While most states and countries have chosen to keep kratom legal and unregulated, some have opted for stricter regulations or complete bans. Age restrictions have been proposed as a more moderate approach to managing kratom use while still allowing access for medicinal purposes.

Is Kratom Legal in the United States?

Currently, kratom is legal at the federal level in the United States and has not been classified as a scheduled substance by the DEA. However, there have been attempts to ban kratom in the past, with the DEA considering a move to classify it as a Schedule I drug in 2016. Public outcry and advocacy efforts led to the reversal of this decision, keeping kratom legal for the time being.

Kratom Legality By State

In the United States, kratom is illegal in Louisiana, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Some municipalities in California, Colorado, and Illinois have also banned kratom. However, the herb remains legal in most other states and jurisdictions.

Outside of the US, countries such as Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, France, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Peru, Russia, Vietnam, and Sweden have chosen to ban or heavily regulate kratom.


The debate over kratom legality is far from over, with conflicting opinions on its benefits and risks. As the scientific community continues to study kratom's effects and potential applications, the legal landscape may evolve to reflect new evidence and insights. Whether kratom should be embraced as a medicinal tool or restricted as a public health concern remains to be seen.


Despite its controversial status, kratom remains legal in many parts of the world, with ongoing discussions about its benefits and risks. As a consumer, it's important to stay informed about the laws and regulations surrounding kratom to make safe and responsible choices.

Back to blog

Leave a comment