Zachary officials approve ordinance to ban kratom products
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Zachary is next on the list to ban kratom products in Louisiana.
Kratom, an herbal product from a tree in southeast Asia, has become quite prevalent in the United States. You can crush it, use it in tea, or take it as a supplement.
State Representative Gabe Firment and other lawmakers attempted to ban the product statewide but will now leave that up to city governments. Their fight against kratom is based on its opioid and stimulant-like effects.
“You know it’s becoming fairly widespread, and it’s also being abused and has proven to be quite dangerous,” Rep. Gabe Firment said.
Most recently, councilmembers in Zachary adopted an ordinance to ban the sale and possession of kratom products in that area.
“This doesn’t make any sense that they are going to criminalize people when this is a safe product when used responsibly,” Haddow said.
“What we have seen with Zachary and this ordinance is the legislation doing what we want it to do and that’s letting local governments on parish level, or the municipal levels consider how this product is impacting their communities,” Firment said.
On the contrary, advocates with the American Kratom Association believe limiting kratom products will hurt communities instead.
“Kratom is a valuable harm reduction tool for people who are struggling with addictions and dangerous opioids that could kill them,” Haddow said.
Advocates are hoping for city officials in Zachary to revisit their decision to ban kratom.
The mayor will sign or veto the ordinance within the next week.
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