Kratom Legality In US And Around The World In 2023

Today, Kratom is legal in most of the US states, but due to an addictive nature, it is banned in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Malaysia and few European countries (Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia).

The Kratom legal status remains bumpy in the United States, and it’s difficult to track in which state it is legal or not.

As people grew interested in the natural supplement, there was an increase in the different material that was published, spread and transmitted so that people stop using Kratom.

The truth is that since Kratom acts as an opiate, it can be used instead of harmful pharmaceutical medicines to feel better.

This natural supplement was affecting the pharmaceutical industry in many ways; therefore, we saw an increase in propaganda against the use of Kratom.

However, this gave rise to the American Kratom Association, which works on behalf of lawmakers, doctors, and users to protect the legality of Kratom by proving that it is not harmful or lethal, as claimed by many false sources.

Also, the Botanical Education Alliance is also an organization that helps users, lawyers and doctors learn about various natural and organic supplements that can replace modern medicines to ensure wellbeing without any long-term side effects.

The organizations as mentioned above and the experience of millions of people is enough for the government and lawmakers to understand that Kratom is not dangerous, but is, in fact, therapeutic and energizing if appropriately used.

In the 1900s, Americans were not aware of Kratom; therefore, it was a different element that was heard of but never used locally.

Gradually, Kratom made way to the country, and several people tried it successfully. It became a popular supplement, but due to the misinforming agents, many were apprehensive about its benefits and believed the wrong information.

Kratom Legality In US States

The natural supplement Kratom is being used in the United States for several decades, but the health authorities have not been satisfied with it. They think it is a complex substance and requires more clarity before being openly declared beneficial.

During 2005 to 2015, there were reports of poisoning from Kratom, due to which the government restricted the use of Kratom, and FDA confiscated the imported Kratom.

The U.S. Army prohibited soldiers from using Kratom, and the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Vermont, and Wisconsin banned Kratom.

According to the International Narcotics Control Board, there was massive import into the United States from 2010 to 2016, and the Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) categorized Kratom as a risky supplement and unfit for use.

The use of Kratom was restricted, and this led to protests from people and legislators due to which the use of Kratom was allowed in all states except Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Many other states and cities are also considering imposing the ban again.

It is entirely legal in these US states:

  • California
  • New York
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia and Wyoming

More To Know

  • In Illinois, there is an age restriction on the purchase of Kratom.
  • In Tennessee and Arkansas, there is substance control, which means that people can only buy a certain amount of Kratom and it is not available in large quantities.
  • The health authorities recognize that Kratom has many benefits, but there must be some regulation. This lack of control is what causes the concern to restrict or ban.
  • There are several cities within states that have their own laws and therefore have banned or restricted use of Kratom, even when it is allowed by the state government.
  • Florida has allowed Kratom possession, sale and purchase but even then, you will not be allowed to use Kratom in Sarasota County, which is in the state.
  • Similarly, San Diego in California has also banned the use of Kratom while the rest of the state has lenient laws.
  • Jerseyville County and Alton City in Illinois have banned Kratom use, possession and sale, whereas Kratom consumption is allowed in the rest of the state.
  • In Mississippi, there Columbus City and several counties where Kratom is illegal. These counties are Alcorn County, Itawamba County, Lowndes County, Monroe County, Tishomingo County, and Union County.

In all the remaining and unmentioned cities or US states, Kratom possession, cultivation, use and trade is completely legal.

Kratom Legal Status Around The World

Kratom is a South Asian evergreen tree that is from a coffee family but considered like an opiate. This tree of the coffee family became a popular means for pain relief and sedation long before pharmaceutical medicines became available in the market.

The sedative and energizing effect of Kratom made it a favorite among the people of Southeast Asia.

When opium became expensive, and people started using Kratom in the early 20th century, the Thai government passed the Kratom Act 2486 in 1943,, according to which using and even planting Kratom was illegal.

The government of Thailand labeled Kratom and marijuana as the last category of the five-category narcotics classification in 1979.

In theory, there might be not enough proof of the benefits of Kratom, but the users claim that it serves the purpose of opiates and helps them stop the usage of medicines that have severe and irreversible side effects.

For several decades the status of Kratom remained the same, and the government was strict with people who possessed this supplement.

Due to the feedback and demand of users and the research that proves Kratom is not a narcotic, the Thai government legalized the plant for medical use in December 2018.

Now the people can possess, import or export and even grow Kratom freely. This allowance came as a Christmas Day celebration and the people welcomed it.

Kratom is a magical natural supplement as it gives the users exactly what they are looking for. A small dose of Kratom can energize and refresh the person, while a more potent dosage can provide pain relief and sedation.

Many people find it odd that Thailand banned Kratom since it is the origin of this plant. Yes, it is strange especially when it was a part of century-old medication that was available as a pain killer until it was prohibited in the early 1900s.

Contrary to common belief, the ban of Kratom was political and not due to the plant’s effects on users. The government changes and political unrest in Thailand in the 1930s caused a rise in the black trade of opium.

When the government took over this trade and levied taxes on opium, people looked for a cheaper and readily available alternative.

Kratom use increased and then the government banned it. Nobody could grow, possess or use this plant. The punishment for Kratom possession was strict, and people obeyed the law for many decades.

Several countries allow Kratom usage, but there are still a lot of countries where Kratom is prohibited up till now.

It is ironic that Kratom is still banned in countries of its origin. Being a South Asian native plant, Kratom is illegal in many Asian countries. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has banned the plant use and possession.

These countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

Except Thailand, all Asian countries are strict about Kratom usage and have declared it illegal.

There are several small countries where there is no regulation on Kratom, thus making it a grey area for consumption, possession or trade of Kratom.

  • Australia ban Kratom in 2003 when the Australian Drug and Poison Schedule Committee decided to categorize the supplement as a schedule 9 substance. This categorization meant that all kinds of Kratom products were illegal. Any person cannot possess, grow, but or purchase Kratom. However, research is still going on, and the Australian government has asked the New Zealand government to follow the same schedule.
  • Israel, Lithuania, Romania, and Myanmar also ban the use of Kratom completely. In Malaysia too, possessing Kratom is illegal and if a foreigner brings Kratom to the country, it is considered drug smuggling. In South Korea, Kratom is unlawful, and one cannot carry it while traveling either. Kratom is also prohibited in Sweden, but people are protesting the ban.
  • The countries where Kratom has a questionable status are Denmark, Finland, and the United Kingdom..
  • In Denmark, a person may get Kratom if the doctor prescribes it, but otherwise, it is illegal to buy or sell Kratom.
  • Finland seizes all imported Kratom, and there is a penalty if people try to buy or sell the supplement.

In Europe, we see a more liberal trend among the major countries.

  • In Spain, Kratom is legal and is sold in shops and dispensaries openly.
  • France also allows Kratom consumption. It is becoming popular among the French people. Germany has a strict drug and narcotics policy and the punishment for possession or sale of drugs is severe. However, Kratom is legal in Germany.
  • The Netherlands has a lenient drug policy, and this is why Kratom is gradually making its way into the country.

Kratom Legal Status In Different Countries

CountryKratom StatusNotes
ThailandLegalWas legalized in December 2018
ASEAN countries: Brunei, Cambodia,
Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia,
Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam
IllegalIllegal to possess, buy or sell Kratom.
Travelers also forbidden to
bring Kratom to the countries
Due to relaxed drug policies
Canada Legal in
Illegal in several areas but legal in some cities.
People not allowed to possess, buy or
sell Kratom. Strict rules regarding drug use.
Categorized as a drug in 2016.
Kratom recognized as a beneficial supplement.
France, Germany, The Netherlands
Strict punishment for drug
abuse but recognizes Kratom’s benefits
Denmark, FinlandControlled
Can be obtained upon prescription
United Kingdom
Sale, import, export prohibited
Australia and New Zealand
Measures taken to ban Kratom
in both states
Banned under narcotics law
People not allowed to possess, buyor sell
Kratom. Strict rules regarding drug use
People not allowed to possess,
buy or sell Kratom. Strict rules regarding drug use
People not allowed to possess,
buy or sell Kratom. Strict rules regarding drug use
Russia Sweden and Turkey
People not allowed to possess,
buy or sell Kratom. Strict rules regarding drug use.

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Philip Fairbank
Philip Fairbank is a freelance writer, voice actor, and herbalist who has been studying ethnobotanicals for over 20 years. Philip has more than 15 decades publishing experience covering entertainment media, news reporting, investigative journalism and health, supplement and technology topics primarily. His work has appeared in print in the US, UK, and Australia including announcements like SUNY's journal Afterimage, entertainment publication Ghettoblaster and many others.


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