Kratom, an herb Suffolk lawmakers proposed banning—sparking a local debate over whether it’s addictive or has medicinal value—will be illegal nationwide. The DEA is classifying mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, the active ingredients in Kratom, as Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, effectively making possession of the herb a crime, the agency said. Users that tout its effectiveness as an alternative painkiller, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and addiction treatment were saddened by the news.
If the bill passes, violators would face punishments of fines up to $1,000 or one year in jail. A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Tuesday. New York State is considering similar legislation.