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Is Kratom Legal in Michigan in 2021?

A photo of Detroit, Michigan, with overlay text "is kratom legal in Michigan"

Michigan State borders four of the Great Lakes and has 11,000 inland lakes. You can even buy merchandise such as tote bags and T-Shirts with the slogan “Land of 11,000 Lakes”.

Its largest city, Detroit, is home to the headquarters of three large car companies: Ford Motor, General Motors, and Chrysler. Therefore, many refer to Detroit as The Motor City or The Car Capital of the World.

While cars and lakes are great, how about kratom? Is the Land of 11,000 Lakes kratom-friendly?

Is Kratom Legal in Michigan?

Currently, kratom is legal in Michigan. There have been efforts to ban and regulate kratom. However, none of the bills has succeeded.

First, there was a bill in 2014 that aimed to add kratom to the Michigan Controlled Substances Act. The aim of this bill was to amend the Schedule V list and place kratom in it.

Schedule V includes drugs that have medicinal use but relatively low abuse potential in comparison with other drugs. Schedule V drugs in Michigan include medicines that contain codeine, ephedrine, opium, and similar substances.

Codeine is an opiate or, in other words, a substance that derives from opium. Being less regulated than other illegal substances with high abuse potential, codeine is considerably easier to get access to. As a result, it’s more likely to cause dependence and addiction.

Kratom does not belong in this category.

Over the years, kratom has often been referred to as an opioid, including by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has repeatedly used this as an argument to achieve a kratom ban on a federal level.

Yet, such a reference isn’t accurate. While kratom has some opioid-like properties, it isn’t an opioid. It also isn’t related to the opium poppy.

Instead, the Southeast Asian tree kratom, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa, belongs to the Rubiaceae plant family. Therefore, it’s actually related to a product many of us consume daily – coffee. Studies have also confirmed that the likelihood of getting addicted to kratom is equivalent to the likelihood of getting addicted to coffe, i.e., very low. 

The FDA has since changed its verbiage and no longer refers to kratom as an opioid. It now describes kratom as a herb with opioid-like properties.

Kratom Activism and Further Efforts to Ban Kratom

In response to the 2014 bill, over 1,700 people signed a petition to keep kratom legal in the state of Michigan. Eventually, the bill died.

Almost simultaneously, the same person who had filed it sponsored another bill. Its objective was to prohibit kratom sales to minors. However, this new bill died, as well.

Kratom remained legal.

Nonetheless, at the end of 2017 and in 2018, a variety of Kent County residents were speaking against kratom.

It all started with Eric Genautis, a young man who allegedly died in his sleep due to acute kratom toxicity. Kent County medical examiners tied his death to kratom despite his prior opioid addiction and the fact that kratom is about 1,000 less deadly than opioids. 

Eric had previously suffered in a car accident and was taking opioids to numb his pain. He also struggled with depression and anxiety.

In 2018, four more deaths were attributed to kratom. As a result, Genautis’s mother and sister started advocating a kratom ban.

A Kent-based medical doctor supported them. He claimed that kratom had opioid-like properties that caused respiratory depression and eventually caused breathing to stop.

It’s sad that a person with medical education and background issued such claims with no scientific proof. Especially that the Kratom 8-Factor Analysis from 2017 clearly stated that kratom caused low respiratory depression and hadn’t caused any deaths.

Fresh and consistently potent kratom powder in a bowl available for purchase with text about its qualities

Efforts to Ban Kratom in 2019

On August 20th, 2019, a Republican Senator who also is a medic by profession introduced a bill with an intent to schedule kratom. Had it passed, kratom would have become a Schedule II drug and would have required a doctor’s prescription.

Classifying kratom as a Schedule II drug would have been even more inaccurate. This category has illegal substances with high abuse potential and accepted but highly restricted medicinal use. Examples of Schedule II drugs in Michigan are opium, cocaine, morphine, methamphetamine, medical marijuana, and more.

The bill’s sponsor explained his decision by stating that kratom is addictive and dangerous. He also stated that its side effects include seizures, psychosis, and hallucinations. He added that those who would like to transition from opioids with the help of kratom should seek professional help.

The bill eventually died.

Hopefully, UF College of Pharmacy is going to find more proof of the beneficial properties of kratom through their research. We need more scientifically proven and non-biased data on kratom. This would help prevent people like the aforementioned medical professionals from using their education and position to spread false claims about kratom.

Life-Changing Kratom Experiences

While many want to see kratom banned in Michigan, not everyone opposes kratom leaf. One of such individuals is Trish Richards, a Michigan graphic artist in her late 30s.

Having suffered in a car accident, Trish became dependent on pain medication. When her doctor stopped prescribing them eight months later, physical discomfort and depression kept crippling her life.

Trish sought illegal medication from street dealers. She discovered that some of the pills she was sold were fake and suspected others to have been laced with fentanyl. Seeking pain relief she wasn’t getting from her healthcare provider, she had become a drug user. It was neither good for her health nor her well-being.

A friend introduced her to kratom, and she hasn’t looked back ever since. Kratom has helped her feel the best she’s had in a long time.

Richards is just one of several million Americans with positive kratom stories. Yet, FDA refers to kratom as a drug of concern fueling negative news headlines and encouraging politicians to ban it. A great example of this is Detroit news stating that “people are using kratom to get high.”

Once again, this is inaccurate information about kratom. According to the Kratom 8-Factor Analysis, kratom does not possess such properties.

The American Kratom Association is determined to change that. It’s actively working to prevent kratom bans and spread positive and scientifically accurate information about kratom.

The American Kratom Association and the Michigan Kratom Consumer Protection Act

The American Kratom Association or the AKA for short is a Virginia-based non-profit activist group. It’s aware of the Food and Drug Administration’s willingness to ban kratom. Unlike the FDA, the AKA wants to ensure that kratom remains legal, regulated, and accessible to the public.

The AKA believes that the best way to accomplish this is by regulating kratom products. It’s trying to achieve that with its initiative – the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.

The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) is legislation that regulates kratom manufacturing, distribution, and sales.

While states can modify the content of the KCPA, the standard regulations developed by the AKA include the following:

  • Prohibiting kratom to minors,
  • Prohibiting vendors from selling contaminated, adulterated, fake, or low-quality kratom,
  • Adequately testing and labeling kratom products,
  • Providing ingredient and alkaloid content on labels, and
  • Establishing penalties such and fines and jail time for not complying with the regulations.

The AKA lobbies this legislation in various states and a number of them review it each year. The KCPA is already a law in several US states. This includes Nevada, Utah, Georgia, Arizona, and Oklahoma.

In 2018 and 2019, Michigan was considering the KCPA. Under it, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development would have enforced the regulations.

Unfortunately, the bill did not take effect. Mitragyna speciosa is still legal in the state, but it is unregulated. This is leaving it to be the responsibility of locals to look for trusted vendors that sell pure kratom.

Where to Buy Kratom in Michigan?

One can purchase kratom products such as powder and capsules in smoke shops, vape stores, and head shops across Michigan. However, if you are a Michiganite, we do not recommend that you buy kratom in local shops.

While it may be a quicker option, many local businesses do not have the necessary knowledge on kratom. They often advertise it incorrectly to boost sales. This contributes to people believing that kratom is a deadly drug and the authorities pushing a kratom ban.

Instead, buy kratom online from trustworthy vendors who follow ethical practices and test their products for quality and purity in independent 3rd-party laboratories.

For more recent information and an updated map on kratom legality across the United States, check out this blog post

Fresh and consistently potent kratom powder in a bowl available for purchase with text about its qualities

6 thoughts on “Is Kratom Legal in Michigan in 2021?

  1. Thomas says:

    Is there another petition i can sign right now to stop the legislation from being passed? I do not want kratom to be considered schedule II. This is supposed to be a free country but that is the biggest lie americans are brainwashed to believe. Keep kratom out of the governments business. They have no right telling us what we take in our own bodies! Its communism!

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