Mississippi State owes its name to the Mississippi River. This state is the birthplace of blues, Elvis Presley, and root beer.
Interestingly, the University of Mississippi is where you can find the Marijuana Research Facility. It is the only facility that receives federal funding to grow and research the medical properties of marijuana.
You may expect Mississippi to have an open-minded attitude toward Mitragyna speciosa leaf as well. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Is Kratom Legal in Mississippi?
Kratom is legal in most of the Mississippi State. However, several MS counties and towns have made kratom illegal. There are also regular efforts to ban kratom in other municipalities as well as in the entire state.
The earliest efforts to outlaw kratom statewide happened in early 2018. It was a bill aiming to outlaw mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine in any form. It didn’t pass committee. There was another bill later in the same year. Luckily, the authorities amended it and left kratom out of it.
Because the attempt to ban kratom statewide didn’t succeed, residents and officials changed their approach. They decided to tackle kratom legality in Mississippi one state and one city at a time.
It started with Union County and Columbus City. Despite kratom being a botanical product, the bans in both municipalities listed it among synthetic substances. A similar thing happened in Sarasota County, Florida, and San Diego, California.
Kratom Bans 2019
2019 came with a new wave of kratom laws, In March, Caledonia Town criminalized kratom. A week later, the entire Lowndes County (where Columbus City is) decided to criminalize kratom, too. In the following weeks, so did Monroe County, Alcorn County, Tishomingo County, and Itawamba County.
Unfortunately, Alcorn and Tishomingo are some of the highest opioid-prescribing counties in the United States. Thus, this ban is preventing people in these counties from getting access to a more natural alternative. Without access to kratom, these people are more likely to turn to considerably more harmful illicit drugs such as heroin.
This is what happened to the former Arkansas resident Bethany Cook.
Fleeing a Kratom Ban
Having developed an addiction to prescription opioids, Bethany Cook would use up her prescribed monthly amount in as little as three days.
She no longer had prescription medication, and she wasn’t able to afford it on the black market. So, she started using illegal drugs. Heroin became her drug of choice.
Bethany also experienced intense side effects from the other medications. The antidepressants and antianxiety medication she was using altered her demeanor and behavior. She described her state of mind as “homicidal” and was afraid of hurting someone.
Everything changed when a friend introduced her to kratom.
Her quality of life improved, and she felt more content than ever.
Yet, Arkansas banned it. This meant going back to opioids or moving to a place where kratom remained legal.
So, Bethany moved to the neighboring Mississippi. Now, she may face the same destiny. She fears kratom laws preventing her from accessing the herb. If this happens, she will move again to regain her access to kratom.
In the meantime, Bethany isn’t getting too attached. She’s also volunteering for the American Kratom Association (AKA) to keep kratom legal in other parts of the state.
While Hernando where Bethany lives has not passed any laws banning kratom, this can change at any moment. Other municipalities, such as Lee County, are considering outlawing kratom, too.
Efforts to Schedule Kratom in 2020 and 2021
The proponents of a kratom ban in Mississippi weren’t willing to give up in 2020 either. Senator Charles Younger sponsored a bill that intended to make kratom a Schedule I drug. The bill was introduced on January 17, 2020. Two more bills (this and this) intending to include kratom in the controlled substances list followed.
Luckily, all three bills above died in committee.
Luckily, all five failed. Kratom remains legal in most of Mississippi.
Nonetheless, in late 2021, another Mississippi county made a move to criminalize kratom. In December 2021, Pearl River County leaders unanimously voted to ban kratom sales.
The List of Municipalities in Mississippi that Banned Kratom
According to available news reports, a total of 33 cities and counties in Mississippi have criminalized kratom.
The counties in Mississippi that banned kratom (in alphabetic order):
- Pearl River
As well as, the towns in Mississippi that have made kratom illegal (in alphabetic order):
- Blue Mountain
- New Albany
Are Bans Based on Real or Biased Data?
The main argument against the herb is that it’s deadly. Officials and news sources state that in North Mississippi kratom was present in 12 overdose victims’ blood.
Curiously, Oxford County (which has also considered banning kratom) Police Interim Chief Jeff McCutchen issued an interesting statement. He said that kratom wasn’t necessarily “the primary cause but it was involved.” We have no data on what else was present in the victims’ blood. However, such wording once again appears to be an unfair attempt to put the blame on kratom.
The fact that kratom was present in these people’s blood doesn’t mean that those were caused by kratom. It would be equivalent to saying that the overdose victims had bacon or coffee in their system and that it caused their death.
As you can imagine, there are locals who aren’t satisfied with such an approach to kratom legality in Mississippi.
How to Support Kratom
While there are currently no active kratom bills in the state, that isn’t a reason to relax.
Mississippi has previously expressed willingness to schedule kratom, and bills can once again endanger the legal status of the herb. Senator Jeff Tate filed a bill to ban kratom in 2020 and, since it failed, expressed his intent to file it again. One of his arguments was that his 6-year old daughter could easily buy it.
Many locals consider kratom a dangerous drug of concern and want it gone for good. They want the sales and possession of kratom to be a crime. News outlets emphasize the statement that kratom is a drug and that it was the cause of death in nearly 100 instances, citing the misleading data from the CDC.
In the meantime, others believe that many residents need kratom to improve their wellbeing. So, they support different legislation – the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act or KCPA is legislation proposed by the American Kratom Association (AKA), a non-profit activist group. Instead of banning the herb, it proposes regulating it to ensure that it’s free of any dangerous additives. The regulations would also ensure that kratom products have proper labeling and that minors can’t buy them.
Breaking these regulations would result in penalties such as fines and jail time.
If you’d like to prevent a ban in your home state and help critics understand kratom better, you can become a kratom advocate. You can also donate or contact your local AKA representative to learn about other ways you can help.
Where to Buy Kratom in Mississippi?
People can purchase kratom in smoke and vape shops, gas stations, and convenience stores across the Mississippi State. Yet, not all the kratom products available for sale there contain pure kratom powder. Retailers sell them right next to different questionable substances.
In order to avoid damaging the reputation of kratom further, we advise that you buy your favorite kratom strains online. Choose reliable and trustworthy vendors who lab test each batch and only sell pure kratom powder.
For more information on kratom laws in the United States and the latest kratom legality map, view this post on our blog.
We aim to have the latest information on kratom available on our website. However, at times, we won’t be able to locate everything. Do you reside in Mississippi and have data on whether kratom is legal in certain Mississippi cities and counties? Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment to let us know about any changes or relevant news. We would absolutely appreciate that.