Many people who shun prescription opiates and street drugs like heroin have been finding relief using the plant-based drug kratom. Users state that in low doses, the substance energizes and stimulates them. Taken in larger doses, kratom users claim to find effective pain relief that adequately staves off agonizing withdrawal symptoms.
But could these desperate people run afoul of state laws regarding kratom for their usage?
Kratom is (mostly) legal in Florida
With the exception of locations in Sarasota County, kratom usage is legal here in Florida. Those who get caught partaking of or possessing it in Sarasota County could face criminal charges and legal consequences of up to 60 days in jail and as much as $500 in fines. So, if kratom is a part of your pain management strategy, you would do well to avoid crossing the Sarasota County line.
Kratom use might still get you stopped by the police
Even though kratom usage is mainly legal within the state, that does not mean that users might not still run into trouble with the law. If you use kratom to manage your pain and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you could be arrested on drug DUI/DWI charges.
Considering that the same charges apply when drivers are impaired by over-the-counter (OTC) cold and allergy medication, it is easy to understand why kratom doesn’t get a pass.
Some law enforcement officers still unfamiliar with kratom
Despite its popularity with many users who seek relief from crippling pain, you could still encounter police officers who are unaware of kratom and its legal status in our state. Few officers’ drug field-testing kits may contain agents that react to and identify the substance. That could mean that if an officer finds the substance during a legal search, you could still be detained until it is confirmed not to be an illegal substance.
What’s the bottom line for kratom and its legal status?
If you are stopped by the police and detained for possession of kratom, ask to speak to your criminal defense attorney at the first opportunity.