The current legality of kratom remains a gray area for a lot of people. While in general kratom is currently legal in the U.S., there are some specific things to know. The most important thing to know is that while kratom is federally legal or if kratom is illegal in your state, there are many states that have banned its use, or are in the process of taking actions to regulate or ban it.

States where kratom is banned or may be banned include:

  • Alabama: As of May 10, 2016, kratom is a Schedule 1 controlled substance in Alabama.
  • Arkansas: Kratom was added to the controlled substance list in Arkansas in February 2016.
  • California: Kratom is legal in California, except in San Diego, because of the passing of a local ordinance.
  • Florida: The use of kratom is legal in Florida, except in Sarasota County.
  • Illinois: Kratom is legal in Illinois, except in Jerseyville, and the sale of kratom to minors under the age of 18 is banned.
  • Indiana: This is a state that defines kratom as a synthetic drug and it is banned.
  • New Hampshire: Kratom use is legal in New Hampshire for people who are 18 and above.
  • Tennessee: In Tennessee kratom is defined as a controlled substance and is banned.
  • Wisconsin: In Wisconsin the primary alkaloids present in kratom are classified as Schedule I and as a result are banned.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration continues to debate whether or not kratom should be legal. There are calls for it to be made illegal because it has psychoactive properties and the potential to become addictive, but proponents say it could be the key to battling the nation’s opioid epidemic.

In August of 2016, the DEA said it would list kratom as a Schedule I drug, which are what heroin, LSD and ecstasy are classified as. Schedule I drugs are illegal because they’re defined as having a high potential for abuse, but in October 2016, the DEA withdrew that decision. Currently, the DEA has opened a public comment period on kratom and its legality at the federal level.

If the DEA does ultimately add kratom to the list of Schedule I drugs, it will become illegal, and people will start selling it on the black market. One of the reasons the DEA is still considering making kratom illegal is that the government organization says it has seen an increased number of calls to poison control centers related to its use.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.