Union County sheriff’s deputies carried out kratom seizures from three stores Thursday morning. A county ordinance passed October 17, 2017 outlawed the chemical substance, kratom.
Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said his office got a tip Thursday about a New Albany store selling kratom. The information was that the Murphy USA convenience store and gasoline station was selling the substance. Murphy USA is located at the northwest corner of the New Albany Walmart parking lot.
Kratom seizures at three area locations
Deputies went to Murphy USA and seized several cartons of merchandise. Each carton contained 12 bottles of the banned substance, kratom.
County deputies also went Thursday to the J & J Grocery on Highway 15 at Ingomar and to the Poolville Quick Stop. The Poolville store is on Highway 30, about halfway between New Albany and the Lafayette County line. Deputies seized smaller quantities of products containing kratom at both of those locations.
As of early Thursday evening no arrests have been made in connection with these kratom seizures. However, the investigation continues. The Union County ordinance provides that those in possession of kratom “shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed One Thousand and no/100 Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisonment not exceeding six ( 6) months or both.”
County, city ordinances added kratom to banned list
Sheriff Edwards brought the initiative to outlaw kratom in Union County in October, 2017. Subsequently, on Oct. 17, 2017, the Board of Supervisors accepted the sheriff’s recommendation. Their approval added kratom to the list of dangerous substances banned by county ordinance. The City of New Albany followed a short time later. Additionally, several other jurisdictions around the state have since banned the herbal substance.
Edwards said in 2017 that his department had become aware of substance abuse and addiction related to Kratom. Its impact on many individuals includes hallucination and delusion, depression, breathing suppression and sometimes coma and death.
Emerging information questions credibility of kratom claims
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is an evergreen tree native to southeast Asia. The products sold without prescription in convenience stores claim to contain varying amounts of kratom. The kratom is combined with a variety of other substances. For example, the label on one of the products seized Thursday morning claims it contains: Kratom, Sacred Lotus, White Willow Bark, Skullcap, California Poppy and Passion Flower. The label says the bottle contains a little under two ounces (57 ml) of the liquid concoction. It says it is “Ultra Enhanced Gold” and “Triple Strength.” Several brand names are available, with names such as “K Shots,” “Viva Zen,” “Super K,” etc. They contain varying amounts of kratom and other chemicals and herbals.
There are still some claims that a “purer and safer” form of kratom is medically beneficial. However, those claims have lost credibility. Mayo Clinic published information in April 2019 that unequivocally recommends against kratom use.
USA Murphy is an Eldorado, Arkansas-based company. It operates gasoline stations and convenience stores at over 1,000 Walmart store locations. Walmart is also an Arkansas-based company.
Mayo Clinic posted this information about the dangers of Kratom on April 25, 2019: Https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/kratom/art-20402171