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St. Charles County to consider ban on Kratom

herbal supplement
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County Executive Steve Ehlmann will ask the County Council next Monday evening to consider passing an ordinance that would ban the drug Kratom and related substances in St. Charles County. Kratom, an herb, affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine and appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse and dependence, studies show.

Advocates say the herb offers relief from pain, depression and anxiety. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to consumers not to use Kratom because of the dangerous risks mentioned above.

“In St. Charles County, we don’t think a warning is enough,” Ehlmann says. “Dr. Mary Case, St. Charles County’s Chief Medical Examiner, told me Kratom has played a role in at least nine deaths since the end of 2017. While this is certainly a global issue that is being addressed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), FDA and individual states, including Missouri, it’s hitting home. Local governmental bodies can speed up the process of making this drug illegal by taking a stand now. That is why I am urging the Council to move forward and ban this substance in St. Charles County.”

States that have banned the sale and use of Kratom are Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, and Vermont. There is pending legislation in New York, New Jersey, Arizona, Mississippi and Georgia, and other states are conducting studies regarding its use.

In Missouri, Rep. Phil Christofanelli, (R–105) has introduced a truth-in-labeling bill which creates new provisions related to the sale of Kratom and would ban the sale to anyone under the age of 18. That bill is still being discussed in the House.

An existing St. Charles County ordinance (Section 375.280 of the Ordinances of St. Charles County, Missouri) bans the sale or use of illegal smoking products containing synthetic cannabinoids. The proposed ordinance adds Kratom and the psychoactive compounds mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragnine to the list of banned substances. It states that Kratom has no FDA-approved uses, has been linked to a rare strain of salmonella, and is tied to at least 1,807 calls to poison control centers in the U.S. More than half those calls involving serious medical outcomes, including 11 deaths.

“Banning the sale, possession and use of Kratom is necessary to protect the citizens of St. Charles County,” Ehlmann says.

The bill will be introduced at the 7 p.m., Monday, May 13 regular meeting of the Council; a vote to approve or reject the ordinance could take place at the Council meeting on Tuesday, May 28.


  1. Please contact the American Kratom Assosiation about the incorrect information in your article on trying to ban kratom. I have been a daily user for 2 years and would suffer greatly if such a ban were to take place. Regulation is key to keeping this miracle from becoming dangerous from adultaration. An outright ban can have a negative impact on many people who depend on this supplement for various reasons including pain management and mood stimulation. I have carpal tunnel and osteoarthritis and this supplement allows me to work full time with my hands again without the use of harsh prescription drugs. This plant is used by 5 million people with relatively little negative effects. Almost all of the near 100 deaths reported from kratom had other dangerous substances in their systems and took place over the course of several years. Please do the responsible thing and do some real research into this substance that you admittedly know little about. Reach out to the American Kratom Association for further details into some of the facts behind it’s benefits and uses. Anything can become dangerous in excess. Look at the overdoses of Tylenol every year as a good example of how something beneficial can become harmful and yet stay legal at the same time. Sensationalizing is not the solution where a clear and level headed approach is warrented. Thank you for your time and I hope this helps to clear up any misunderstandings about this wonderful and useful supplement. You may contact me directly if you would like more insight into the other side of this story.

    • Chris,
      Thanks for the information. The article is a press release from St. Charles County Government. You might want to contact your Councilman and let your thoughts be known, or attend the meeting when this item is discussed. -Editor

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