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Is it legal to buy and use kratom in Georgia?

Georgia has never been a state known for its lax drug laws. The police are eager to arrest those they suspect of drug use, possession and sales, and the courts will prosecute defendants without question.

The opiate problem hasn't spared our state, either. Many addicts seeking legal relief from the scourge of addiction, as well as patients suffering from chronic pain, have sought relief in the use of kratom. But is it legal?

As of late November 2019, kratom is legal here in Georgia for those 18 and older. The foliage from the Southeast Asian tree related to coffee plants is otherwise known as Mitragyna Speciosa. Since at least the 1800s, natives of Papua, New Guinea, as well as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar have used it to make traditional medications.

Kratom is usually sold as a crushed powder in smoke shops, vape lounges and gas stations. It is regulated by the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. Kratom must be labeled with the ingredients and other details and disclaimers.

But make no mistake. Your kratom use or possession could potentially still get you arrested despite its being legal. Many cops have no idea what kratom is or that it is legal to use and possess. On many occasions, their response has been "arrest now, ask questions later." With that mindset, users could wind up behind bars until the substance gets tested by a lab.

The other problem with it is that disreputable shop owners may sell it alongside illegal products like the lethal "bath salts." That association alone can call into question kratom's legality.

If you get caught up in a drug arrest involving kratom, your Georgia criminal defense attorney can help you sort it out.

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