State representative working to get Kratom off shelves in Mississippi

Pine Belt representative going after Kratom
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:24 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Kratom and tianeptine could find themselves off the shelves in Mississippi.

State Representative Donnie Scoggin is working to pass House Bill 364, making both schedule one, making it illegal to sell them.

“Once it’s illegal to sell, then, hopefully, we could get it off the gas store shelves and make it a whole lot harder to get,” said Scoggin.

Many people in Jones County, including Ann Marie Brahm, have strong feelings against Kratom due to personal experiences.

“The effects of Kratom will forever affect me and I didn’t even take it,” said Brahm.

Brahm said her husband killed himself after taking a significant amount of Kratom.

“Anytime I go into a store and see a big glass case of Kratom, I just want to smash the glass,” said Brahm.

Local officials said that the negative side effects have no bounds. Some say the worst part is the addictiveness.

“It’s extremely addictive,” said Scoggin. “It’s got the same qualities as an opioid does.”

While others think the availability is a big issue.

“It’s a sleeping terror in our community that is readily accessible,” said Jetuan Stephens, director of Dying to Live.

Some people claim to experience positive side effects from Kratom.

“A lot of patients say that it helps,” Scoggin said. “It helps with pain. It helps with the myalgia and arthritis, things like that.”

Yet, Scoggin hopes to see HB 364 passed into law and see what’s referred to as ‘gas station heroin,’ off the shelves.

“We as Mississippians can bring this to a new light, make it illegal to see or make it illegal to buy and then get it off the shelves and hopefully protect our people,” said Scoggin.

HB 364 will face the Drug Policy Committee next week. If approved, it will have to be passed through the House and Senate before ending up on the Governor’s desk for a signature.

Want more WDAM 7 news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.