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Determining the legality of kratom in New York

When is a drug not really a drug? That question arises when agencies convene to criminalize possession of substances like kratom around the nation.

Many people may have no idea what kratom is. But for many more others, kratom is the substance that allows them to live their lives without an addiction to illegal opioid-based drugs. Read on to learn how New York classifies kratom use.

Still legal, but under fire

Under present laws in the state of New York, kratom use remains legal. However, that doesn't mean that you will be able to buy some in your local bodega or head shop.

A series of raids on smoke shops and other retail outlets that sold kratom has had a chilling effect on some merchants who would rather cease selling the popular product than face a police raid. The problem stems from the illegality of other products like bath salts being sold in these shops. Sometimes, the police also seize the kratom products that are ostensibly being legally sold in the retail outlets.

By the time the dust settles, the inventory has been seized, opened, tested and is unsuitable for resale once it's determined to be a legally-sold herbal supplement not under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It's that agency that has been hard at work to criminalize the use of kratom (and thus, make criminals out of those who legitimately use the substance to keep their chronic pain at manageable levels).

What about the users?

If you get arrested for possessing kratom, that's a charge that can definitely be dismissed. The problem may lie in the officers alleging that the substance is something other than what it really is. By the time it is correctly identified through testing, you may already have been placed under arrest.

The good news is that a competent New York City criminal defense attorney can facilitate the charges being dropped in such a case, thus freeing you to go on living your life. As in many arrests, having a dedicated and diligent attorney working on your behalf can expedite the release process.

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