Should Palm Beach County ban kratom?


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In July, a 20-year-old man committed suicide, jumping to his death from an Interstate 95 overpass in Boynton Beach.

There’s no clear evidence yet about what drove him to take his life, but his mother thinks it may have had something to do with an addiction to kratom, an herb used in teas that acts as a stimulant or, in larger doses, as a depressive.

She took her concern to county commissioners, who last week discussed whether to ban sales of the substance countywide.

While kratom can be addictive, there is no evidence that it is especially dangerous. No deaths have been linked directly to it, and the typical effects are mild

But as kratom becomes more popular as an alternative medicine and relaxant, it also is drawing more scrutiny. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency has placed it on its list of “drugs and chemicals of concern.” Sarasota County has banned its sale, and other cities and counties in Florida have toyed with similar measures. State Attorney General Pam Bondi said last week she will investigate kratom “very, very closely.”

For now, commissioners seem unlikely to try to enact a full ban. But County Mayor Priscilla Taylor last week suggested the possibility of requiring labels or warning signs in places where it is served.

Should Palm Beach County ban kratom? What do you think?