Ascension Parish Council to consider possible ban on controversial drug Kratom
ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - The Ascension Parish Council introduced an ordinance during a meeting on Aug. 4 to regulate the sale and use of the controversial drug Kratom.
According to the Department of Justice & Drug Enforcement Administration, Kratom is an herbal substance that can be taken as a pill, powder or brewed as a tea.
Supporters of the drug say its commonly used to treat pain or serve as an alternative to using opioids. However, opponents of the product argue that its highly addictive and dangerous.
“It can be used in the right way if people have the education for it, but that’s not what it’s being used for,” Tiffany Cooper said.
One person told the council that all it took was a small amount for him to get hooked.
“I took one single pill of the extract, and it made me feel exactly like I took a Percocet, Lortab, or even oxycontin. It did the exact same thing,” he said. “A year later I was taking 15 pills at a time. I was spending $300 a day. I was making a very good living. I was making over $100,000, and barely paid my bills.”
The American Kratom Association, a vocal advocate for the drug, posted information about the Ascension Parish meeting on its Facebook page.
The group wrote, “arguments against kratom being pushed in Ascension are similar to attacks we’re seeing elsewhere, especially from rehab center owners, and we’re working hard to show the real science and dispute what is often fear-mongering and completely false claims.”
Paul Landry, and Iberia Parish Councilman, told the Ascension Council he’s sold Kratom for years at his store.
“In our area, and I can’t speak for yours, but it’s not a problem,” Landry said. “A second lady was telling me she was a heroin addict, and she said that if she hadn’t got on kratom that she would be dead today, and I still see her about every 10 days coming by.”
Todd Tullier from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office also shared opposition of the drug. He says he’s not against people using the drug, he just doesn’t want to see it sold in the parish.
“We just don’t want it sold in the stores here in our parish,” Tullier said.
The council will vote on the ordinance at their next meeting on Aug. 18.
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