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What is kratom, and why do Ohio lawmakers want to regulate it?

kratom capsules
Mary Esch
/
AP
A U.S. government report released Thursday, April 11, 2019 said the kratom was a cause in 91 overdose deaths in 27 states.

Kratom, an herbal product, has become a popular substance sold at a number of over-the-counter locations in Ohio and other states that have not outlawed it.

Republican lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would allow for the licensed production and sale of the drug. They say kratom is safe when it isn’t adulterated and that regulation will allow the state to better control the quality and safety of the substance.

Those lawmakers want kratom regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture as a supplement, not through the Ohio Board of Pharmacy as a drug.

But not everyone agrees with that legislation. Some addiction groups say not enough is known about kratom and that more study should be done before it is available legally.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the legislation is the bill's co-sponsor, Ohio State Rep. Scott Lipps. In a separate segment, Ohio Prevention Action Alliance Executive Director Fran Gerbig will discuss that organization's opposition to the bill.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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