Is kratom like meth? The obvious answer here is no, yet somehow Tennessee Representative Tony Shipley and Senator Mae Beavers disagree. House Bill 12 (HB 0012) and Senate Bill 48 (SB 0048) are working in tandem to change the list of Controlled Substance Analogues in Tennessee. The point of the Controlled Substance Analogue list is to ban substances which are synthetic and/or replicate a similar experience to that of an actual controlled substance.
This new bill adds mitragynine and hydroxymitagynine as compounds to be recognized as synthetic derivatives or analogues of specifically methcathinone. Methcathinone isn’t actually meth but is a meth-like substance sometimes called meth cat – either way, it’s definitely not similar to kratom, yet here we have a bill claiming mitragynine and hydroxymitagynine can be considered synthetic analogues of this meth-like substance! It’s clear these two legislators are clearly misinformed.
According to Wikipedia, the effects of Methcathinone are: feelings of euphoria, increased alertness, dilated pupils, slurred speech, increased heart rate, inability to stop talking, increased empathy and sense of communication, decreased and increased sexual function, and finally a loss of cognitive ability relating to distinction of relative importance of matters. That’s quite the list of effects right there – and although there may be a few similarities between methcathinone and kratom, they don’t even come close to being the same.
So what gives? Is Tennessee really having a problem with people using mitragynine and hyroxymitagynine to synthetically mimic methcathinone? The short answer is no, the longer answer is definitely no – kratom isn’t a cathinone and how it could be used to make a synthetic one is beyond my simple understanding of chemistry – if you understand it better than us, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact We Love Kratom – but as it stands this bill just doesn’t make sense. It appears more like a somewhat sneaky way of making it a Class A misdemeanor in Tennennsee for a person to “knowingly produce, manufacture, distribute, sell, offer for sale or possess any synthetic derivates of analogues of methcathinone” and that kratom (or more accurately the compounds which constitute it) would be considered a synthetic analogue of methcathinone.
Would pure kratom leaf testing positive for mitragynine and hydroxymitagynine equate to a synthetic analog of methcathinone once this bill is passed? It might, it all depends on the interpretation used by the courts when some unlucky individual finds themselves trying to defend an innocent kratom purchase. I imagine extracts and other highly concentrated forms of kratom would have an even more difficult time in court. Either way, you’ll probably go broke trying to defend yourself.
Never fear though because there’s still hope! These bills haven’t been made into law yet and We Love Kratom will be sending letters to both Representative Shipley and Senator Beaver, and we need you to do the same! If you live in Tennessee and you want to keep kratom legal, write to your congressman and explain the grave mistake they’re about to make. Don’t allow a precedent like this to be set in yet another state.
Take a look at the bill for yourself on the Tennessee General Assembly Website. Alternatively, view the much easier to read bill summary for SB 0048/HB 0012 if you find yourself confused by the actual bill text. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them with us below or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.