New Jersey Assembly Committee Approves Bill to Criminalize Kratom

Legislation that would “criminalize the manufacture, possession and sale of products containing kratom” has been given approval by a key Assembly committee in New Jersey.

Kratom products.

Assembly Bill 3797, filed in February by State Representative Sean Kean (R), was passed today by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee, sending it to a 2nd reading by the full Assembly.

Currently, possession and distribution of kratom is not barred by federal or New Jersey law. This bill “amends existing law to include kratom as a controlled dangerous substance and to sets out gradations for crimes involving the substance.”

The measure would “make it a crime of the second degree to manufacture, distribute or dispense, or possess or have under one’s control with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a substance containing kratom in an amount of one ounce or more, including adulterants and dilutants.” A crime of the second degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of five to 10 years, a fine of up to $150,000, or both.

It would be a crime of the third degree to manufacture, distribute or dispense, or possess or have under one’s control with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a substance containing kratom in an amount of less than one ounce, including adulterants and dilutants.  A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.

Kratom is currently illegal in a handful of states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

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