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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 29, 2019 02:26 PM
From: Representative James B. Struzzi, II
To: All House members
Subject: Stopping the Next Deadly Threat to Pennsylvania Families and Communities
There is a deadly new enemy in Pennsylvania. Kratom is currently sold over the counter in convenience stores and smoke shops. We had a recent overdose death in my area due to kratom. We need to stop this now before more deaths occur.

Please join me in sponsoring legislation to list the active components of kratom as banned Schedule I substances.

Kratom is a tropical evergreen from Southeast Asia that is native to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Its leaves can be chewed, smoked, or brewed into a tea, or taken in capsule, tablet, and extract formulations. Kratom has opioid properties, as confirmed by the FDA, and can be addictive. Many of its properties are due to the alkaloids it contains. Of special interest among these is mitragynine, which is structurally related to yohimbine and is the source of kratom’s opioid-like effects. It is classified as a kappa-opioid receptor agonist, and may be nearly 13 times more potent than morphine.

The FDA has recommended that the active components of kratom be banned on the federal Schedule I, which recommendation is pending before the DEA. To protect our citizens in Pennsylvania, I propose acting now to ban kratom in Pennsylvania.