For those wondering, is kratom legal in Indiana? The current answer as of early 2023 is no. Indiana is one of the six states that have banned kratom.
Though kratom is legal in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Michigan—all four states bordering Indiana—citizens cannot have kratom delivered to Indiana from a legal state, nor can travelers pass through Indiana with kratom in their possession without risking a hefty fine or even a jail sentence. Since 2014, it has been illegal to buy, sell, or possess kratom in Indiana.
However, there’s a possibility this could all change, thanks to the progress of a new bill that would decriminalize kratom in Indiana. Now, just how likely is it that this bill will pass? What can Indiana citizens and non-residents do to help the push to legalize kratom? Well, let’s take a look.
A Brief History of Kratom Laws in Indiana
In Indiana, kratom is currently listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic—just like heroin or cocaine. How did the legal status of kratom in Indiana get here? Here’s a quick timeline.
In 2014, the State Senate of Indiana introduced Indiana Senate Bill 305. When the bill was first introduced, it incorrectly classified two of the kratom’s alkaloids (7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine) as a Schedule 1 controlled “synthetic substance.” (This erroneous classification reveals how the motive to ban kratom in Indiana stemmed from the lawmakers mistakenly confusing the natural plant with synthetic drugs linked to the “spice scare,” such as K2 and synthetic marijuana).
In 2018, the State Senate of Indiana did correct the mistake and amended SB305, changing the classification of the plant to a “schedule 1 ‘Hallucinogenic Substance’”, which, funny enough, still isn’t an accurate category for kratom. This change now grouped kratom with other drugs such as ecstasy and heroin, so the Senate’s amendments didn’t really improve anything about the bill.
If you want to read more about the specific fines attached to Indiana’s kratom prohibition bill, you can check out our original article on Indiana kratom laws. We’re going to move forward with covering the changes that have been made since 2018.
New House Bill Introduced to Legalize Kratom in Indiana
In 2023, multiple bills were filed that would decriminalize various substances that are currently illegal in Indiana state. Some of these bills focused on legalizing marijuana in Indiana, but none moved forward. Out of all these efforts, the only bill that has moved forward is the Indiana House Bill 1500 (authored by Rep. Alan Morrison, R-Terre Haute), which would decriminalize kratom.
In February 2023, when he filed the bill, Morrison stated, “People use this supplement as an energy boost to help with anxiety and even pain relief, and the spectrum of what they use it for, or how, is based on the dosage and the amount that they take. But it is not a drug. It is an herbal botanical plant.”
If Passed, What Would the New Kratom Bill Entail?
In addition to decriminalizing kratom, HB 1500 would set up a framework to regulate kratom sales, something consumers and advocates say is vital to keeping kratom safe and effective. The bill covers the following purposes:
- “Defines “kratom product” as a food product or dietary ingredient that:
- is derived from the leaf or extract of mitragyna speciosa [sic] and has a level of residual solvent that is not more than permitted by USP 467;
- does not contain a level of 7-hydroxymitragynine in the alkaloid fraction that is greater than 1% of the overall alkaloid composition of the product; and
- does not contain any synthetic alkaloids including synthetic mitragynin [sic], synthetic 7-hydroxymitragynine, or any other synthetic compound of a kratom plant.
- Establishes requirements for the manufacture, labeling, and sale of kratom products. Specifies that a kratom product is not a controlled substance.”
The latest version of Alan Morrison’s bill would allow anyone over the age of 18 to buy kratom in Indiana, as long as the packaging includes information about where and how it was produced. More specifically, it would require all kratom packaging to include a scannable QR code that leads to information regarding the manufacturer, product batch data, and ingredients used.
For any vendors that sell kratom in Indiana without proper labeling, their failure to comply with these regulations can result in a violation and a fine of up to $10,000.
If any place that sells kratom in Indiana violates the distribution regulations (such as making a sale to a minor), they can face up to 180 days in prison for a Class B misdemeanor. If previously convicted, they face a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in county jail.
Will Kratom Be Legal in Indiana? The Next Steps and How to Help
Although the Indiana Senate House Bill gives kratom advocates new hope in Indiana, the path ahead is riddled with obstacles. At the end of February, the bill advanced with a 53-40 vote from the House of Representatives. Already having faced mixed views, the bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. There, it’s expected to face heavy opposition.
If you live in Indiana, the best way to support this bill is to contact your State Senate members and urge them to approve the bill. You can share your story and vouch for the benefits of regulating kratom. You can also join the AKA’s Indiana Kratom Protectors Group and share the link with family and friends, as well as on social media.
If you are not a resident of Indiana, you can help by sharing a link to articles like this one on social media or other websites, reaching out to anyone you know in Indiana and urging them to share the Indiana Kratom Protectors Group link, and by following the latest news from the AKA, Reddit kratom subs (e.g., r/Kratom) and other forums, Twitter pages, or kratom podcasts.
What If the Bill Doesn’t Pass?
If this bill doesn’t pass the Senate vote, kratom will remain illegal in Indiana for the meantime until a successful legal effort is made. Although kratom has been illegal in Indiana since 2014, the current prohibition law still hurts people and destroys lives in the state.
Since kratom is legal in all of the bordering states, unwitting people passing through Indiana from a legal state still find themselves in jail thanks to a prohibitionist law they didn’t even know existed. All it takes is one traffic stop, and someone’s life can be flipped upside-down just for carrying kratom. No one should be thrown in jail for having the wrong zip code.
According to the AKA, an estimated 100,000 Indiana residents still consume kratom. Furthermore, as a result of the state’s ban on kratom, a black market exists for kratom in Indiana. As Rep. Alan Morrison stated earlier this year, this illegal market increases the risk of “impure” substances or products that are contaminated with different drugs. In this way, prohibition manufactures a risk that would not exist without it.
In its natural form, 100% kratom is pure and natural—the last thing consumers should have to worry about is whether or not their kratom has been spiked with a substance, not on the label. But when kratom is prohibited, that’s a risk that any kratom consumer in Indiana—or any state that has scheduled kratom—has to consider.
But a black market also exists for kratom, Morrison said, increasing the risk for an “impure” substance or products that are contaminated with other different chemicals like cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin. This poses a threat to Indiana’s kratom consumers, who, unable to access a trustworthy place to buy kratom in their state, are forced to look into riskier options.
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Kratom Prohibition Kills; We Should All Be Against It
At Top Tree Herbs, we’re more than just a company striving to offer the best kratom tea on the market. Lab tests, quality control checks, organic ingredients, and ethical sourcing are of course incredibly important to our mission. But our mission goes beyond that. Not only do we want to see kratom legalized in every state (and country), but we also want to normalize kratom consumption so that no one has to be a victim for consuming what they like for their personal wellness.
When conducting research for this article, we came across comments from Indiana residents who expressed that they didn’t even know kratom was illegal in Indiana. Many were confused, wondering why their right to drink tea, which has a long history of traditional use in Southeast Asia, would be criminalized in their state when it’s legal in all surrounding states—not to mention 46 other states in the US. For some, what would be totally fine 5 miles away would put them in jail in Indiana; it does happen, and it ruins lives.
So, on a final note, we encourage you to enjoy our premium kratom products and speak openly about kratom tea. Share kratom tea recipes, give kratom tea samplers to your friends, write reviews, try different flavors, share links to articles, and educate others. Stick up for this amazing plant, and stand up to prohibition. The more people who know the truth about kratom and the harm done by criminalizing it, the brighter our future outcome will be.