MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – States worried about the effect of a plant-based substance called kratom are moving to ban it over abuse concerns.
The controversy around kratom – a plant originating in Southeast Asia – has led Alabama to become the sixth U.S. state to ban it.
Kratom is now a Schedule 1 drug in Alabama, the same classification as heroin and ecstasy. Wisconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, Indiana and Arkansas have also banned it.
Proponents say kratom is a natural analgesic that can be safely used to alleviate pain, combat fatigue and reduce depression and anxiety.
But states like Alabama worry about its addictive properties.
Until it was banned this month, kratom could be found in gas stations in Alabama where it was often sold in brightly labelled bottles of “Krazy Kratom.”
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.