Naperville City Council heard from a number of public speakers about a drug called kratom.
Kratom comes from the leaves of a plant native to southeast Asia. It’s estimated that 2-4 million Americans use the drug to treat conditions ranging from anxiety to chronic pain and to curb opioid addiction.
The Naperville Liquor Commission unanimously recommended banning it last year, but council took no action due to a lack of information about the drug.
Several public speakers offered their testimony as to why a ban is the wrong move.
“Kratom does not give a high. It helps me focus, it gives me clarity, it manages my chronic pain,” said Sheri Locascio, a registered nurse and kratom user. “It helps me feel normal, which is all any chronic pain patient wants is to feel normal again.”
However, those opposing the use of the drug say there is a psychoactive element and the drug is habit-forming.
The Food and Drug Administration has listed it as a “drug of concern” and say there’s no evidence of any medical use.
Police Chief Bob Marshall stated he’s not aware of any incident involving kratom in Naperville.
Council asked city staff to draft an ordinance restricting the sale of kratom to those 21 and over.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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