Botanical Legal Defense (BLD) Hails Victory in Stopping Florida House Bill Banning Kratom


The Botanical Legal Defense™ (BLD) announces that through its legislative and grassroots efforts it helped stop a bill in the Florida House of Representative to curtail the availability of Kratom in Florida. The bill died in committee when the legislative session closed in late June.

The BLD is an educational and advocacy group focused on promoting and protecting the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of natural plants and herbal supplements, including Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa).

“We are pleased with this victory,” said Rob Engle, BLD spokesman. “Kratom is a 100 percent natural plant and herbal supplement from Southeast Asia that has been used safely for hundreds of years as a natural analgesic, muscle relaxer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.”

In recent years, Kratom has been widely misrepresented as dangerous and without medical value. Some have miscategorized Kratom, lumping it into the same category as “synthetics,” “research chemicals” and “designer drugs.”

“Kratom is a plant, not a synthetic chemical or ‘Street Drug,’” said Engle. “We feel that valuable dietary supplements and medicines can be derived from Kratom that would benefit lives and we will vigorously protect against any future attempts to ban Kratom in Florida and other states.”

Many peer reviewed studies and clinical trials that attest to the medical potential of this plant. Kratom has no acute toxicity. Research shows it assists with drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms and contains several oxindole alkaloids which have exhibited potent immunomodulation properties.

By comparison:

  • According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking causes 440,000 deaths in the United States every year. About one of every five deaths in this country are caused by cigarettes.
  • Alcohol causes more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking each year.
  • Pharmaceutical drugs are one of the leading causes of death in this country, killing one American every 19 minutes.
  • Prescription opiate pain killers account for more than 475,000 emergency room visits annually.
  • Over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol send over 56,000 people to the emergency room each year with liver-related complications.
  • The Mayo Clinic has reported a 28 percent increase in overall mortality in people who drink four cups of coffee per day.

About Botanical Legal Defense: Botanical Legal Defense™ is dedicated to fighting over-reaching government criminalization of nature’s most significant gifts. Chief among these is Mitragyna speciosa (aka Kratom), a natural analgesic, muscle relaxer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. This herbal supplement from southeast Asia has been widely misrepresented as dangerous and without medical value, when the truth is that it has already been under the scrutiny of the scientific community and found to be not only benign, but highly therapeutic. Our mission is to educate and enlighten lawmakers, law enforcement, consumers, medical personnel and the media to the plant’s benefits. BLD strives to direct effective policy change,and protect the rights of adults to have access to safe and effective herbal products.

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Botanical Legal Defense™ (BLD)
Media Contact: Robert Engle, 703-347-3784