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Maryland Kratom Ban – SB0147 (Sen. Young) and HB0283 (Rep. Kerr)
Legislative Update: Mac Haddow, Senior Fellow on Public Policy (1/22/20)
It was my honor and privilege to stand with more than two dozen kratom advocates before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee today and fight the proposed ban on kratom. I have personally participated in dozens of hearings on kratom across the country, and hundreds of similar hearings both at the federal and state levels spanning the last 40 years of my advocacy career, and I have to say that I never witnessed something as extraordinary as what transpired today in Maryland.
First, the Senate sponsor of the kratom ban (SB0147), Senator Ronald N. Young, listened with respect to the testimony (following a meeting the previous day in his office both with the Senator and his legislative staff) of each witness, and the proof of that was Senator Young’s statement at the end of the Hearing that he was willing to consider provisions of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) as an option to his bill. Senator Young stated his support of the age restriction that the AKA promotes, and clearly showed that he was interested in getting the kratom policy right for the benefit of the people of Maryland.
Second, and equally surprising, was that I was stopped in the hallway after the Hearing by Representative Ken Kerr, the House sponsor of the kratom ban legislation. Representative Kerr stated that he was moved by the testimony and asked for more information on the available science on kratom, and specific language for the KCPA.
Normally legislators are unwilling to accept any contrary views or criticisms of their proposals, but these two Maryland policy makers are clearly committed to finding the right answers on how best to regulate kratom to protect their constituents. I look forward to working with them with the hope they will accept the tenants of the KCPA in amending the existing legislation.
For those who want to watch the video of the Senate Hearing, and hear with your own ears the respectful, compelling, and persuasive testimony of these Maryland kratom advocates, you can click on this link and go to the “Maryland Hearing Link”:
The deliberations for the kratom ban legislation, SB0147, starts at 1:08:34 on the tape.
The next scheduled Hearing on HB0283 will be at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 in the House Judiciary Committee in Room 100 of the House Office Building, Annapolis, MD.
Every kratom advocate who is able should arrange to attend this Hearing if you can. The voices of kratom advocates made a huge difference, but you can bet the FDA will be recruiting critics for the February 4th Hearing.
Here are the Witness Guidelines to help you if you can make this Hearing:
Witness Guidelines Hearing Procedures:
Public bill hearings typically begin at 1:00 PM. Anyone wishing to testify on any bill must sign up using one of the electronic screens outside of the committee’s hearing room. Oral testimony will typically be limited to 3 minutes, but may be changed at the discretion of the Chair. Sign up will start at 9:00 AM the day of the bill hearing and close at 12:00 PM on the day of the hearing. You *must* provide an e-mail address on these screens when signing up to testify.
If you have written testimony, you *must* submit one hardcopy of your testimony and one electronic upload to the committee staff by 12:00 PM prior to the hearing. All written testimony must have a visible bill number. In addition to your one hardcopy of testimony, you *must* bring your written testimony in PDF format on a flash/thumb-drive. All testimony must be submitted between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM on the day of your bill’s hearing. After first signing up on the touch-screens, you *must* use the computers in the Committee Room to upload your written testimony located on your flash/thumb-drive to the electronic testimony system.
On the first computer, you will need to scan your flash/thumb-drive for viruses. After your flash/thumb-drive is cleared for viruses, you will disconnect your flash/thumb-drive and reconnect the device to either the second or third computers. On the second or third computers, you will then upload your testimony to the electronic testimony system. To properly upload your testimony, follow the instructions on the computer screens. If you have any questions, Committee staff will be available to assist you. FYI: if a virus is recognized on your flash/thumb-drive, you are not permitted to upload your testimony on the second or third computers.
And I encourage all kratom advocates to follow me on my twitter feed to keep up with breaking news on kratom — https://twitter.com/HaddowMac