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Pearl River County leaders set to ban kratom

POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) – Pearl River County leaders voted unanimously last week for an ordinance banning the sale of kratom.

Kratom comes from a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia and has been used as herbal medicine since at least the 19th century. It also has opioid properties and some stimulant effects.

It is commonly sold in smokehouses and convenience stores, such as at Pomp and Bees in Poplarville.

“I know they’re trying to pull it off the market, but I don’t think they should,” Mary Labruzzo told WLOX.

Labruzzo is a store clerk and said taking only half the pill is helping her with her arthritis and sciatic nerve.

“It just takes the pain that I have. It softens it up, and then it’s just, I feel good and I can move again,” she said. “Then I can come to work and do my job as it should.”

However, other members of the community, such as Deputy County Clerk Lauren Goar, are pushing for it to be banned.

“It affects our communities just as much as any other drug or substance,” she said. “And doing nothing completely harms our communities.”

Goar tells WLOX that she is a recovered meth and alcohol addict and now advocates against the sale of kratom and Tianeptine, which is an ingredient found in energy shots.

Although she said she has never tried kratom herself, she acknowledges the effects it has on its users.

“If God can do it for me, I believe He can do it for other people, and I believe this stuff is harmful to other people who are trying to recover from addiction,” he said. she declared.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Investigator Joe Garcia fully supports the potential order and said it’s a big deal for him.

“We had a lot of issues with young adults and kids with kratom,” he said. “You know, it drives them a little crazy or has different effects on different people.”

Garcia said the county attorney is currently drafting the order barring the two substances.

If ratified, both municipal governments in Pearl River County will have to pass the same or similar ordinances before it can be enforced.

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