Kratom: The legal buzz that could be banned

FOX19 Investigates preview: Kratom sold in Tri-State shops

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Some are using it as the newest way to get high. We're talking about kratom, a tree from Southeast Asia.

But there's officials concerned about the safety of its substance.

FOX19 went around to different shops right here in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and found it in multiple stores.

Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine and the state crime lab have been researching the effects of kratom. DeWine says it is in fact illegal to sell kratom as a "drug". But some shops are selling it as a tea extract. DeWine tells FOX19 that the substance isn't approved by the FDA, therefore it's considered dangerous. Some shops say they used to sell kratom as a pain reliever, but now they no longer do.
"It got popular very, very quick. Were there were people out there abusing it? I'm sure just like anything else people do abuse but people seriously took it because it actually helped them," said Faris Ihmeidan with the Elite Smoke Shop in Clifton.
"There's always someone out there trying to sell you some drug that is supposed to make you feel better. My advice is unless it's been approved, stay away from it," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Some head shops in Ohio have been busted for selling kratom as a drug.
Tonight on the FOX19 10 o'clock news, Brett Hoffland takes a closer look into kratom. Our cameras go undercover to see just how easy it is to buy, and we find one who shop who continues to sell it today.
You'll also hear from someone who takes it daily, and see why some law enforcement officials say this reminds them of synthetic marijuana and soon could be completely illegal.

Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.