According to Heather Sondrini, manager of Smoke Signals Pipe and Tobacco Shop in Dover, which sells kratom, about 40 people showed up to speak against the bill at a recent legislative hearing.
Many believe the herb helps users deal with everyday minor aches and pains and can assist with drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
According to the website for Narconon, an organization that helps people with drug addictions, kratom has sent some people to emergency rooms and there have been calls to poison control centers in the U.S. Most of the adverse effects of the drug have been felt in Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand where it is heavily used.
Dr. Edward W. Boyer, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a co-author of several scientific articles on kratom, recently told the New York Times that kratom is a fascinating drug, but that more needs to be learned about it.