I’m an attorney. I sat in on a murder trial the other day. The victim had mitragynine in their blood, and the defense tried to say the level was so high it would have been fatal no matter what happened.
Defense counsel asks the detective how frequently people overdose on kratom. He says he’s researched it during the investigation and never heard of such a thing.
The prosecutor called an expert on forensic toxicology. She says the vast majority of people use kratom to treat recognized medical and mental-health conditions, and only a small number use it to get high. Although she talks about it as a mu opiate receptor agonist, she says it can only be considered an opiate in the most semantic sense, as that label doesn’t accurately describe the effects on a user. In spite of what the defense tried to get out of her on cross examination, she testified it would be impossible to say that this victim could have died from kratom if the defendant hadn’t done their part.
The jury convicted, so they must have reached the conclusion that kratom could not be deadly or incapacitating.
This is in Pennsylvania, which has historically taken a very puritanical approach to what people consider “drugs.”. So it very pleasantly surprised me that they treated it so positively.