Drug now in final days of being considered legal

Posted at 4:54 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 21:18:49-04

Kratom is derived from a natural tree that is native to Southeast Asia and has been said to help combat against fatigue, pain, and depression, some even say it serves as an antidote to heroin addiction. 

The DEA says this is a dangerous substitute and has decided to add it to its schedule one list of illegal drugs. This will be going into affect the end of September. 

Meaning smoke shops, which usually sell kratom, will stop doing so in just a few weeks. 

23ABC News spoke with several smoke shops in Bakersfield. None were willing to go on camera but they did say their customers are asking them where they will be able to go in order to purchase it after this goes into affect.

They say many people will try to find kratom online, even though the purchase of it through there would remain illegal. 

The DEA says they are aware of 15 kratom-related deaths between 2014 and 2016.