Can I be arrested for possession of kratom here in New Mexico?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Many people in New Mexico and all over the United States have found the relief they seek from pain through the use of kratom. Although kratom has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia where it is an indigenous plant, some states, cities and municipalities have banned its sale, possession and use.

However, as of now, kratom remains legal to sell, buy and possess in New Mexico. In fact, our state is unusual in that there has been no legislative action regarding kratom at all. However, that could also be problematic because it means that law enforcement may be unfamiliar with it.

How your kratom use could still get you into trouble

If you get stopped by the police for impaired driving while on kratom, the fact that it is legal to possess has no bearing on the fact that you are too impaired to drive after using it. So, you could get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) despite not consuming any alcohol whatsoever.

Other ways kratom could cause legal problems

Suppose during that same traffic stop that you are not impaired but the officer sees the kratom in your vehicle. The unfamiliarity of law enforcement with kratom and its appearance and properties could cause them to suspect it could be heroin or another illegal substance. Few field test kits are able to test for kratom, so you could find yourself facing a charge — at least until it gets chemically tested in a lab.

Bottom line? Know your rights

Don’t argue with the officer or resist arrest. That will only play out badly for you. Assert your right to remain silent and ask to speak to a criminal defense attorney before answering any police questions.