By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An Atmore woman remained in the Escambia County jail this week, nearly two months after she was arrested by city police and charged with trafficking in a drug that is legal in 44 states, but not Alabama.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks confirmed that 43-year-old Nadia Carol Coker was arrested April 6 after a “sizable” quantity of Kratom was discovered inside her residence.
“There was a domestic situation, and our officers were called to (the suspect’s home),” Brooks said. “During the course of investigating that call, they found a large quantity of Kratom. I don’t remember exactly how much she had, but it was enough to make a trafficking charge.”
According to drugabuse.gov, Kratom is a small tree that grows in many parts of Asia. Most people use the psychotropic shrub, which reportedly has natural pain-relieving properties, in pill, capsule or extract form. Some chew the leaves or dry and powder them to brew into a tea, and others smoke the leaves or eat them in food.
The medicinal herb is illegal in Alabama, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Other states have passed laws to more tightly regulate the substance, and some have banned adulterated kratom products that “synthetically alter or exacerbate the plant’s psychoactive components.” Some have legally prohibited the mixing of Kratom with any other drug.
An employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division reported this week that Coker was still in the county lockup, her bond set at $1.5 million.