Last summer a wave of anger swept over the entire US when the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) announced their intention of temporarily banning the popular medicinal plant. It got even more bizarre when the DEA wrote the following on the Federal Register: “The placement of these opioids into Schedule I of the (United States) Controlled Substances Act is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.”
For those who are not familiar with the list of Schedule I drugs, it includes drugs such as Heroin, LSD, Ecstasy and MDMA – substances with no medical use in treatment and a high potential for abuse. You can imagine the nation-wide outrage caused by this categorization when kratom is proven to help people around the world who suffer from severe chronic pain and help them overcome addictions to powerful prescription painkillers.
The DEA’s federal proposal sparked a massive backlash when they opened up a public comment period on a federal website. More than 22,000 comments rolled in fast and furious in no time. Veterans, former opiate addicts, natural remedy seekers – people whose quality of life improved tremendously thanks to kratom – they all vent their feelings about the impending ban. The response must have been so overwhelming that the DEA was forced to postpone their intention indefinitely. This is a huge victory for the Kratom community and shows that we can make a difference even when the odds are against us.
Naturally, this news and the general Kratom debate created a sensation and drew more attention to the medicinal plant, its use and benefits. A long-awaited analysis shows that Mitragyna Speciosa is no more harmful if not less than “nutmeg, hops, St. John’s Wort, chamomile, guarana, and kola nut” – all substances that are obtainable everywhere and have no restrictions in use.
The Expert On Drug Abuse
Dr. Jack Henningfield, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading experts on drug abuse and addiciton and is currently an adjunct professor of Behavioral Biology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He led and conducted the analysis and reported the following to the American Kratom Association (AKA): “Kratom has a low potential for abuse and a low dependence liability and there is insufficient evidence of personal harm, adverse health effects or detriment to the public health to warrant control under the [Controlled Substances Act] . . . Appropriate regulation of kratom under the [Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act] is the most effective way to protect the public health by ensuring appropriate access and oversight and to sustain the overall very low adverse personal and public health effects associated with kratom consumption.”
It will probably take months if not years until kratom is fully accepted as a natural remedy and alternative to synthetic painkillers and all risks are excluded as well as the health benefits scientifically proven. But in the meantime, please feel free to check AKA’s frequently updated page on the US legal status in every state: http://www.americankratom.org/legal_status
The Legality of Kratom
Talking about the kratom ban, we all need to understand one thing: When a government wants to ban a 100% natural substance, a medicinal plant, it most probably has something to do with profit and loss. We’d like to finish off this blog post with some historical facts:
As most of you know, mitragyna speciosa is indigenous to Southeast Asia and belongs to the coffee family. For centuries it has been used by its people as a natural remedy. Thailand banned kratom and made its possession illegal in 1943 in response to a rise in its use when opium became very expensive in Thailand and the Thai government was attempting to gain control in the opium market.
This shows us how the governmental mastermind works and what we have to deal with in the future. In the US, our biggest challenge is how to compete with huge corporate companies in the pharmaceutical industry making billions of dollars by making people dependant on their synthetic drugs. But we see a big trend towards alternative medicine and practices on an international scale which only encourages us to keep doing good.
*photo courtesy of The Fix