DEA claims kratom to be an “imminent hazard to public safety.”

The DEA wants to temporarily place kratom in the Schedule I drug category.

  • The DEA has claimed kratom to be a “imminent hazard to public safety.”

  • 660 calls were made to the poison control center over 5-years in regards to kratom exposure.

  • According to the CDC there were over 28,000 overdoses from prescription opioids in 2014.

The DEA is attempting to deliver a death blow to the kratom industry with a a notice of intent to place kratom in the Schedule I drug category. The DEA claims kratom to be an “imminent hazard to public safety.”

The end of kratom?

The notice of intent is dated August 25 and signed by the acting administrator of the DEA, Chuck Rosenberg. The 21-page document claims kratom to be an immediate danger to the people of America and is chock-full of good old fashioned government propaganda.

DEA Makes Emergency Attempt to Place Kratom on Schedule I by The Daily Haze on Scribd

If successful, this temporary ban will place kratom, and its active ingredients, in the Schedule I drug category for 2-years. An additional year can be added, if it is requested and deemed necessary.

The DEA began the process to place kratom as a Schedule I in May of this year.

On May 5, 2016, the DEA Administrator sent a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services stating his intentions to place kratom as a Schedule I under Title II and Title III of the Controlled Substance Act.

The Assistant Secretary responded to the notice on May 18, 2016. In the Assistant Secretary’s response, it is noted that a review by the Food and Drug Administration stated there are “no investigational new drug applications or approved new drug applications for mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine,” the active ingredients in kratom.

A quick history lesson about kratom.

Kratom was first documented in Western literature in 1836 by botanist Willem Korthals. Korthals wrote about the use of kratom in Malaysia. The workers and lower class would use kratom when opium was not available, or they could not afford it.

Kratom was identified as Mitragyna speciosa in 1895 by E. M. Holmes. Homles identified kratom to be an alternative to opium. Then in 1987, H. Ridley documented that the plant was used to wean people off opium.

In 1930, I. H. Burkill did a study on kratom as a psychoactive. Burkhill described kratom as traditionally used as a medicine. His study showed that kratom worked as a treatment for diarrhea and fevers. Dr. Sangun Suwanlert confirmed that in a study from 1975.

In SouthEast Asia, opium dens and opium shops were very successful. The government noticed the success of the sales from opium and began raising taxes to an unaffordable price.

As the taxes raised, the owners raised their prices. The back and forth price raising caused the users to say, ENOUGH! We cannot afford this anymore. That is when the people began turning to kratom, which inevitability resulted in the demise of kratom in SouthEast Asia.

In 1943, the government of Thailand passed Kratom Act 2486. The Kratom Act 2486 made possession and sale of the plant illegal. All plants in the area were ordered to be destroyed. At the end of the day, kratom was banned due to the money the government was losing from people not using opium.

Kratom vs. Opioids.

America is in the middle of the worst opioid epidemic the country has ever seen. Pharmaceutical made opioid’s lie at the heart of this epidemic that is claiming hundreds of thousands of lives a year.

Every day more people are trying to find alternatives to pharmaceutical made drugs due to the addictive nature, and dangerous side effects that come along with them. Kratom has become an alternative to the dangerous opioids being prescribed to people around the country every day.

It is estimated in 2012 that 2.1 million people in America suffered from a substance use disorder related to prescription opioids. Another 467,000 were said to have heroin addictions stemming from opioid prescriptions.

From 2010 to 2015 the poison control center received 660 calls related to kratom.

On page 12 of the notice of intent is the number of calls made to the poison control centers in regards to kratom. Between January 2010, and December 2015, U.S. poison centers received 660 calls related to kratom exposure. In 2010, there were 26 calls about kratom, then in 2015 it increased to 263.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 there were over 28,000 deaths from prescription opioids. From Jan 1 to July 30 of this year there have been 22,177 reported exposures to prescription opioids.

In seven months, there were 33 times the amount of calls for opioid exposure then there was for kratom exposure in 5-years. The chart below shows an average of roughly 100 calls a day for opioid exposure.

DEA claims kratom to be an imminent hazard to public safety
The notice of intent claims 15 confirmed deaths related to kratom between 2014 and 2016. The DEA claims to have received correspondence from public/state officials which indicate there “were a significant number of overdoses and traffic fatalities directly, or indirectly, involving kratom.”

While the DEA is struggling to grasp for reasons kratom is an “imminent hazard to public safety,” prescription opioids are ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year. Those who wish to try a natural way to medicate are once again being forced to use prescription pills.

Kratom is being forced into the War on Drugs the same way cannabis was.

Since the discovery of kratom, it has been used to treat a wide variety of medical issues. People use kratom to help with pain, anxiety, depression, and as an energy supplement. Now kratom is entering the same prohibition of the cannabis plant, and becoming another player in our failed war on drugs.

Recently the DEA announced that cannabis would remain in the Schedule I drug category by claiming there was no evidence of “medical benefits.”

Attempts to ban kratom gained little support from citizens of America. Most see the ban for what it is. A ridiculous waste of time for manpower to start another war against a plant. The persecution of cannabis and cannabis users should have shown us the error of our ways.

Kratom users are not criminals. Kratom users are people that are looking for a safer way to treat their illnesses. The DEA is not just taking away a safer medicine; they are creating a new breed of criminal. A criminal who’s only crime is wanting to try a safer alternative to pharmaceuticals.



About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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