Kratom Ban: how they tried to ban kratom but couldn't
Back in 2016, the DEA alarmed kratom enthusiasts by attempting a kratom ban. However, their efforts failed, but all the extra attention increased kratom’s popularity in the US. Since then, the kratom community has fretted over the fate of the Mitragyna speciosa plant, and with good reason.
Together with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the DEA has been making waves in the kratom community for years. Millions of people all over the US buy kratom online, and the DEA’s talk of banning it could put a stop to it altogether. While their recent efforts have been fruitless, kratom lovers are not entirely powerless, and it certainly helps to stay informed.
The information below may help keep kratom out of the DEA’s line of fire. Keep reading for more details on the proposed kratom ban, where kratom stands now, and how to help keep it legal.
The Origins of Kratom
Thousands of people across America are ditching their prescription drugs for kratom, and positive kratom reviews are plentiful. Kratom is a natural substance derived from the kratom (mitragyna speciosa plant), which grows naturally in Southeast Asia. Many people believe this plant may help treat various conditions, including:
- Chronic pain
Kratom began arriving in the US after soldiers from the Vietnam War brought back kratom powder they had purchased overseas. It didn’t take long for kratom powder to become popular in the West, leading to kratom capsules, tinctures, and extracts.
However, without much regulation in place, low-quality kratom products were peddled by untrustworthy vendors. This helped fuel a campaign against kratom, which led to the attempted kratom DEA ban in 2016.
The DEA’s Kratom Ban
In 2016, the DEA announced its intent to list the two active alkaloids in kratom, mitragynine temporarily, and 7-hydroxymitragynine, as schedule I substances. This classification would make kratom as illegal as heroin under the Controlled Substances Act.
Moreover, a massive outcry from the kratom community caused the kratom DEA ruling to be temporarily lifted after just two months.
Not only were kratom users upset by this ruling from the DEA, but several senators spoke out against it. Unfortunately for kratom users, states have the right to ban substances outside of federal influence, and some of them have instituted a kratom ban.
What the FDA Says About Kratom
Despite the DEA rescinding its kratom ban, the FDA has made significant moves to get it reinstituted. In 2017, roughly one year after the DEA backtracked its ruling, the Department of Health and Human Services submitted a recommendation to the DEA to have kratom rescheduled as a class I substance.
According to Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner, the FDA has an obligation to the public to fight against unregulated products such as kratom powder. The FDA insisted that kratom has high abuse potential and that its adverse side effects outnumber the supposed positive ones.
The FDA went so far as to link 47 deaths to kratom, but even the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) argues against this ruling. NIDA clarifies that these deaths involved a combination of substances, including adulterated products, and should not be attributed directly to kratom.
Criticism of the Kratom FDA 2020 Ruling
The kratom FDA 2021 ruling is supported by evidence that has come under significant scrutiny from both the kratom and scientific community. First, the FDA’s existing framework for reporting a substance’s adverse effects is not designed to analyze the cause of death. The FDA typically does not have jurisdiction to preemptively act on non-food substances in this manner.
In light of this, the organization insists that because kratom capsules are now on the market, they can consider it a food additive. Furthermore, the FDA used a computer model simulation to determine how kratom would affect the body. This method is used most frequently for preliminary testing and rarely leads to such a hard line against a substance.
Additionally, it has also led the kratom community to view the FDA’s kratom reviews as flawed and possibly led by an ulterior motive. Research on kratom is limited as it stands right now. If the DEA and FDA succeed in banning kratom, researching kratom’s potential benefits is much more challenging.
Where is Kratom Banned Now?
The government’s critical kratom reviews may not have led to a ban on the federal level, but it affected how some states handled the substance. There are currently six states with a ban on selling or possessing kratom powder and other kratom products, including:
- Rhode Island
Despite being technically legal in many states, some cities have instituted kratom bans. A few of these cities include San Diego, CA, Denver, CO, and Sarasota, FL. Both the states and municipalities with kratom restrictions have a strict kratom shipping ban in place.
Is There an Indonesian Kratom Ban?
In other kratom news, the community was shaken after learning that talks of an Indonesian kratom ban. Kratom grows naturally in Indonesia and is considered a significant cash crop for many of its farmers. Indonesian kratom, sometimes called Indo Kratom, is plentiful in the western market, and banning it would create a massive shortage.
Fortunately, while it is not off the table, no such ban yet exists. Rumors have been floated that the FDA has privately encouraged Indonesian authorities to ban kratom, an allegation it denies vehemently.
How to Help Keep Kratom Legal
While it may seem like an uphill battle, kratom enthusiasts can take steps to keep kratom legal in the United States. First and foremost, users should educate themselves about kratom and use it responsibly. They should buy their kratom products from reputable vendors that take significant measures to offer natural, uncontaminated kratom products.
These steps ensure their safety and help to avoid kratom receiving unnecessary negative attention. It is also essential to stay educated on local and federal legislative efforts regarding kratom. Kratom enthusiasts should reach out to their state and local representatives to make sure their voice is heard.
They must stay up-to-date on kratom news and make efforts to combat negative kratom reviews.
Is Kratom Legal in Denver, Colorado?
While kratom is legal in Colorado, Denver has restricted the use of kratom for human consumption. Despite this restriction, kratom is still legal to sell and possess in Denver, so long as it is appropriately labeled and no recommended usage is offered.
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