Anyone who has a thing or two to do with Kratom knows about the possibility of a Kratom ban. This is true whether you are a vendor, consumer, or advocate.
This is all because both in the US and other climes, some critics have the wrong info. And they have a role to play in putting together a policy on Kratom. This is why policymakers and consumers must arm themselves with the right information. Knowing what’s correct about Kratom blows the possibility of a ban straight out of the water.
An Overview of Kratom And The Legality Issues
The Mitragyna Speciosa tree is the source of Kratom leaves. It has its roots in the Southeast Asian region in nations like Thailand, Indonesia, and more. Many consumers are turning to a wide variety of Kratom strains as a way of enhancing their well-being.
The various Kratom strains now play a role in the everyday wellness routine of users. Enthusiasts can enjoy the red, white, and green veins. And they can do so in different forms, with many developing a love for Kratom tea.
It is a common belief that Kratom gives users an extra boost to their day. reports from users also suggest that it promotes mental clarity and peace of mind.
Keep in mind that this substance is not synthetic and neither is it a drug nor an opiate. It is a welcome addition to the everyday lives of avid users. These consumers turn to it when they need help navigating the demands of life.
So, let’s bring you up to speed with where we are now on the legal issues surrounding the sale or use of Kratom. We’ll also talk about how the authorities involved are acting out their roles.
Kratom Was Almost Scheduled in 2016 by the DEA
Like heroin, there was an attempt by the DEA in 2016 to assign a Schedule I classification to Kratom. This is also the case with cannabis which has the same drug classification.
For a substance to become a schedule I drug, the DEA puts it through an examination test of 8 factors. Some of such factors include the potential for dependence and public health risks. They also consider the potential for abuse, and more. The results from Dr. Jack Henningfield’s Kratom test clear any doubts about kratom. He used the same method of analysis reviews and he found something interesting. He found that the responsible use of Kratom makes it even less addictive than coffee.
Based on his findings, the DEA’s attempt to schedule Kratom passes for a hasty, clumsy move. This move was very much spurred by a lack of accurate information. And Law enforcement officials, doctors, veterans, and the Kratom community became outraged. They didn’t like the plan to have Kratom scheduled and they began to file petitions. In October 2016, all plans to have Kratom classified as a Schedule I drug got withdrawn by the DEA.
But, in 2019, we saw a shocking declaration issued by the FDA. It stipulated that Kratom was not meant for use in medicinal situations. This was quite sudden. But it got triggered by the fact that lots of Kratom vendors were making medical claims at the time.
Keep in mind that Kratom has the potential to contribute to your well-being. But it isn’t meant for use in diagnosing, curing, treating, or preventing diseases. For now, we have to wait for researchers and scientists to align with present knowledge. Soon, they’ll verify the claims of satisfied consumers worldwide. But until then, making medical claims only increases the possibility of a Kratom ban. That’s because it puts this substance in the FDA’s line of sight.
Kratom may be the cause of so much controversy. But if the DEA succeeds in assigning it a Schedule I status, here’s what will happen. It will become impossible to carry out more research.
FDA Involvement in Having Kratom Banned
The FDA won’t back down from its plan. It wants to have 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine (two primary alkaloids in Kratom) scheduled. Once this goes through, a Kratom ban will go into effect and all forms of research will go dormant.
Remember that in October 2017, the FDA sent in its recommendation. But new knowledge and science have since surfaced about Kratom. So, it looks quite impossible that the plan of the FDA will materialize anytime soon. Kratom also has presented itself as a potential alternative option for managing pain. And this comes amidst the opioid crisis which is becoming worse.
We also saw the FDA say some things about Kratom in 2018. It referred to the alkaloids getting modeled by a computer. The findings showed some opioid ligand similarities. But this doesn’t in any way place Kratom among the class of opiates. Opioid ligands may bind with the mu-opioid receptors in some way. But some other substances and supplements achieve the same receptor-binding too. And they aren’t even among the class of opiates.
Being able to use alkaloid computer modeling is an innovation. But this technology doesn’t tell the whole story of the impact of Kratom in the lives of consumers. Based on this, Vernon Jones, representing the state of Georgia, addressed claims by the FDA. He put in a strong argument on why a Kratom ban shouldn’t go through. It then became clear the need to examine more about Kratom and the potential risks involved. So, he received an appointment to become a part of the House Study Committee.
Being an avid user of Kratom, Jones continues to speak up on issues about Kratom. He’s active, even doing so in Louisiana and other states.
According to the final report of the House Study Committee, there were real problems. These issues include unrestricted access, insufficient research, and product labeling. The committee then made some recommendations. Those had to do with consistency and clarity of labels. They also involved standard violation penalties and more efforts toward research. Finally, it recommended more government supervision of how Kratom gets produced and sold.
It is quite interesting that a Kratom ban was still not contemplated by the committee. That is despite the pressure from the medical community and advocacy groups. There is also pressure from lots of worried citizens, and law enforcement personnel. Instead, the committee advocated for the safety of consumers through increased Kratom regulation.
Recent Actions of the FDA On Kratom
The FDA still stands against states passing the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. The reason is that they believe Kratom doesn’t deserve approval as food or as a supplement. It has tried to get some regulatory agencies to key into its campaign against Kratom. These agencies seem to have bought the idea that Kratom should get banned. They feel so because kratom doesn’t have approval from the authorities for use as food or tea.
But the truth remains that food products do not have pre-market approval. And the only time the FDA comes in is when real issues about safety start to surface over such products. So, some ingredients do not need the approval for use in foods because the FDA isn’t authorized to do so. By itself, Kratom is not an additive even when used in tea and it shouldn’t get treated as such. But it seems the claims of the FDA suggests otherwise. The FDA says that the definition of an additive applies if Kratom gets used in the tea’s water.
This is the theory now promoted by the FDA. It says that Kratom qualifies as a food additive once the powder gets into the capsule. There’s no logic in such an argument but the FDA has done this in the past. It once claimed that ingredients could pass for food additives if they were in any capsule. And we saw an increase in enforcement on encapsulated foods at the time.
Based on its regulatory plot the very first time, the FDA received a rebuke from the courts. And now we are seeing this government agency looking to do the same thing. It is trying to get Kratom banned by state regulatory agencies on the basis that it’s sold as pills or capsules.
Did you know about the misinformation and propaganda of the FDA? It claimed that Kratom is not approved since it’s sold in capsules. That’s wrong and based on this, the American Kratom Association took a decisive step. The AKA and Department of Agriculture in Ohio have gone into negotiations. In no way do the pills or capsules alter or interact with Kratom. That’s because they only serve as containers for the substance. This is like liquids put in a bottle.
So, the FDA trying to apply its misleading theory to Kratom doesn’t make any sense and is illogical. Here’s the update so far:
- The application of the FDA to include Kratom as a schedule drug has not been successful
- Kratom’s potential value is being studied by NIDA. It’s being as an eligible alternative to opioids
- Kratom consumers’ reports had Congress acknowledgment in the approved FY2020 Bill
- The Kratom Consumer Protection Act is gaining approval in states. This is so that Kratom products will no longer undergo alterations. (But isn’t that the job of the FDA?)
The FDA still remains unrelenting in its advancement of the anti-Kratom agenda. This shows a lack of conscience, especially at a time when the world is battling a pandemic. But it’s up to Kratom enthusiasts and advocates to inform regulatory agencies. They also need to bring Congress up to speed with the right knowledge. This will help them see that the FDA’s move to start a Kratom ban isn’t without flaws.
The Legal Status of Kratom in 2020
American consumers enjoy using Kratom and the number of users is surging. This is especially because the substance is legal within the federal scope. But in some places like, Kratom is illegal. These areas include Vermont, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Alabama.
We’re also seeing a Kratom ban in some cities and counties. These areas include Sarasota, San Diego, New Hampshire, and Franklin City. We’ve also got certain places in Mississippi doing the same thing. Kratom isn’t approved for human consumption in Denver. But keep in mind that these legislations can change at any time.
Kratom is also not legal in Russia, South Korea, Poland, and Italy. It’s not illegal in Israel, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK too. But some countries in Southeast Asia and Europe prohibit its sale or possession. And in other nations around the world, Kratom doesn’t have any legislation whatsoever. That’s because its status isn’t understood in full.
It would make sense to find out about the legality of Kratom if you plan to travel to another state in the US. Make more findings even if you’re moving to a different country where you intend to use Kratom.
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act
The KCPA aims to ensure the regulation of Kratom production and sales. It focuses on protecting consumers from disreputable Kratom vendors. The KCPA defines Kratom in clear terms and says that every producer must register its entity. It also advocates that the Department of Agriculture and Food standards be binding.
The KCPA also says any vendor, manufacturer, and producer must label its products. Labeling will proceed in line with some laid down rules. With that in mind, any violators who go against the codes must face penalties.
You’ll find that the Kratom Consumer Protection Act is now adopted in some states. This is a good move because it keeps adulterated Kratom from infiltrating the market. It protects vendors and consumers as well.
There were some identified risks in the final report of the House Study Committee on Kratom. Based on that, the KCPA has aligned its activities to ensure that Kratom stays legal and safe. It also has hopes that increased federal supervision will help its cause.
Kratom Ban in My State – Here’s How You Can Help
Kratom bans or legislation remains pending in some states while others need lobbyists. You can help by reaching out to both federal, state, and local elected leaders. Do so in writing and express your support for Kratom to be safe and legal. You can also include the study of Kratom by Dr. Henningfield in your writing.
Now more than ever, your voice is very much needed in the fight to see that Kratom becomes legal everywhere. Elected leaders at the state and local levels have a huge role to play.
There’s something else you can do if you notice any medical claims from an enthusiast or Kratom vendor. They may make such claims on the internet. or in person, do reach out to them and let them know that they are violating the regulations of the FDA. It is these vendors and individuals that hurt our progress in keeping Kratom stays legal.
Get yourself involved and equip yourself with deeper knowledge about Kratom. When you arm yourself with legit information, you can stand up to legislators straight up. You’ll also tackle others on the web who are spreading lies or misinformation with ease. Play an active role in safeguarding the legality of this vital organic product. You can keep up with news and info posted by the American Kratom Association. The info is usually about advocacy and legislation.
We know that lots of Kratom vendors and consumers have concerns about a Kratom ban. But we can all work together to make sure it no longer becomes a problem. Many have taken positive steps by signing petitions and getting in touch with their reps. That’s because they have an interest in upholding the legality and safety of Kratom.
Your best line of action at the moment is to educate yourself. You should also make sure you know everything going on in the world of Kratom. And don’t forget to reach out to your legislators too. Help in spreading the right information about Kratom and debunk myths if you can. This is how you contribute to the cause and help in putting a stop to the misinformation and stigma.