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Published On: Fri, Oct 21st, 2016

The DEA, the Kratom ban and A March of a dedicated few

On August 30th Forbes published an article revealing the DEA’s plan to ban the herbal supplement known as kratom. The governmental agency stated that kratom poses “an imminent hazard to the public safety” and had decided to reclassify the leaf into schedule-I of the Controlled Substances Act. This intention, if enacted, would classify kratom along other dangerous narcotics such as heroin, LSD, MDMA, and GHB, and some other undeserving of the classification drugs such as marijuana, or (from my understanding, and no experience) khat.

Immediately the members of the so-called “kratom community” catapulted into a frenzy as their chosen medical, recreational, or social choices have been cast aside by the government that was allegedly made by and for the people. Some online retailers seeing the end of their business and having a basic understanding of simple economics increased their prices 100-300 percent. Kava bars and other ethnobotanical distributors who understood the need of the people took two different approaches, either by lowering the costs of their products to both aid their clientele, and to liquidate their product before the ban goes into effect on October 1st.

The hashtags #IAMKRATOM and #LEAFMEALONE quickly began to spread, as a petition was created in the hopes that the White House would look upon the number of people who are going to affected by the ban and decide to overturn the ban put forth by the executive agency. The American Kratom Association (AKA), behind the hard work of Susan Ash and Paul Kemp, went to work urging their members to begin a grassroots campaign with the sole intention of letting the people in charge know that this decision will do more harm than it will do good.

The petition was gaining 10,000 signatures a day. Social media exploded with people making videos explaining how the ban would affect them personally, as they all repeated the rallying cry “I am kratom.” A rally was set for September 13th outside of the White House in D.C. as members of the kratom community from across the country began planning on how they were going to venture to the nation’s Capitol, taking time away from their already financially-threatened businesses, or their soon-to-be upended lives when they could be searching for other natural alternatives as opposed to the pharmaceuticals many of them have successfully strayed away from since finding the herbal supplement.

photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

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  1. Gary Parillo says:

    I am 63,partially disabled,with chronic pain conditions.I have used kratom tea for 3 years now,and have found it helpful to alleviate pain,and calm anxiety.There isn’t a “high” with kratom,just a calming,and the physical feeling is similar to a mild muscle relaxant,in my experience.
    Researchers have confirmed in studies that it is safe,non-addictive,and has low to no abuse potential.
    To ban this herb seems senseless to me,and to classify it as a schedule 1 drug seems ludicrous.There is nothing dangerous about kratom.Taking too much is something one learns not to do,as it can cause nausea and dizziness.Small amounts are the right amounts.I hope the authorities will listen to the millions of testimonies such as mine,and consider the findings of the researchers.I truly doubt that millions of people can be wrong,especially after years of enjoying the benifits of this herbal gift of nature.

  2. Mary Jones says:

    Thank you for recognizing #kratom and our community with an opportunity for dialogue from the American Keaton Association. I am a retired teacher and was once a pawn in the opioid answer for Fibromyalgia, degenerative arthritis and spinal stenosis. When I was first diagnosed at a major clinic, I was prescribed a 3 month supply of hydrocodone, muscle relaxers and ambien to navigate myself through my responsibilities. Oddly, I celebrated the relief on the roller coaster and was determined to stay the course. Eventually, lyrica, Prozac and Xanax joined my daily tonic of treatment. My life continued and I became an observer of the world due to exhaustion and pain. Did I mention I gained fifty pounds? But, I believed my physicians knew best and I did my best to hide my invisible condition and treatment. Only my husband knew my struggles and it amazes me that he loved me through the darkest hours of my life. I was introduced to #kratom by my own child, I took a leap of faith! I had witnessed #kratom salvage and restore my daughter so it wasn’t hard to give the leaf a try. It’s been two years since I have used the opioid medications and I do not plan on going back to the person I once was. #kratom doesn’t take away my symptoms but the pain and fatigue are managed and I am able to engage in this life. #seniorsforkratom are sharing our stories because we know the truth and know that #kratomsaveslives. I am so proud to know Susan Ash and Paul Kemp and to have been introduced to the many good people in #theamericankratomassociation.

  3. Aimee Wilkes says:

    I’m pretty clever when its come to my “thoughts in font form” but I’m at a loss for words!
    Just, Thank You!

    #iamkratom #NoChemiKills

  4. Chelsie Byroads says:

    This is good. #kratomsaveslives
    #IAmKratom
    #stopthebanonkratom

  5. Brian says:

    It’s really about more than just the Kratom ban also… The governing entities in this country are using their power a little freely without following a protocol or due process allowing the public they say they are defending to weigh in before they make drastic actions. Yes, I am a kratom user and it has helped with my anxiety drastically. I am an employed citizen trying to make it in this life. I have served my country and state in the National Guard. I am one of thousands that are not the drug pedaling street slime they try to make kratom users out to be. Thanks for letting me comment.

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