The Birth Of A New Black Market: Is There an Elephant In The Room?

We encourage your comments in the space below.

Kratom is legal in Canada; Kratom is legal in Mexico.

The United States has a significant number of its population in dire need of kratom because other products  do not live up to their claims. This is a textbook definition of the birth of a black market since the country in which a product is banned is surrounded by countries, which on each and every of its borders, sale the product legally.

Does one really believe that one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the world is ignorant of such an observation; we think this only a remote possibility but have no information to substantiate our underlying hypothesis.

The obvious question is whether there is an elephant in the room? Is there someone who wishes to ban kratom without giving its supporters any chance of rebuttal?  Notwithstanding the fact that the product that has been in use for centuries, is there someone who wants to destroy any chance for further research by banning the product? A product ban would make it impossible for scientists to purchase the product in order to conduct the research needed to improve the use of kratom so as to free the American public from the use of ineffective alternative products.

In the last twenty four hours CRE has received more comments on its previous post than it ever has in its history. CRE has received hundreds of comments from concerned citizens who describe in startling detail the devastating impact a kratom ban would have on their daily lives. These are not form letters but stories from the heart of America. A representative letter is published below.

CRE believes that the bottom line is that even if one were to make the outlandish statement that kratom has no beneficial uses, banning kratom will without question establish a black market. Unfortunately the only institutions that are equipped with supply and distribution channels necessary to handle large volumes of product are organized crime and terrorist organization who seek a domestic source of funds

The reaction we have received demonstrates the need for DEA to conduct a notice and comment rulemaking on its proposal to ban kratom and therefore extend the effective date of its “temporary” rule from September 30, 2016 to July 1, 2017.

The text of a representative letter from our “Comments” Forum is as follows:

Mary Leonhardt

I feel completely betrayed by my government. I’m a retired teacher, a vet, and a grandmother. I was hoping to enjoy my retirement, but the DEA, by banning kratom, is making that impossible, as this herb is the only thing that really helps my severe restless leg syndrome. The DEA is going to make me a felon.

Oh, and by the way, when I was teaching high school English, had a student ever turned in a paper with so little accreditation, he would have failed.

 

CRE  welcomes your ideas in the space below  on whether there is an elephant in the room?

306 comments. Leave a Reply

  1. Anonymouse

    I’m a 39 year old Mother of 3. 16 years ago after my last pregnancy I developed a DVT blood clot in my left leg, ended up in the hospital for over a week. During that week I developed a severe panic and anxiety disorder caused by the doctors and their horror stories. I was 23 years old. I have spent the last 16 years being afraid of dropping dead, every minute of the day. After that hospital stay, I developed a small alcohol problem, it helped control my anxiety because the doctors didn’t want to give me anything that worked. Last year I found out about Kratom and wow! My anxiety has gone from a 20 to a 2… I can think clearly. This is MY life and what I choose to out into my body to help me, is my human right. And I am now not dependent on alcohol, at all.

    • jim

      Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

      This comment makes the point; people that need kratom will have to resort to the black market if they wish continued use.

      • markinCO

        My sister heard about kratom, has serious pain issues and was going to give it a try. It came in ground up powdered form and she had no idea what to expect. As for me, I wanted to be sure it was as ‘advertised.’

        I took a small sample of her first order to the lab in our department. What I found surprised me. It had mixed in with trace amounts of codeine! On top of that about a third of the organic material we could not identify at all? but it was not kratom. The place she ordered it online from had an English language page but was actually a business in Mexico.

        Considering how in the illegal drug trade dealers for example mix or cut cocaine with everything and anything e.g. baby powder even fentanyl. More to the point just look to all the over the counter herbal supplements sold in this country. Many have little of the main advertised ingredient because in the end it is all about the money. Some and these are name brands, found to have zero of what they were selling. You can do a search with google about herbal supplement scams & not being what they were said to be.

        Point being there are no inspections, no FDA. It is purely a for profit endeavor. 99.9% of online sellers of kratom do not do it do this out of the goodness of their hearts. It could be 100% pure kratom or a mix of other stuff. Unless you have access to a lab as I do you can’t know? So when purchasing kratom always keep in mind ‘buyer beware’ caveat emptor or just be cautious. I make no judgment as to the efficacy of kratom. My primary concern was my sister’s health. What happens between the time the plant is harvested and the end user get their product makes all the difference.

        *FYI medical marijuana is legal in our state. What is sold here is also tested and labeled by our state health department with strict oversight from the department of revenue. So I convinced my sister to go that route. At least with that plant she knows exactly what she is getting, using and it is still better than prescribed opiates in the long term IMHO. It too is used here by those needing to get off prescribed opiates. so there are alternatives out there.

  2. Anonymous

    I thought that Mary Leonhardt had stepped down and been replaced?

    • Anonymous

      Huh? Mary Leonhard is the author of the comment they included. Mary is a retired school teacher who uses Kratom for restless leg syndrome.

    • sandy ernst

      I think the DEA head was named Michelle, hence the confusion.

      I also Believe the DEA is intentionally trying to create a black market to ensure job security, especially with the push for cannabis legalization succeeding.

  3. Heather

    Kratom saves lives!

  4. Ron

    More frightening than the prospect of millions of human beings forfeiting a plant that has helped them overcome depression, addiction, pain and suffering is the extreme and blatant overreach and aggression imposed by the government on the will of its people. Is this the American I know and love? This proposed ban and the potential criminalization of thousands of law abiding citizens into first degree felons is truly Kafkaesque and frankly, un-American in ever meaning of the word. This action evokes images of an insensitive authoritarian “parent” scolding an incorrigible child for some over magnified and dramatized transgression that has no basis in reality. Unfortunately, scolding and strong-arm punishment not based on the TRUTH never has worked, and only fosters outlets that do, ultimately, promote bad behavior and crime. Shame on the government and especially, congress, for such irresponsible lack of oversight and for not allowing the people to voice their democratic concerns in an open and judicial forum.

  5. Donna Alamillo

    I am a 55 year old mother of 3 beautiful children. I have had chronic pain for the last 17 years. I’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis,spinal stenosis,I have arthritis in both of my hips as well in both knees and arms and hands. You see I’ve been a hairdresser for many years and it takes a toll on your body. I was also diagnosed with lymes disease last year. Lymes does a number on you. I felt as if I had the flu 24 hours a day for a whole year before the doctor’s found out what was going on with me. I was on every narcotic pain medication known to man. I thought well the doctor prescribed this so it must work right? Wrong!!! I couldn’t function normally. I fell asleep on the job,was slurring my words as if I were drunk. Unfortunately I had to leave my job. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I tried kratom 2 years ago. I began with a half teaspoon mixed with Orange juice. Well I got immediate pain relief and I could think clearly. Most of all I didn’t feel drugged. I was excited!!! I could take care of my kids without the help of my mother and close friends. Kratom relieves my pain and gives me a little energy boost unlike my pain meds that just left me drained and foggy headed. My kids have their mom back and guess what? I went back to working. This is so important to me and many people that suffer from chronic pain. Please listen to our stories.

  6. GG

    Finally, chronic pain sufferers and anxiety riddled people have a natural option vs prescription medications and it is being threatened to be unjustly taken away from them based on incoherent research data that makes GMO research look legit. I have witnessed first hand the astonishing improvement I have seen in a few people very close to me who have been wounded in combat and suffer from chronic pain and anxiety transform into productive members of society finally free of debilitating pain and social anxiety issues, and the government decides that a plant that is related to the coffee plant is dangerous but prescribed narcotics are not?!? Your foundings are ridiculous and just another way to keep big pharma and government pockets lined with cash!

  7. Anonymous

    I don’t see any elephant in the room, and I disagree that people who self-medicate with kratom for depression are in such “dire need” that they will turn to foreign black markets to obtain it.

    Kratom is a mild benign recreational stimulant with no potential for addiction overdose or abuse. In contrast, black markets sell hardcore drugs. The DEA should focus on these hardcore drugs, not kratom.

    Antidepressants do not live up to their claims, and this is the reason kratom is so popular among those who self-medicate. Depriving people of this substance will cause these people to suffer and possibly commit suicide.

    < em> Reply By: Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

    Your statement that people who are denied access to kratom will not turn to the black market because “black markets sell hardcore drugs” needs some venting.

    CRE has years of experience in combatting efforts by organized crime and terrorist groups to exploit black market operations to fund their respective enterprises.

    To this end we have published one of the most highly read websites which articulates in considerable detail how the black market in cigarettes provide funding to these two groups–see this post at http://www.thecre.com/cc/.

    Cigarettes are seldom referred to has a hard core drug.

    • Anonymous

      The DEA shouldn’t exist anymore. They are a failed agency that is beyond repair and reform. Instead, we should focus on legalization of all drugs, and treat addicts as patients rather than criminals. We could also establish an open market for drugs but have it be heavily regulated to ensure safety and avoid unadulterated products. As a society we work towards providing easily accessible information to promote responsible use, because this is 2016, not the 1930’s.

      • Annonymiffed

        I find it increasingly difficult by the day to be “nice” about this proposed ban.

        There is no question what health benefit Kratom has for thousands, probably millions of people. And there is no question that there is some other underlying nefarious purpose for this ban.

        They cannot put a patent on a plant, like Kratom. I suspect some Pharmaceutical Corporation(s) lobbied the DEA in order to monopolize the Kratom market and possibly take over the Kratom forests/fields. I do not buy into the excuse one bit that they are worried that a harmless herb like Kratom is “dangerous” to the public and they are worried about our well being. That is a lie. If they were they would never ban Kratom at all in any way or form.

        It also makes me wonder if they are trying to create new “criminals” “guilty” of more victimless crimes for their money making prison system. After all, there was just a news article that came out where the DEA was actually threatening to go and arrest people that were stalking up on Kratom before the ban. REALLY? It does not take the offspring of a rocket scientist to see what they are really up to.

        We need to continue to aggressively fight the fight to keep Kratom legal, or if they succeed with this ban, make Kratom legal again, and none of us should back down on this fight, ever.

        That being said, Kratom has helped me with my reoccurring PTSD, severe depression, and debilitating pain from arthritis and Lyme disease. It makes it possible for me to get out of bed in the morning and feel some sort of happiness. I refuse to take their poisonous Pharmaceutical Drugs, even if they start to make them from Kratom, which I suspect is one of their very sneaky goals.

        As a proponent of Alternative Heath treatments and Natural Herbs, I reserve the right to choose Alternative Health over the mainstream cut, burn, and poison. I also reserve the right to judge what goes into my own body.

        Keep Kratom entirely legal!

    • sarahte

      Thank You CRE for replying to the blind poster. There most definitely IS an Elephant!

      Reply By: Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

      “Your statement that people who are denied access to kratom will not turn to the black market because “black markets sell hardcore drugs” needs some venting.

      CRE has years of experience in combatting efforts by organized crime and terrorist groups to exploit black market operations to fund their respective enterprises.

      To this end we have published one of the most highly read websites which articulates in considerable detail how the black market in cigarettes provide funding to these two groups–see this post at …. http://www.thecre.com/cc/.

      Cigarettes are seldom referred to has a hard core drug.”

    • Anonymous

      I assure you people in pain or suffering will find a way to get their Kratom. It is better to break the law than want to commit suicide every day. Pain and suffering will make you desperate. Maybe thats what the DEA wants to justify their existence. It will also help fund their jobs. It will be a sad day to see sick and hurting people fill up the jails. It will cost taxpayer money to treat prisoners that are sick. It is a slippery slope people. God help us all.

    • Max

      CRE is correct anytime there is a demand , there will be a supply, even illegally. Alcohol prohibition is a good example.

      People in pain will do almost anything to stop the pain. If you cant get relief suicide is all you can think about. You will do anything to stop the pain.

      Drs. are afraid to give scripts for pain now because a lot have lost their license or been jailed for helping pain patients. Where does it leave people in cronic severe pain ?

  8. Robert

    I take therapeutic doses of Kratom for depression. Anti-depressants that I have been prescribed in the past have had unwanted side effects, were expensive, and were for the most part, ineffective. I have had a positive and beneficial response with the use of Kratom. I’m extremely concerned by and question the DEAs motivation in taking such hasty action in making Kratom illegal and those who use it, felons. The DEA is merely a tool for unknown powerful forces to exert their will upon an unsuspecting American public. Those forces have mostly failed to promote their agenda at the state level and are now desperately seeking the protection of the DEA. I wonder who comprises those forces? Big Pharma perhaps?

  9. Tomasso

    Certainly numbers do not lie. Examine the numbers of deaths due to opiate prescription pills. Think about the black market they’ve created, the lives they have destroyed. How many lives have been touched by addiction? Examine the numbers of lives changed by Kratom. Look at The broad spectrum of people it helps from all walks of life. Kratom saves lives, it does not destroy them. WAKE UP LEADERS! STOP PRETENDING YOU CARE ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!

  10. Anonymous

    Kratom has helped to saved my husband and my lives. We dealt with depression, anxiety and substance abuse. We both have degrees and are parents. Kratom has helped us overcome the depression, anxiety and substance abuse. We no longer abuse any substances and are able to live healthy productive lives. Please don’t ban kratom. Prescriptions does not help but kratom does. I can not afford to take off of work, miss time and money, pay for a doctor and then pay for prescriptions every month. I have bills to pay and a daughter to take care of.

  11. James

    Even though there is an “Anonymous” comment up there saying people will not turn to the black market as they aren’t in such “dire need” to do so – I think there is a huge possibility that will happen. Casual users of kratom may be able to exist without it, but for the thousands who have found that it is the only thing that “works” for them – the desperation will absolutely be there.

    Kratom is the only thing that makes my wife level out from severe anxiety attacks – I mean she will nearly convulse. I’ve read that people report kratom causes convulsions…bullshit – it STOPS them for her – without side effects…I mean at worst, she gets dry eyes from it and uses some eye drops. Medications from doctors had so many side effects…the benefits weren’t worth the harms. It is completely possible we would find some source to try and buy kratom, even if it is banned…although reluctantly and cautiously. You’d never know what you were really getting…but if your quality of life is garbage without it – perhaps you’d take the risk.

    What the DEA is doing is just so…weird, and goes against all logic…at least if we are talking about a society where the government actually *cares* for its citizens (The Netherlands, anyone? Finland?). And I just can’t understand the silence on this from congress and other agencies that are supposed to regulate the DEA. Perhaps it is the higher ups that want this done, and they simply don’t care how draconian and dictatorial it is. This almost isn’t even about kratom anymore – its about a government that is so corrupt that they don’t even bother with subtlety or remotely try to hide it anymore…citizens be damned.

    Thanks CRE for caring at all and trying to do anything about this. I’ve never felt so voiceless in this supposed democracy in my life. Land of the free, my ass…

  12. Elizabeth Hamlin

    I’ve suffered three years with Trigeminal Nueralgia, AKA suicide disease. The first two years I laid face down on the floor just trying to take the pressure off my face. It’s considered the most painful condition known to mankind. One year ago I heard about kratom. All the seizure meds I was taking were not helping. My blood test showed complications from them. My kidneys almost shut down. I lost 30 pounds because I can’t chew food. My gums feel like razor blades slicing them. My teeth hurt. My jaw bones feel like a vice grip crushing them. The list goes on. I have another disibility called Interstytual Cystitus which is a painful disease. If I hadn’t heard about kratom, I’m not sure if I’d still be alive. The pain was a distress on my heart and could have given me a stroke. I searched kratom. Done my homework. I ordered a sample last year, I had more pain relief than ever before. I don’t have to take all those meds that nearly killed me. If you’d like to see and hear what Trigeminal Nueralgia is, you can look up videos of suffer’s. We’re just asking to keep kratom legal to have less pain, and to keep our body and mind from the awful effects with pills. I don’t want to be on pain medication and be another statistic of an addict soon causing death.

  13. Chris

    It seems the most obvious answer is that the DEA continues to play “whack-a-mole” with any drug that appears to gain any popularity with either the public or the media. With the FDA’s extremely questionable decision to seize any imported kratom at the border and the DEA’s ill-conceived knee-jerk reaction more attributable to the 1950’s than to the 2010’s, it almost seems as if these two agencies are trying to, for lack of a better term, cover their collective posteriors.

    The DEA continues to lose relevancy and gain notoriety all while losing any semblance of introspection. With the American public now actually realizing that the answer to drugs is not flat-out prohibition across the board, the DEA’s funding is threatened and it’s only a matter of time before the agency loses significant power. Hopefully, more of the American public will become aware of the unscrupulousness of civil asset forfeiture and start to connect the dots about the real reasons the DEA wants to ban plants like kratom.

    It’s also been pointed out that headway has been made in isolation of the alkaloids related to kratom. Glaxo Smith Kline has a patent that goes back to the 1960’s, but with the opioid epidemic, another cash cow needs to be found. Queue the lobbyists (both Loretta Lynch and DEA chief Rosenberg were partners in a law firm with a significant lobbying arm) and suddenly that cheap, natural alternative is replaced with a pricey, derived and adulterated gold mine.
    More and more it seems as if our nation has several branches of the military to protect our borders, and one branch of the Justice Department to protect Pharmaceutical corporation profits.

  14. ChrisZEE

    Go to twitter type in keywords Chuck RosenBribe , ChuckRosenBerg Been posting my level 1 research on CHUCK rosenBribe (The Sellout Behind the KRATOM BAN )

  15. Anonymous

    I couldn’t agree more.

  16. Anonymous

    I think it’s pretty obvious that a black market will setting up shop right after the ban. Marijuana is illegal damn near where and it was still very easy to buy even before some states made it legal.

  17. Robert

    The DEA has a long history of obstructing scientific research and refusing to acknowledge established science, as chronicled in a report entitled, The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science. The report can be found at this link:
    http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/DPA-MAPS_DEA_Science_Final.pdf
    Also interesting reading is, The Scandal-Ridden DEA: Everything You Need to Know. The brief covers numerous DEA scandals, including the massacre of civilians in Honduras, the inappropriate use of NSA resources to spy on U.S. citizens and the use of fabricated evidence to cover it up, the warrantless tracking of billions of U.S. phone calls, and the misuse of confidential informants. The brief notes that the traditional U.S. drug policy goal of using undercover work, arrests, prosecutions, incarceration, interdiction and source-country eradication to try to make America “drug-free” has failed to substantially reduce drug use or drug-related harms. It instead has created problems of its own – broken families, increased poverty, racial disparities, wasted tax dollars, prison overcrowding and eroded civil liberties. The link is here:
    http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/DEA_Scandals_Everything_You_Need_to_Know_Drug_Policy_Alliance.pdf

  18. Anonymous

    Taking kratom away is in essence, taking my life away from me. I spent a lot of time being depressed, bedridden and unable to even want anything in my life anymore, including my life. Kratom gave that back to me and there is no other reason other than self interest and greed that would persuade someone to disregard that in order to make a profit. Chuck Rosenberg has way too close of a relationship with big pharma, as well as lobbyist for those pharmaceutical companies, to not have a conflict of interest at hand. Kratom is not a public health concern, rather the DEA is a cause of public concern as they overstep their boundaries making these legislative decisions which only serve to benefit these companies and the political crooks they hire. If Rosenberg honestly believes that kratom is a cause for public health concerns, (which I doubt because of the high probability he knows exactly what he is doing and is creating a monopoly for big pharma) then he is more naive than a freshman in high school who just realized his elementary school D.A.R.E. program was all a lie after smoking some cannabis, and in that case should be removed from office immediately for his severe incompetence.

  19. Jake

    I’m very stressed like all of you about options after kratom therapy – in my case for depression and anxiety. Sorry to be the balloon buster but I’m not hopeful that our efforts will achieve anything; activists, journalists and the public have been petitioning for marijuana legalization for over half a century in far larger numbers that ours and it’s still stigmatized and not widely legalized. So why will our month-long effort known to few in the general public, stop an authoritarian gestapo-like agency as the DEA, from continuing with its preposterous, perhaps even illegal ban? Not going to happen.

  20. Kenny

    I wholeheartedly agree that there needs to be a full comment period. The DEA either did not do its homework or it is working for an entity that does not have the public’s best interests in mind!

  21. Anonymous

    DEA’s action will create a black market. Black markets themselves are fundamentally more dangerous to buyers & sellers than a legitimate market. Black markets do not pay taxes. Black markets costs taxpayers more due to expensive evidence gathering ops, judicial costs, and finally, prison costs. Black markets will always reemerge after a “bust” because of supply and demand. DEA “busts” somebody, and the incentives to supply the black market become stronger, encouraging a new generation of black market entrants. It is shocking that our government WANTS these problems for Americans. A government agency wishing to keep people safe would be better off focusing on education, harm reduction, and drug purity.

  22. Anonymous

    (This is a post that originally appeared on Reddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/kratom/comments/52ik2a/if_you_want_a_real_story_about_howwhy_kratom_is/)

    One name: Chuck Rosenberg
    Current position:
    Appointed Head of the DEA on 5/15/2015
    Past Positions: – Was Counsel at Hunton and Williams (2000 – 2002) which have ties to Big Pharma (Source here: https://www.hunton.com/Life_Sciences/) – Partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP also known as Hogan & Hartson (2008-2013). This company here is very important to remember. We’ll come back to it. (Source here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-announces-new-acting-administrator-drug-enforcement-administration)
    It turns out that Hogan & Hartson does quite a bit of lobbying for Big Pharma.
    Source here: https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/rev_summary.php?id=70942
    Wait!! it gets better
    Now here’s where everything ties together. So this company “The Janssen Pharmaceutical Company” a division of Johnson & Johnson which is in the process of developing on what seems a synthetic version of Kratom named PZM21. See link below. https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2016/08/40…killer-scratch
    As stated in the link above, Henry Lin is now principal scientist at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, a division of Johnson & Johnson. Well it turns out that Henry Lin “H.L. (referring to co-lead author Henry Lin, PhD of UCSF) received a pre-doctoral fellowship from the PhRMA Foundation.
    Johnson & Johnson and PhRMA have been old clients of the lobbying firm Hogan Lovells/Hartson since at least the year 2000 as seen in the PDF below. See Melissa Bianchi (https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/digitalmedicine-showcase/speakers/melissa-bianchi) page 20, Donna Boswell (http://www.hoganlovells.com/donna-boswell) page 21, Irene F. Chang (http://influenceexplorer.com/individual/irene-f-chang/228d5db223e442ae824474b5763d110d?cycle=2000) page 22, Stephan Lawton (https://www.bio.org/media/press-release/stephan-lawton-joins-bio-vice-president-regulatory-affairs-general-counsel) page 31, Warren Maruyama (http://www.hoganlovells.com/warren-maruyama) page 33 and many , many more. https://www.citizen.org/documents/pharmadrugwar.PDF
    We also have Trevena Inc, which is also in the trial phases with their own Mitragynine-mimicking synthetic (similar to PZM21). And of course, Trevena has ties to pharmaceutical company “Glaxo Wellcome”, which are also clients of Hogan & Hartson. More info on Trevena’s Kratom like synthetic TRV374 here: http://www.trevena.com/TRV734.php
    Just check employees profile from Trevena and quite a bit of the worked for Glaxo such as Maxine Gowen (https://www.linkedin.com/in/maxine-gowen-2711259?trk=pub-pbmap) and Conrad Cowan (https://www.linkedin.com/in/conrad-cowan-2808849)
    So in a nutshell… Chuck Rosenberg (Head of the DEA) just very recently used work for Hogan & Hartson which lobby’s for the pharmaceutical industry. Hogan & Hartson’s big Pharma client list includes Johnson & Johnson, PhRMA and Glaxo Wellcome. The Janssen Pharmaceutical company (Division of J&J) is in the process of creating a synesthetic version of Kratom. The principal scientist for PZM21 (Henry Lin) works for Janssen Pharmaceuticals and also received a pre-doctoral fellowship from the PhRMA foundation.. which again are both clients of Hogan & Hartson, which the head of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg recently used to work for.
    Coincidence? I THINK NOT!
    And the cherry on top.. Hogan & Hartson tie to the FDA
    http://www.law360.com/articles/43211/hogan-hartson-adds-partner-to-pharma-practice
    https://www.hoganlovells.com/en/service/pharmaceutical-and-biotechnology-regulatory-law

    • Ed Hoy

      THIS ABOVE is crucial information to understanding what is going on right now with the kratom ban

  23. Anonymous

    I don’t know how anyone could conclude otherwise, considering Chuck Rosenberg is part of the revolving door of government. From 2008 to 2013 he was a Partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP. Also known as Hogan & Hartson. Hogan & Hartson does quite a bit of lobbying for Big Pharma. [1]

    “The Janssen Pharmaceutical Company” is a division of Johnson & Johnson, which is in the process of developing a synthetic version of Kratom named PZM21. Johnson & Johnson has been clients of the lobbying firm Hogan Lovells/Hartson since at least the year 2000. [2]

    So… Chuck Rosenberg just very recently used work for Hogan & Hartson which lobbies for the pharmaceutical industry. Hogan & Hartson’s big Pharma client list includes Johnson & Johnson. The Janssen Pharmaceutical company (Division of J&J) is in the process of creating a synesthetic version of Kratom.

    Citations (please change “xx” to “tt”, for example hxxps becomes https):
    [1] hxxps://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/rev_summary.php?id=70942
    [2] hxxps://www.citizen.org/documents/pharmadrugwar.PDF

    This information comes from a Reddit post found here: hxxps://www.reddit.com/r/kratom/comments/52ik2a/if_you_want_a_real_story_about_howwhy_kratom_is/

  24. David Branch

    This truly is the craziness of this potential scheduling. Where is the separation of power and the checks and balances? At the cornerstone of Democracy and law itself is the guiding principle that those that enforce the law should not be the ones making the law. Of course a black market will occur which will then allow the DEA to justify there actions. Look at this scourge, we need even more resources now to combat it.

    Please leave enforcement to law enforcement and making laws to Congress and the people. Anything otherwise has shown us through history to result in Tyranny.

  25. Waw

    Kratom needs to be regulated, not prohibited entirely! There is simply no rationality behind reacting this way toward something that has been around for as long as it has with as many positive testimonials from upstanding citizens. Does this kind of reaction occur for truly dangerous drugs that are an imminent threat?

  26. Anonymous

    Yes, absolutely there is an “elephant in the room”. This ban has already created a black market and one that will make it LESS safe to consume Kratom as a dietary herbal supplement. As it is now, Kratom consumers have an entirely transparent community of vendors. Vendors who test their product for E. coli, mold and other contaminants. The sellers of Kratom have earned the trust of buyers by doing so. Once this is sent underground, Kratom sellers (make no mistake, they WILL exist) no longer have to provide transparency to consumers. They could sell anything and call it “kratom” when in fact it might not be. Anytime you purposefully create a black market for a consumer item unscrupulous sellers will take advantage and provide counterfeit, inferior and sometimes even dangerous items to satisfy consumer demand. This is a real issue.

    Another issue is enforcement. The DEA can not in any way, shape or form enforce this ban on consumers. Those who take Kratom responsibly exhibit no outward signs. Kratom does not affect speech, motor skills, critical thinking, the ability to drive, operate machinery, walk or run. It’s absolutely impossible to tell if someone has consumed kratom. BECAUSE KRATOM IS NOT A DRUG. It is an herbal supplement. Just like no one can tell when you ingest Lemon Balm or St. John’s Wort, there is no difference with Kratom.

    This blatant overreach by the DEA had clearly made it obvious that they have no idea what Kratom is. FACT – 0 deaths attributed to Kratom alone in all of time, FACT 0 overdoses attributed to Kratom alone in all of time, FACT approx. 980 overdose deaths PER YEAR due to acetaminophen alone. This does not include the use of acetaminophen with other substances. Why is not acetaminophen a public health hazard? People are dying. Make it a Schedule 1 to protect the public.

    Ridiculous you say? Schedule acetaminophen? It has accepted medicinal value. Deaths are ok as long as the ones who don’t die gain medicinal value. But take a benign HERB that causes 0 public harm, make it Schedule 1 and instantly millions of hardworking middle class Americans are felons, that’s ok? For absolutely no reason?

    The black market for Kratom will explode. We will lose transparency in the market place. We will lose uncontaminated product. We will see the rise of fake products, chemical products and 100’s of substitutes to replace what is legally available today and doing no harm. The black market and substitutes will cost billions of dollars to fight and the deaths, overdoses and harm to the public at large can not be counted.

    This decision is highly uninformed. It’s wrong. It is a failure of the DEA and a failure of the system as a whole when one agency has the power to MISTAKENLY classify a benign substance as a drug then mete out prison sentences to innocent citizens for making tea.

    • Anonymous

      Being a vendor, I agree this will occur. I won’t be taking any chances continuing business even before the 30th rolls around, but I assure you there may be a different plan for unscrupulous vendors who already are dishonest, liars, thieves, etc…. Those typesame of behavior exist in every industry out there, and they don’t care about customers. They only care about money, so that is where they will flock.

      Personally, we feel that this proposed ruling by the DEA was done exactly to create a black market. Problem > reaction > solution.

      There has not ever been any problem with Mitragyna speciosa (the true botanical specimen). It has been inexpensive enough that it would make no sense to adulterate it with anything synthetic or otherwise. Any issues brought to light have been because Mitragyna becomes the scapegoat. Blame it on nature, something our society has been taught to distrust because “nature is too variable”! Fortunately for this tree leaf, the science behind the un-abusive aspect is complex, as its Creator designed it to have a profile which does not allow one to overindulge. That’s the beauty of this plant, and never in the history of modern “medicine” has human been able to duplicate ANY herb in the lab. This known limitation within our system has caused other plants to be pushed out of reach. For Mitragyna speciosa, the material is imported, not grown domestically, so this presents a unique challenge compared to some other items. Right now, shipments are already being held in Customs before this ban goes into effect. Even if the ruling is overturned, other agencies within our government have already acted (likely illegally) in haste. They consider a proposed ruling to be as good as a law. Also, card processors for vendors are using the proposed ruling as justification to terminate accounts prematurely. Some vendors experienced a shutdown of their services only a week after the proposed ruling was published. That alone is already going to prepare unscrupulous vendors for black market activity, especially if they have to find some way to sell off their product legally before the ban. If banks won’t allow the transactions right now, the damage has already begun. We’ve witnessed four Mitragyna businesses in Denver to be shut down because of this PROPOSED ruling. Whether or not the actual cause is the MJ industry acting in cooperation with local Denver government, the mere mention of banning this tree has already created intense demand and forced open the channels for a black market! It seems this was a well thought out plan in our opinions.

  27. Momo

    I’m a 58 year old grandmother who still works 12 hour shifts. I take Kratom daily to help me deal with back pain and migraines. If it becomes illegal I would not turn to the black market (which there definitely will be) because I’m a law abiding citizen. I will, however, have to quit my job and probably lose my house because I will no longer physically be able to work.

  28. Andres V.

    The legalization of marijuana has eliminated a great deal of DEA activity in the respective legalized states. With marijuana legalized, they have no marijuana users to arrest nor investigate. What happens when the demand of a product or service decreases? Yes, you’ve seen it before during the Great Recession: LAYOFFS. The trend across the USA is toward marijuana legalization, and therefore, the risked of DEA layoffs will continue to increase in the years ahead. Now, enter kratom. Kratom has experienced rapid growth during these past few years. If we continue at this healthy rate of growth, people will begin to use Kratom and NOT dangerous drugs such as powerful opiates that cause death. So, in the long term, think of the illegal drug opiate market losing market share to the popular pain killing herb that relieves pain while not having the lethal side effect of respiratory depression. At this point, the services of the DEA will continue to dwindle as the illegal drug market share will continue to decrease. My point is that Kratom has a negative impact on the demand for the DEA’s services. They want to secure their jobs. That’s pretty much the reason for the Kratom ban. They do not care about the publics well being. They are willing to have people go back to heroin in order to keep their industry and jobs protected. It’s sickening and that’s what happens when you give a federal agency absolute power without checks and balances. I thought we had learned those lessons before!

  29. Andres V.

    Not only does the DEA get to secure their jobs as I mentioned in my previous post, but they get to INCREASE the demand for their services by making an herb illegal. Now they have more “crime” to fight. At the same time, the drug cartels have a brand new product to introduce to the market. The stronger the cartels, the more job security for the DEA. All at the cost of the American people. It truly is disgusting. …I almost forgot to mention that making Kratom illegal will also eliminate the competition of the LEGAL prescription drug manufacturers.

  30. Anonymous

    The Federal Government has already funded research on Kratom leading to the conclusion that it DOES have medicinal value:

    Government support awarded by: i) the National Institutes of Health (grant number NIH 022677); ii) the National Institute For Drug Abuse (grant numbers DA022677 and DA014929); and iii) the National Center for Research Resources (grant number P20RR021929). The government has certain rights in the invention.

    This led to patent applications for the active alkaloids in Kratom, the very things the DEA are trying to make Schedule1.

    Here you go:
    https://www.google.com/patents/US20100209542

  31. Anonymous

    I think it is important for us to not blanket oppose the entire DEA structure on this one…

    The men and women of the DEA are also doing some good things. I for one, totally appluade them for tackling a very dangerous element in our society. There really is some bad stuff happening around dangerous drugs (meth, heroin etc).

    But kratom is NOT one of those elements. Not even close!

    As with many of you, I am devastated by the “emergency” ban on kratom. The impact is far reaching and is going to cost lives. My heart breaks…

    My life is TOTALLY great since I found kratom. Complete turn around in managing my pain!

    And as with many of you, I have no idea what I am going to do now…

    • Andres V.

      I agree with you. I applaud the DEA and it’s great men and women for battling the true dangers within society. For battling cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and truly dangerous drugs. However, it’s inexcusable to unilaterally ban a benign and beneficial herb such as Kratom.

  32. Laura

    I’d like to voice my opposition to the DEA’s Intent to Schedule the alkaloids Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, which would make Kratom (Mitragynaspeciosa), a schedule 1 controlled substance with no medicinal value. This would put kratom, a plant helping millions of people suffering chronic and acute mental and physical conditions that is also safely easing the nation’s opiate epidemic problem naturally, on the same level as illegal drugs like heroin. It would also prevent further research which, to date, has shown kratom to be an effective painkiller that does not cause respiratory depression; the main cause of death from opiate overdose. Please visit http://www.americankratom.org/science for published studies and proven science regarding kratom’s safety and health benefits.

    My name is Laura Seltzer and I am a 35 year old female living in Salem, Oregon. I come from a law enforcement background (my father worked for the police) and I currently work for the Department of Human Services-Child Welfare. I am also a born again Christian and I genuinely love my country.

    Please listen to my story and see how this will negatively affect my life.

    I have struggled with Restless Legs Syndrome for almost as long as I can remember. In 2008 I discovered an herb that can help treat my condition on a Restless Legs Syndrome forum. It is called Kratom, or Mitragyna Speciosa. It is a deciduous tree in the coffee family. It is not synthetic or made in a lab, it is just a leaf that grows on a tree. I have used it since 2008 and it has helped my life immensely.

    It works better than any prescription medication I have ever taken, and I have never experienced any side effects or interactions with the other medications that I take. The only thing I experience after taking kratom is relief from my debilitating condition. I have tried Requip, Levodopa/Carbadopa, Mirapex, Benzodiazepenes, and prescription opiates to try to treat my condition. All unsuccessfully.

    My Restless Legs Syndrome is so severe it cripples me when left untreated. My skin feels like it is crawling and it’s often very painful. I can’t focus on anything else when I’m having a flare up. I actually found that Requip and Mirapex made my symptoms worse (called “augmentation”), and the opiates and benzodiazepenes interfered with my judgment and made me lethargic. They are also incredibly addicting. I experience no addiction from kratom at all.

    As I have taken kratom since 2008, that makes 8 years of regular use with no negative incidents at all. I take Kratom at only the lowest dose that effectively controls my symptoms, and I do not experience any psychoactive effects from it at all. All I get is relief from my condition. It does not affect my judgment or memory, or behavior. It doesn’t change my personality like opiates and benzodiazepenes do. That is why I love it. Making this substance a schedule I drug makes no sense at all.

    I found out today from the American Kratom Association, that the DEA has made an emergency scheduling ruling which would make my medicine a Schedule I substance as of September 30, 2016. Unfortunately, unscrupulous vendors out to make a quick buck have mis-marketed kratom as a “legal high”, and compared it to opiates. As someone who has taken opiates, I can tell you kratom is nothing like opiates, as in I can stop taking it all of a sudden and feel no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. The only result that happens from me stopping taking it is that my Restless Legs Syndrome stops being treated effectively.

    Just because some irresponsible people have abused this wonderful God-created plant, does not mean that the majority of us who use it condone that kind of abuse. One can abuse anything but the majority of people who take this plant do so for medicine, and do so responsibly, like I do.

    The main people who take Kratom are like I am: hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding, respectable citizens who love our country. Please don’t turn me into a criminal just because I want relief from Restless Legs Syndrome. I do not want the DEA to take my medicine away from me. I am all for regulation, let the government regulate it, including making an age restriction to only over age 18, or over age 21. But blanket scheduling out of nowhere is not productive.

    I would not be able to function at such a high level (full time employment) or have such a high quality of life without this plant. Please reconsider this law and keep it legal for the majority of users who use it as a legitimate medicine.

    I am baffled by this decision. I feel like I am living in Soviet Russia or something all of a sudden. I am a person with a conscience wherein I always pray to God and look at my own heart and motives for my actions, and am always seeking and trying to do right. Not saying I’m perfect or successful all the time. Of course I’m human and stumble and make mistakes like everyone else. But I read the Bible every day, I pray before work, at lunch, after work on my way home, and before bed. I LOVE God and I LOVE to do RIGHT (kindness to animals, encouraging others, etc.). In our society we tend to equate illegality with immorality. I know before this ban, in some cases, I did equate the two as well. But I have sought God earnestly on this subject, asking him to search me and let me know if all of a sudden kratom is a sin, since it’s set to become Schedule I. Before God as my witness, kratom feels like a blessing to me, not a sin, not a high that they are claiming it to be. I am having the hardest time reconciling my idea that the government is supposed to be there to protect us, and yet here they are doing something so wrong and so unjust, with the American people not even allowed to comment. How they are ignoring published science done by other federal agencies (USDA and National Institutes of Health). Why is congress silent? Why is no one helping us? Why don’t people care? I am baffled and depressed about this, and will continue to lift this issue up to God, asking him to battle for us in the heavenly places, knowing he knows the righteousness of our cause and the truth of our hearts that we just want to use this leaf because it heals us and it works better than anything else we have tried. According to the God I know, that is not a sin.

  33. Laura

    I am baffled by this decision. I feel like I am living in Soviet Russia or something all of a sudden. I am a person with a conscience wherein I always pray to God and look at my own heart and motives for my actions, and am always seeking and trying to do right. Not saying I’m perfect or successful all the time. Of course I’m human and stumble and make mistakes like everyone else. But I read the Bible every day, I pray before work, at lunch, after work on my way home, and before bed. I LOVE God and I LOVE to do RIGHT (kindness to animals, encouraging others, etc.). In our society we tend to equate illegality with immorality. I know before this ban, in some cases, I did equate the two as well. But I have sought God earnestly on this subject, asking him to search me and let me know if all of a sudden kratom is a sin, since it’s set to become Schedule I. Before God as my witness, kratom feels like a blessing to me, not a sin, not a high that they are claiming it to be. I am having the hardest time reconciling my idea that the government is supposed to be there to protect us, and yet here they are doing something so wrong and so unjust, with the American people not even allowed to comment. How they are ignoring published science done by other federal agencies (USDA and National Institutes of Health). Why is congress silent? Why is no one helping us? Why don’t people care? I am baffled and depressed about this, and will continue to lift this issue up to God, asking him to battle for us in the heavenly places, knowing he knows the righteousness of our cause and the truth of our hearts that we just want to use this leaf because it heals us and it works better than anything else we have tried. According to the God I know, that is not a sin.

  34. Arnold

    I get what the above comments are saying. We don’t want heroin and junk that IS killing people running rampant – go DEA. However… When something like kratom is targeted the way it has been targeted – apparently knee-jerk reaction and literally calling it an “opiate” when it is not – in any way – it is very, very suspect. What exactly is it they are trying to accomplish here? Elephant in the room indeed. Is this just about making merchandise of Americans?

    Being that there IS no emergency regarding kratom (just read the CRE’s second letter to see that it is not possible for the DEA to maintain that claim) – IT IS A FANTASTIC IDEA TO AT LEAST POSTPONE THE BAN.

    Look, DEA folks…you are taking this tea leaf that thousands (more likely hundreds of thousands if the white house petition is any indication) of Americans consume for pain reduction, reducing opiate withdrawals, lifting depressive feelings, or just simply to have a mild sense of well-being – demonizing it without consulting science OR EVEN THE OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES THAT HAVE USED APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO STUDY IT (wouldn’t they have said something if it was dangerous?) You are snatching it away without even giving the citizens who depend on it a split second to make other arrangements or find an alternative (or was that the idea all along?). The sad part is kratom IS the alternative – the alternative to being forced to take synthetic, side-effect-causing, expensive medication. Just because certain headshop idiots marketed kratom as some kind of “legal high” doesn’t mean the plant itself is harmful, and I’m sure you all know that.

    It is very hard NOT to see an “elephant in the room” in this situation, because despite all the clamour of kratom advocates, science, even the CRE – so far no one “in power” has uttered a peep. I truly hope our system isn’t so broken that all these voices – including regulatory watchdog calling out the DEA for breaking laws and agreements by how they have handled this – are completely ignored.

    PLEASE POSTPONE THIS BAN. Doing so would go a LONG way toward changing the impression of foul play and shut up conspiracy theory nuts. It will also show a bit of compassion toward the untold amount of Americans **scared to frickin death right now that they will suddenly – out of nowhere – be criminals for possession a tea leaf that some have used for safely for ten, twelve, fifteen years *** according to some of their stories.

    Come on, I know you can do it. DEAyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy (insert image of The Fonz)

    • Andres V.

      Excellent piece, Arnold.

  35. Anonymous

    I have Congestive Heart Failure and an implanted defibrillator. I must take Alpha/Beta blockers along with many other medications. The Alpha/Beta blockers block adrenaline making my life a living hell, that was until I started taking Kratom. I have been taking Kratom now for three years and never had any issues with it. I get my ICD interrogations every three-months and prior to taking Kratom I was plagued with tachycardia issues. I no longer have tachycardia issues. Banning Kratom would place me back into hell without energy. It is absurd that an unelected official could fuck up the lives of people who’ve clearly benefits from this natural plant.

  36. Anonymous

    I agree with the author completely. While I personally believe that kratom should not be placed on schedule 1 at all, delaying the ban until at least July of 2017 will give congress and other decision makers time to decide what they think about this substance and whether it really harms people (which the DEA is claiming) or helps people (which I believe it does, wholeheartedly, and I feel the research supports). Placing a substance that helps so many on schedule one is a decision that should not be rushed into due to the great number of people who will suffer.

  37. Anonymous

    The DEA needs allow more research into this amazing plant before jumping right into a harsh schedule 1 ban. It makes no sense and make felons out of normal productive citizens.

  38. Anonymous

    No, I don’t believe the DEA is ignorant of the kratom black market that will ensue after the ban. Of course they know exactly what’s going to happen. It’s their job to know. They want there to be a black market, because that’s more “business” for them. That’s job security. That’s additional funding from Congress. It’s in their best interest to create a black market for kratom in the US. Remember: this is all about business — the business of arresting drug users and sellers, and the business of big pharma, for which the DEA is there to rig the rules and destroy the competition. This is corruption of the highest caliber — ruining people’s lives to make more money.

  39. Anonymous

    It seems like the DEA made a rash decision without doing much investigation into what kratom is and what it is used for. They state that it doesn’t have medicinal value, well they didn’t even go so far as to Google search the government funded research done on it that shows it has several medicinal applications. They aren’t doing a good job of helping themselves and they certainly aren’t objective when analyzing data. If you excluded all of kratom’s uses that someone might abuse it for, it would still be a safe, cheap and natural way to help someone live with IBS, it’s been used in Indonesia for decades to treat diarrhea and IBS.

  40. Joshua Logan

    I am a 60 year old grandfather who relies on Kratom to help the effects of paralyzing anxiety attacks, depression and insomnia, If this ban goes into affect I will be forced back to pharmaceuticals and live a life of more depression and a quality I wish to never experience again.

    This should be regulated and studied not made illegal and unavailable at any cost, Why such a hurry to ban a tree that has served mankind for 1000’s of years???

  41. Michael

    To have kratom become schedule I is completely wrong. I have used it for 4 years and have never had any adverse effects. We all know that when things get prohibited it creates a market of demand for the product. Also this ban may be linked directly to thousands of lost lives due to prescription opioids. People should have the right to make choices for themselves. Kratom has made me a productive member of society again. Please help educate and spread awareness about this safe all natural plant (in the coffee family) -Thank you for your time.

  42. Anonymous

    The gov doesn’t care about us. Kratom saves lives

  43. Anonymous

    The Elderly and Chronic Pain suffers can fill up the prisons since they will be considered felons for using a thousand year old plant to help them deal with their conditions. I am also curious to know why the DEA is so concerned about herbal remedies, rather than doing their jobs of law enforcement?

    I feel as if the DEA has trampled on my rights and did not give anyone a say in the matter by banning kratom, especially when there is so much science out there to support that kratom is not a threat. This is madness on the part of the DEA

  44. Leslie McCarthy

    I was raised and lived in the Belmont/Laconia area of NH from 1972 until 2012. I knew in 2005-2006 that prescription drug abuse was rampant among the students at the local High School. My children and their friends would openly talk about it. They weren’t hard to come by they just took them from mom and dad’s medicine cabinets. That is how it starts, right under your nose.

    That’s how it started for my son 7 years ago. He was working at a local pizza shop in Gilford, NH. He and his friends would work 12 hour shifts. It started out as just a way to get a little pep in your step for the long night ahead; you know a little “buzz”. The first time he snorted a ½ of Percocet he immediately vomited. But boys will be boys and they egged each other on. The second time, it hit the “Sweet Spot”. Work was fun, noting bothered him and he never had a “bad day”. He was emotionally numb and that felt pretty good to an adolescent. But what he didn’t realize was it was then, at that movement, he also lost himself and I lost my son. His girlfriend and soon to be mother of his children lost the love of her life. Soon, his only focus was finding a way not to get “sick”. He couldn’t keep a job because he was always taking time off or being late because he had to find a fix so he could feel “normal”. Do you understand that? He had to now snort Percocet’s to feel normal. At that time it would cost around $30.00 for a ½ of a “blue”. I can’t tell you how many things have been stolen, pawned, borrowed, and lost unexpectedly. The lies and deceit, the hurt and pain for those of us who love an addict is palpable. The relationships that have been ruined, the time in jail, and the costs associated with trying to fix them; I lost count of. If you are a single parent with no real resources you are own your own. Rehab is expensive, the Nathan Brody program in Laconia is a tool but not anywhere near the commitment needed to actually get them to stop. I’m his mom and even for me, he couldn’t stop. It is so easy for people to point fingers and say things like they choose to use, and what losers they are but I can tell you that most addicts were real, good and loving people before they started using and they still are but they and their brains have been hijacked. He was lost. He welcomed his first born into this world HIGH. He spent all of their money and they lost several apartments because of his addiction. I moved them in with me and that is where I saw firsthand what Opiate sickness/withdrawals will do to someone. They lived with me for several months and as always he would appear to be getting better. A month or two would go by and you could finally start to breathe again and then there would be $20.00 missing from your purse or his sisters. Or people would come by the house looking for him because he “borrowed” their PlayStation and I would know he was using again. That was my life for five and a half years.

    I was at a loss. I had hit rock bottom and had lost any hope of helping my first born and chose to leave Nh behind. My own health, both mentally and physically were in jeopardy. I actually moved all the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma just trying to save what was left of my mind. I felt helpless and hopeless. I hoped that by my removing myself and my “help” would force him to hit bottom and he could start to reclaim his life. But when I left I also understood that it could be the last time I saw him breathing. I won’t say alive because at that point he wasn’t really alive. My son who was smart, funny, caring and sweet was gone. What was there was someone I didn’t even like. Try living with that.

    He did manage to sober up and stayed sober for almost a year. But of course when an addict is using they often make decision that rightfully come home to roost. He was arrested for “Theft by Unauthorized Taking”. By the time this happened I was living in PA. Because of all his past run in with the police and court system he was looking at a lengthy sentence. He and his Lawyer got the Judge to agree to not put him in prison if he moved to PA with me for a year, did counseling and get, and kept a job. But that also meant he had to leave his family behind in NH for a year, he now had two children. He stayed clean, I think for about a month. You see that’s the “thing” about Opiates, if you take them you don’t feel any pain. He wanted to be numb. So, there we were again. Only this time I knew to keep my purse next to my bed and not to have anything that could be pawned so he was able to hide his use for a little while. But the same patterns quickly emerged but by this time he was snorting heroin. Heroin as you have all now figured out is available and cheap.

    These days, a half of a “blue” Percocet will cost you $45.00 from a dealer while heroin cost only $5.00/bag /a dose. If an addict needs to take 4 pills a day in order not to get “sick” it will cost $320.00 a day to feel normal. It is easy to see why they are switching to heroin. It is economics. I can tell you, it was the longest year of my life. He ended up admitting himself to a seven day detox in Pa. When he got out I told him I was moving back to Oklahoma and I couldn’t do anything else for him. He needed to want to be clean.

    The problem was he was newly sober and was heading right back into the Lion’s Den, Laconia, NH. He did fine for a few months until another major emotional trauma. That was in July 2015. By November 2015 he called to tell me if I couldn’t get him out of there he was going to end up dead just like the other dozen or so of his friends who had overdosed. I flew him to Oklahoma the week before Thanksgiving. I held him while he convulsed, wiped his tears as he mourned the loss of his children again, forgave him while he cursed me because I wouldn’t give him the keys to my car so he could go ‘buy smokes”. I knew better.

    I also knew that he needed something to help with the sickness so I started doing research into holistic withdrawal treatments. That’s when I stumbled upon Kratom. I read everything I could find about it. I joined a Facebook page dedicated to its use. I got myself educated. I was hesitant because I did fear we might be replacing one crutch with another but I am a firm believer that we as humans have been given all the medicine we need, here on earth, to fix what ails us and we have let Corporations alter what God intended into a Franken Pharmacology.

    He was now 3 days into withdrawals. I ordered 4 ounces of Red Vein Kratom and gave him his first dose, about a tablespoon mixed with water and I took one myself. I wasn’t going to give him something that I wouldn’t take myself and I wanted to understand what effects it could produce. He gagged and almost threw up but he managed to keep it down and within 20 minute his legs were finally still. The color returned to his face and the strained look of withdrawal was lessening its grip. He looked at me and started crying. He didn’t have to say anything, I knew it was working. For me, well amazingly the acute pain in my feet from psoriatic arthritis disappeared for the 1st time in years. If you could see the efforts in swallowing Kratom you would know that most people would rather not! He is now 302 days clean, has a full time job, has paid off the $800.00 plane ticket that got him here and is paying his child support weekly. We can talk about his addiction now, where before it was an untouchable subject. He tells me that he no longer even thinks about heroin and that Kratom doesn’t get him high, it evens him out. He also has ADD and he is able to focus. He is now HVAC Journeyman. He is back at the gym 4 days a week and starting to look like the son I lost 7 years ago. He has told me that he knows without Kratom he would have gone back to street drugs.

    Drugabuse.gov states “The number of prescriptions for opioids (like hydrocodone and oxycodone products) have escalated from around 76 million in 1991 to nearly 207 million in 2013, with the United States their biggest consumer globally, accounting for almost 100 percent of the world total for hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin) and 81 percent for oxycodone (e.g., Percocet).[5] . In 2012, over five percent of the U.S. population aged 12 years or older used opioid pain relievers non-medically.”

    There was that ‘one” time for so many. There are many things in our society that are addictive but the difference is that those things don’t typically rewire the brain and unlike alcohol that takes years to have crippling effects on the person’s mind and body, heroin, and opiates in general, take a person over very quickly.

    Having said all of that I find it sad that people think that an organic leaf that is helping Millions of people get off and stay off Opiate should be banned. Kratom is not the monster, Opiate addiction is.

    Sincerely,
    Leslie E. McCarthy
    Tulsa, OK

    • Christopher Robin Young

      Thank you for sharing this incredibly difficult story…I’m a former addict myself, and I was greatly touched by this. Kratom has given me my life back, given my wife her husband back, and saved us from the financial ruin that my addiction was inevitably leading to. Thank you Leslie. You are a saint.

  45. Jeremy

    The logical thing to do is to at least delay the ban. It’s an overreach in power to do such a sudden ban and will hurt way too many people. So many people have gotten their quality of life back with this plant and this is just a rash decision with zero evidence. A fair process is due.

  46. Anonymous

    The tyranny the DEA wants to unleash by banning kratom with zero scientific evidence and lack of due process is nothing short of unjust criminality of an epic magnitude. I suffer from severe suicidal depression and chronic fatigue syndrome without kratom. Celexa, zoloft and paxil did nothing to help my condition and in fact made it worse all while experiencing horrible side effects. Kratom literally saved my life and has allowed me to be a happy, healthy and productive functioning member of society, without which I am not. Apparently the DEA couldn’t care less if I were to end up offing myself, or about the millions of honest, hard working Americans who need kratom to curb their debilitating conditions and allows them to simply have a life worth living. I can not believe that other members of my fellow species are so willing to blindly induce such catastrophic pain and suffering to their own kind for absolutely no just reason whatsoever, I just can’t believe it.

  47. Anonymous

    I am a 36 year old Security Engineer from Seattle, WA. I wanted to comment on the recent decision to put Kratom on the list of Schedule 1 drugs by the DEA.

    In 2012 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and after 3 surgeries I was left with chronic pain which left me bedridden most days. The doctors provided me with all types of pain killers which still left me bedridden and unable to work due to their side effects. I would be slightly out of pain, but be too “high” to function. In 2013 I was introduced to Kratom by a friend who was utilizing it for her fibromyalgia. I tried it soon after and was amazed at it effectiveness. I was pain free, had some energy and it did not have the “high” that narcotic pain pills have. I have been using Kratom ever since and it has given me my life back. I am now working which I could not do before, I am able to fully function which I also could not do before.

    Not long after I tried Kratom I began reading what could only be described as propaganda against Kratom on different media outlets. There were misconceptions that Kratom was the new pain killer stronger than Morphine that cause relapses in opiate abusers. There were reports of deaths, however they were not proven to be caused by Kratom, just anecdotal evidence stating Kratom was the cause. For example there was recently a death attributed to Kratom by a mother who’s son had committed suicide and she blamed it on Kratom since she found empty packets in his room. The young man was also on a mired of anti-depressants which are known to cause suicidal thoughts in young people. Correlation is not causation and I have not seen one credible death linked to Kratom where the cause of death was proven to actually be Kratom. I would like to also mention that while 15 deaths have been erroneously linked to Kratom, Four deaths in the UK and up to 60 worldwide have recently been directly attributed to the substance 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), an industrial chemical that has become popular among people wanting to lose weight, including bodybuilders and people with eating disorders, however this is not on an emergency list for Scheduling. The DEA notice also attributes over 600 calls to poison control, however to put that in perspective poison control received 4201 calls in regards to energy drinks and caffeine in 2013 alone.

    Current peer reviewed studies on Kratom and its constituents have shown that Kratom has no acute toxicity, displays powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties, assists with drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, contains several oxindole alkaloids which have exhibited potent immunomodulation properties, and even contains constituents that have exhibited anti-cancer properties! A brief search in any scholarly database will present many peer reviewed studies and clinical trials that can attest to the medical potential of this plant. In short, Kratom does not present a significant threat to human health or safety on any level and does not belong in Schedule 1, period.

    If Kratom does end up on Schedule 1, even temporarily, we will never be able to research this natural plant as a medicine because as we all know once this has been put on Schedule 1, it’s not coming off. Marijuana is a great example. Adding it will make it almost impossible to do the research necessary to show the medicinal benefits. Kratom has been used for hundreds of years in Thailand and is currently banned, but Kratom, also known as Thang, Thom, and Biak, was not originally banned because of substance abuse. When the Thai government started levying taxes from users and shops involved in the opium trade many users switched to Kratom to manage their withdrawal symptoms. The Greater East Asia War in 1942 and declining revenues from the opium trade eventually suppressed the opium market competition by making Kratom illegal. Thailand is now looking to legalize Kratom once again as people have been using this for thousands of years with no cases of overdose, psychosis, murder, violent crime. Never in all of recorded history.

    Not to mention this plant is saving lives. People that were addicted to opiates are being helped by it and getting their life back. That is not because Kratom is the same as opiates, because it isn’t. It doesn’t get you high, it takes away the withdrawal symptoms associated with strong opiate pain killers. Kratom was something they could use to manage their disease on their own time. It was easily accessible and affordable unlike the other options such as Methadone or Suboxone which is hard to get on a program if you don’t have insurance or can’t afford the drug. Now, with the DEA taking away that option I’m afraid people are going to go back to whatever they were doing before causing the death toll will skyrocket. If you want to save lives and keep people save as you claim, you will keep Kratom legal.

    I do understand there should be some regulations concerning Kratom, such as the “extracts” and “drinks” that people have made and added other known or unknown chemicals. Why can’t you just regulate/ban everything with the exception of the whole leaf for now until research has been completed?

    In closing I would kindly ask you to please don’t take my life away again. I am a mother of 4 who has to work full time to support her family and I am unable to manage my pain effectively in other ways. Me and hundreds of thousands of others are begging you to reconsider this decision and look at both sides of this situation, not just the unproven fear driven side.

  48. Adam Fovenesi

    Please delay the ban to at least consider the facts. There is a reason we have brilliant scientists in the country. There is also a reason we have checks and balances. This ban will hurt and likely kill more people than can be fathomed. At the bare minimum delay the ban until July 1, 2017 to review all the science behind the great things that the kratom leaf does for so many of us.

  49. Anonymous

    The motives for this ban are severly transparent. Especially considering the recent announcements of new opoid medications similar in structure to this plant’s active compounds.

  50. Anonymous

    I am a 57 year old grandmother and have used natural kratom leaf as a tea for 11 years with only positive results . I also recommend it to family and friends and not one has ever had a problem with using it responsibly . It does not make one “high” or intoxicated in any way , it is not addictive and nothing like an opiate. My Judgement remains clear and motor skills are not impaired, in fact I find it helps with focus . There is not one single reason this plant needs to be banned , in fact it should be embraced for the wellness it provides so many.

    Many people do not and will not choose natural alternatives, the drug companies won’t lose all their business I am sure, so please leave those of us who do choose to add natural remedies to our wellness routines the right and freedom to continue to do so.

    12 years is a very long time to now suddenly be told that I have been using a dangerous substance for over a decade . I absolutely do not agree. I can’t even conceive of being turned into a felon suddenly for drinking this tea. Yes, It will create a black market, then people won’t know who to trust , unscrupulous suppliers will most likely add other substances to it then you will find it is what you are now claiming, only after it is adulterated will it become a dangerous substance. Right now it is not.

    I urge you to please delay this decision for a fair hearing and let us have a say in the laws we are expected to comply with . Their are many people here telling you they are not in agreement with this ban, I urge you to pause and listen, Banning this botanical is going to create more of a problem then you now realize .

  51. sdCorinne

    My name is Corinne. I am Kratom.

    I’ve never taken the time to write to one of my elected officials before, but I’ve also never felt so threatened by my own government before, either. The reason I, and many others who are also making their voices heard, feel so threatened, is because of the DEA’s Intent to Schedule the alkaloids Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, which would make the Kratom plant (Mitragynaspeciosa), a schedule 1 controlled substance with no medicinal value. This decision will be downright harmful to many people, including myself. Kratom currently provides safe, natural, side-effect free relief for people suffering from chronic pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADD, and it even helps people struggling with addiction get off of drugs and alcohol, and live sober, functioning lives. We are hoping to save Kratom not only for ourselves, but for more people who could also find help from it like we have. Kratom is not a drug that people hoard and become addicted to, it is a remedy that many of us desire to share with others, but have been unable to because of stigma and falsehoods.

    My first experience with Kratom was almost four years ago, when my boyfriend gave some that he had gotten from a local head shop to me before a family wedding. He said it was supposed to help with anxiety, which I was definitely experiencing. I was skeptical, I think I even called it “snake oil,” but I ate my words. I did not get high like a drug. I was not impaired like alcohol. I was just able to be myself, not a nervous wreck, even though I was around so many relatives (which for me, unfortunately is not an ideal situation).

    I did not take Kratom regularly from that point on. To be honest, even though my own experience proved its functionality to me, I was still skeptical. “It’s a head shop product,” I’d think. “It comes in ugly packages and it’s sold by guys who sell bath salts and other questionable substances. It’s gotta be BAD, or at least not ‘good,'” I’d say to myself. But I was wrong. Guilt by association was not guilt, it was just good old fear and misinformation filling in the gaps of my ignorance. My boyfriend continued buying Kratom from the shop, and used it daily for anxiety. Over time, I saw him go from two grams of prescribed Klonopin a day, down to one, without any kind of adverse effects. During this same time, I had started seeking treatment for my own mental health issues.

    If you have never sought professional help for your own mental health before, you may not know how frustrating it can be. For someone like me, even more so. Although I can now succinctly state, “I have mental health issues stemming from childhood abuse, abandonment, and neglect that manifest in depression, anxiety, attention deficit, debilitating “fight/flight/freeze” reactions, panic attacks, and binge eating,” it wasn’t always that easy. It took years. Being prescribed incorrect, unhelpful, or even harmful drugs. Searching for a therapist who listens and actually treats you with compassion (which I was incredibly lucky to find, though not FIRST). Not being able to express my feelings without crying. Wondering if I’m just always going to be broken, off, incomplete… If you don’t know that feeling, it’s hard to understand HOW significant a simple leaf – comparable to coffee or tea – can be to those of us who do.

    About a year ago, after being fed up with the grogginess, weight gain, GI issues, and overall zombie-like feeling of being on mood stabilizing drugs (commonly prescribed for people in my situation of gray-area diagnosis), I decided to give Kratom an honest shot. I’m still on Lexapro, an anti-depressant, but adding Kratom to my daily self care regimen has truly been life changing. I feel in control of my emotions, rather than feeling like my emotions control me. I don’t feel like I am “under the influence” of anything, rather, it feels like my depression and anxiety have LESS influence over me. I am able, in times of high stress, to remain composed and rational, able to think through problem-solving solutions rather than give up in frustration or fear. I have made more progressive steps for my own mental health – confronting hard memories from the past that triggered unwanted behaviors/responses in me, finding strength to take responsibility for my future instead of just blaming those old hurts – things I never thought I’d be able to do, and I believe Kratom has been instrumental in that progress.

    No one would claim that Kratom is a magical cure-all for what ails you. I take great pride in the work I’ve done, and in the strides I’ve taken to work through my barriers to mental health and happiness. I acknowledge that my journey has been helped immeasurably by a caring partner who has been there for me during times of immense hardship, deep depression, and feelings of utter hopelessness. I can’t deny that love and safety have been key players in my personal recovery. That being said, denying that Kratom has played a major role would be just as insincere and untrue. The difference that Kratom has made in my daily life is almost miraculous. I was afraid of being stuck in a life of yucky Rx drugs that made me too tired to work and zapped me of all my personality, or not being on anything and being stuck under the mountain of my depression. Kratom offered me a dream come true – freedom from my depression and anxiety, and the energy and presence of mind to still be my friendly, warm, caring self. I get to be ME.

    It should be known, we stopped buying head shop Kratom after my boyfriend found a community on Reddit. He found people there with similar stories of searching for help from depression and pain, as well as myriad testimonies of people having their first successful attempts at sobriety. He met people who came together to share their experiences and to offer help and encouragement to those who just needed moral support. Sometimes members would even band together if one of their friends was in financial trouble. (Side note: I have never had an issue with illicit drugs. I grew up in a home where drug/alcohol abuse and addiction were big red flags of what I never wanted to be. The “drug people” I grew up around sure didn’t love and support each other, and they sure didn’t share their “stuff” like “Kratom people” seem to – because Kratom simply isn’t a drug.) That community, and many like it, also helped us find vendors who sold Kratom at much better prices than what we could find in head shops. The vendors genuinely seem to have a legitimate personal investment in Kratom, not just a financial one. They know the benefits of this simple plant either from first-hand experience, or they see how it helps people regain their lives when NOTHING ELSE COULD. Kratom isn’t simply a money-making venture, but a people-helping one as well, evidenced in their pricing, and willingness to donate to people with financial difficulties. (One could easily argue that the American pharmaceutical industry could learn a lot from their methods.)

    Many of us stayed quiet about our Kratom consumption because we knew it was misunderstood by some. We heard the accusations of it being like bath salts. We heard about it being compared to heroin and opiates. We knew it was wrong, but because people love to cling to what they know – regardless of its validity – it didn’t always seem “worth” the time and effort to educate those who would vilify Kratom. However, what the DEA is proposing to do now is inspiring many of us to take a stand and say “I Am Kratom.” We simply cannot sit by quietly while lies and fear are spread about a plant that has saved our lives. Allowing it to become Schedule I, deeming it of no medical value, as dangerous as heroin, is WRONG. To criminalize something so valuable to so many already – and potentially to so many more – solely based on poor anecdotal evidence and FEAR, would be a breach of justice. It would be a blow to our freedom as Americans.

    There is also a very legitimate concern that public safety is not even what is spearheading this so-called “emergency,” but rather, the almighty dollar. There is substantial reason to believe that drug companies are close to (or are already done) synthesizing the beneficial properties of Kratom, which unlike an ordinary, God-given plant, can be patented and lead to LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY. We are getting the message loudly and clearly that IF what is in the best interest of American citizens does not line up with the easiest way for someone to make a quick buck, we, the citizens, are the ones who will suffer. We are ordinary people who have found an ordinary plant that helps us live ordinary lives, instead of lives filled with pain or depression. To be told that our wellbeing is not as valuable as some corporation’s profit margin is to be an American in 2016, I suppose.

    The DEA continues to spread propaganda and fake horror stories in order to keep the uneducated populous ignorant. They demonize Kratom and us, its users, so people aren’t aware of what a wonderful thing is actually being taken from us. Enough is enough. We are raising our voices in truth, in solidarity, and in love. The DEA has no right to make illegal, that which can bring freedom and renewed life to so many. The American government has no right to play God and say that this plant is suddenly “sinful,” especially if the real motivator is greed. We are calling on those of you who were elected or put in positions of power for our support and protection, to stand up for us who are being victimized by unethical practices. We are asking you to do what is right, and help Kratom remain legal and accessible. We are asking for justice.

  52. H. Gray

    I am a 39 year old mother and voter. The kratom ban should be delayed while more research is done. Kratom could possibly help many suffering americans a great deal. There is anecdotal evidence that the disabled, sufferers of addiction and the mentally ill are able to function fully and productively in society like never before .To ban it without allowing us to comment or allowing researchers to study it is a slap in the face to many people who have used this plant to positively transform their lives.We have an opiate crisis in this country, and the government shouldn’t take away something that can potentially help with that crisis. This is 2016 and we have the tools to keep people safe without banning everything that helps us feel better. We must allow science to rule our decisions..

  53. James R

    I would like to add that the online vendor I use for Kratom is an experienced, established botanical business that offers many varieties of teas, herbal supplements, even various types of natural candies. They are in the U.S., they have wonderful customer service, and are just great people overall. They inspect all of their kratom for pesticides and impurities, on their own, because they really do care about their customers and want to serve them the best they can. They are a small business, and they work hard.
    If kratom is banned, they will lose their business. Not because people will necessarily stop purchasing kratom, but because this fine American small business will be forbidden from doing the good work they’ve been doing for so many years. Kratom will become yet another “black market” commodity, peddled by unscrupulous foreign vendors who do not care about their customers. I fear for anyone who is forced to obtain their kratom in this manner, because they truly will be at risk.
    If our government must meddle in what appears to be an already-established, self-regulated market, why can’t they offer help instead of prohibition? Quality control instead of criminalization? So many lives have been improved by this plant. It is an asset to our people and our market economy. Our government should be in the business of assisting our vendors, not squashing them. Sometimes we find new remedies, and very often they come from “exotic” locales. That does not mean they are dangerous. It just means we need to educate ourselves about them and embrace them. Support those who, as free citizens, choose to use these remedies to maintain their quality of life.
    This does not seem like a difficult task. The kratom community is relatively small. It’s time for the FDA to step up and offer assistance. Why the knee-jerk reaction to ban? Criminalize? When all kratom really needs — if anything at all — is a helping hand? Ask us. Let us speak to this as a community. We will tell you what we need.

  54. Anonymous

    Kratom has been legal for decades in this country and has been used to centuries in others, this “emergency ban” is extremely unfair to those who use Kratom to help cope with the physical and mental trauma that have happened to them throughout their lives. We are all ordinary people who contribute to society and we only wish to function so that we can be able to get through life. I first discovered Kratom through a guy who I had met, he told me it’s a good way to relax at the end of the day, seeing how I do don’t drink alcohol and I have a great appreciation for plants (Nature’s medicine) I decided to try it. I was astounded by the effects it had on me, I knew immedietly that I would be buying my own. I was 19 years old when I first tried it, I had started college when I was 18 and in between my high school graduation and my first semester of college a lot of stuff happened. Things that were out of my control yet I couldn’t help but obsess over, it took a huge toll on me and let to depression, insomnia, and irritability.. Mind you I had tried many different supplements with no success in the past.. When my first order of kratom arrived at my house I used it that night and I had the best nights sleep I have had in a long time. Before Kratom I was averaging about 1.5 – 2 hours of sleep per night , not because I had no time, but because my mind was constantly in distress and couldn’t seem to shut down, I would lay in bed for 7-8 hours and couldn’t shut down.. The lack of sleep was taking a toll on my grades, my relationships, and my overall mental and physical health. I was just a normal person that had been through some traumatic events which caused a lot of mental issues and Kratom helped me cope with the trauma.. I have been using Kratom daily for about 2.5 years, I have had absolutely no symptoms associated with ingesting Kratom. It allows me to fall asleep at night, so I can be a functioning adult in the morning when I wake up. I choose to take Kratom because I don’t want to use alcohol or pills to help me cope (been there, done that) .. Kratom is truly a special herb and it gave me my life back. Banning Kratom would effect the quality of life of thousands of people each day. Do the right thing, keep Kratom legal.

  55. Anonymous

    Thank you CRE. I only came across Kratom in the last six months after a desperate search for a natural alternative to prescription opiates for chronic pain (after multiple surgeries and blood clots that have permanently damaged my veins), life long IBS and anxiety. I am absolutely grateful for the relief it has provided me with no side effects and the ability to use it and still work 10 hour days (no drowsiness!) and take care of a toddler. This announcement by the DEA came as a shock and still confounds me. Further, the distortion of facts to demonize Kratom and further their cause is unsettling. The loss of Kratom will disappoint me and require me to go back to opiates for pain, and I can’t even imagine what will happen to those that have found it a godsend for fighting addiction, PTSD, pain much worse than mine, and all of the other reasons people have made Kratom a part of their daily life.

  56. Whocares000009

    Setting aside the inherent irrationality of a policy which aims to protect people from the dangers of ‘drugs’ by sending them to dangerous prisons and ensuring that they are virtually unemployable and will likely spend much of their rest of their lives in poverty.
    Setting aside the argument that it is not the government’s duty to protect the people from the consequences of their own informed decisions, especially when the tool they use is actually more damaging than said consequences.
    Setting aside the demonstrable fact that black markets themselves create most of the problems with which ‘drugs’ are usually attributed; such as increasing the risk of overdose due to adulteration and lack of product labeling and consistency, the funding of organized crime rather than smal businesses, and the funding of terrorism rather than small businesses.
    Kratom is provably safe, at least as safe as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, therefore there is nothing to even protect informed consumers from, let alone to justify the creation of a black market which decreases rather than increases safety for consumers, nor to create consequences far more severe than any risks consumers may face from consuming the product.
    It is imperative that the DEA not rush to a hasty conclusion here, and that the people be given an opportunity to continue to make their case as they have been doing. The DEA must extend their deadline and I am confident in so doing they will come to see that Kratom needs only modest regulation (age limitations for example) and does not need to be scheduled.

  57. Josh D

    Kratom killed my desire to drink and helps my back pain its a plant with a long history of safe use i want it to stay legal.

  58. Travis

    I am a 28 year old bartender and am attending school full time in my last year while raising my6 year old daughter. She relies on me. Before her I was a raging alcoholic addicted to both oxycodone and xanax. My best friend died from an overdose of these two things. The bottom line is that kratom allowed me to stop these things altogether and cut all the shady people I had to deal with to get these things out of my life to give a better life to my girl. The bottom line is it helped turn my life around. When my daughter was younger, I’d need to be able to get up at any hour and pretty much run on zero sleep. Kratom allowed me to not be a mindless, grouchy zombie at that point in my life. The best things about kratom are that it doesn’t change you as a person like alcohol or xanax does and that while it does improve mood, it doesn’t cause any respiratory depression. An unexpected benefit of finding kratom was the ability to then get off my prescription xanax. I haven’t had any desire to take xanax since I found kratom. On xanax I’d be a ballsy, sloppy asshole with a bad memory. I am just so fortunate I no longer have to walk around in that state. I am prone to seizures and had multiple due to my prescribed xanax. Contrary to rumor, kratom does not cause seizures as I’ve now taken it everyday for the last six years and haven’t had one. Kratom is already widely available on the deep web and places like silk road. All this ban will do is up the value of that stuff on that black maket. Come to think about it, that sounds like exactly the reason the DEA wants to schedule kratom. I am terrified that this will happen as kratom really helps me have the energy to go to school and to deal with people at my job and come home to give my daughter attention.

  59. Anonymous

    This ban will cause harm to a great many people in more ways than I had considered. It is sad to see my government so willing to deem its citizens criminals on a whim. Not only will they take this helpful plant from so many who truly need it but they will do it with little regard for those who they will hurt not only from a lack of this plant but those who they place in cages. I’m certain this isn’t how a government protects or serves your citizens.

  60. Zachary P

    Kratom has helped me incredibly over the past few years in overcoming severe back and knee pain. It has allowed me to get off of pharmaceuticals that were slowly destroying my body. I believe more review is necessary, as this plant poses a great benefit for medical study.

  61. Waw

    Yes! Due process for something that is clearly not an “imminent threat” having been used by thousands in US for many years by hard working up standing citizens.

  62. Mikaela

    Kratom has given me life, where my reactions to oxycodin, vicodin and stronger stuff was killing me slowly, but surely.

    An accident left me with chronic pain in my gut. Imagine a bad stomach ache. Now imagine having this stomach ache 24/7. This is what my normal state feels like. I am literally unable to sleep unless I find some relief.

    I have tried everything; from prescription drugs to hypnosis and it was literally gut-wrenching, to the extent where I was ready to end it all. In all my hopelessness, I tried kratom and it actually helped me! It alleviates my pain in a natural and functional way, and it has helped me to actually have a job and lead a life where I can move and am able to hold my children and loved ones, without pain.

    Don’t take kratom away from me. Don’t take my life away from me.

  63. Anonymous

    Taking this plant away will just turn productive citizens into criminals over night. Also it will just affirm what the public knows as to how much power the pharmaceutical companies have over our government. This plant has saved me from pharmaceutical synthetic pills. How can you have synthetic pills legal and a raw natural leaf un processed illegal? Sounds corrupt and ridiculous. People should have the right to choose if they want a natural alternative to pills. I own a business, employ 4 people, offer them benefits, hold a family, etc. I was never this productive on suboxone. Please reconsider this ban and do the proper research before banning this miraculous plant. I promise they’ll be millions of people still filling prescriptions so big pharma won’t lose to much money. Some but not that much.

  64. David P.

    As the CRE mentioned Kratom is legal in the countries to the north and the south. Banning Kratom will lead people to try and obtain a medicinal herb over the border. How many people’s lives will be ruined if they get caught doing that? This will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars when people are sent to jail for this atrocity that the DEA has labeled as “Public safety.” Or the DEA can do the smart and logical thing. If they allow vendors to return to their businesses then the IRS can collect taxes on these businesses and improve the economy by not throwing innocent people into jail. How long can the DEA continue to overstep its reach with this failed war on drugs until the chaos lands on their front lawn? Do they want riots? Because this is how you get riots.

    • Vendor

      I’m a vendor and am now going to be flat broke shortly after September because of this. I will not be able to afford my taxes, and with the losses incurred from our latest purchases and expenses, we will be in a huge hole still. We can’t afford our Installment Agreement with the IRS we’ve been diligently paying the IRS for years. Am I to call the IRS and tell them, “Sorry fellas, the Government shut me down”?

      Another fellow vendor just lost their card processor, something that is common right now. Banks are acting on the proposed ruling without just cause. There are now thousands more kg’s of material being held/seized in Customs because they are “prohibited by DEA”. All the damage is done, and the action by the DEA is already in effect regardless of the Sept 30th deadline.

      ONE man had the power to destroy hundreds of legitimate businesses.
      ONE man is destroying the lives of many millions of human beings.
      ONE man should not have this much power.

      Our country is officially dead. This marks the true end of the USA.

  65. Chelsea

    I am a law-abiding citizen. I have never used an illegal drug in my life, and stay away from narcotics even when they are prescribed to me. I don’t smoke. I rarely drink. I have used kratom with much success for the past several months to help with chronic pain from Lyme disease. It has been an absolute blessing in my life. Once I accidentally took too much … And nothing happened. I felt a little dizzy and nauseated for about an hour. If I had made the same mistake with an opiate, I might not be so lucky.

    The DEA needs to stick to their intended role: ENFORCING the law, not creating new laws! By all means, present this information to Congress, get expert testimony from all sides. Framing the current use of kratom in the US as an “emergency” situation that warrants immediate scheduling with no input from stakeholders is pure lunacy.

  66. CPA

    I’ve heard the word “deplorable” tossed around an awful lot lately. Mind you, in that context, the word was being used against citizens by lawmakers, while I mean to flip it around. The intention to ban kratom as a Schedule I substance alongside heroin is hilariously ignorant, and it is downright dangerous. No, there has not been extensive research on this plant or its persecuted alkaloids, but the anecdotal evidence alone should be enough to prevent such an ill-advised move. Thousands of people die from opiate and opioid overdoses, prescription or not, every year. There have been ~16 deaths in five years (or was it 15 deaths in six years?) in which the deceased persons merely showed the presence of mitragynine in their systems. There is absolutely no conclusive evidence that this substance has directly caused any deaths, and yet it is demonized as among the likes of street dope.

    Kratom is useful and it doesn’t kill. I use it. I am a CPA; I currently work for a reputable public company as an accountant. I have been driven to succeed all my life; I played varsity sports in high school, participated in my university’s honor’s program, worked for one of the big public accounting firms, earned my CPA license; I hike, I travel, I spend time with family and friends; I live with my girlfriend whom I love deeply.

    I am a better person than I was letting myself become because I have finally found something that addresses my chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. With two herniated and one bulging disc in my back, I’ve been tasked with dealing with chronic back and neck pain on a daily basis. It’s not the most painful thing in the world, I freely admit, but the consistency, the nagging, it is draining. Kratom mutes that pain. It is a more effective analgesic than advil, tylenol, naproxen; it is a better painkiller than tramadol. In fact, it saved me from a dangerous love affair with tramadol.

    My point is, I am a normal person. I am one of the hundreds of thousands of normal people who use this plant to help address a myriad of issues. I’ve tried the pharmaceutical route with tramadol, ambien, various SSRIs, too-frequent NSAIDs, etc. Finally I’ve found one plant that has helped me find my normal.

    No reasonable person can look at all the facts and say the DEA is justified with their intent to emergency schedule mitragynine (an unprecedented action for a natural substance, mind you). Postpone it. Put it through the normal process where public comment is allowed and lawmakers are actually aware of the new plans. Represent the people whom you serve.

  67. Anonymous

    I’m a 30 year old male with a history of severe depression and alcoholism. I’ve been on at least five different anti-depressants, and have been to rehab and medical detox multiple times for alcohol abuse.

    The four months that I have been using kratom have completely turned my life around. I enjoy getting out of bed every day, meeting people, and enjoying things that I haven’t felt like doing in years. My relationships have drastically improved. My drinking is almost non-existent, as I don’t feel the need for it, and really just don’t enjoy it that much anymore.

    I have tried every method under the sun to stop drinking, and kratom has been the only thing that has been able to consistently help me for an extended period of time, with almost zero downsides. Even after stopping for two weeks of months of daily use, i experienced nothing worse than slight lethargy.

    I’m convinced that with enough time with Kratom could help maintain abstinence from alcohol, even without using kratom.

    After trying so many things that have failed, Kratom has been a lifeline for me, one that is now threatening to be snatched away and left me drowning in an ocean of depression and alcoholism.

    I’d sooner go to prison as a Kratom user, than an early grave as an alcoholic.

  68. Tina

    Kratom deserves more study and a comment period before any government action is taken. The “imminent threat” indicated is overstated and unsupported and needs to be examined much more closely. Hundreds of thousands of people use kratom to ease pain, reduce opioid cravings, lift mood and increase their energy and health. I’m a 55 year old grandmother, a skilled computer worker and tax payer. I used kratom to help me kick a growing addiction to prescription pain pills after an accident and if there had not been a safe and natural alternative available to me, I seriously doubt that I’d be able to be writing a message like this today.

  69. Todd Johnston

    I have never felt more disrespected by a group of people than the DEA. They are labeling me as a dangerous criminal and a liability to society.

    I own a business. I work a part time job. I pay my taxes. I pay my debts. I donate my money and my time. I also take Kratom.

    Kratom has changed my life for the better. Undoubtedly. I have social anxiety – a disorder that has led me to abuse alcohol and seek remedy from pharmaceutical drugs that left me with horrible side effects.

    Kratom helps me manage energy levels, pain and my anxiety without any negative side effects. In 2+ years I have never increased my dosage. I can go days without taking it and not fiend for it like when I was on pain killers and valium after my surgery. I went through horrible withdrawals and I STILL crave those pharmaceutical pills to this day sometimes.

    With Kratom there is none of that. I am ashamed of my Government. I am ashamed to live in a country that claims to be the land of the free yet would Govern what its citizens can and can not put into their bodies. By placing Kratom and other herbs in schedule 1 the DEA is insinuating that I do not have dominion over my body nor do I have the wherewithal to research and make educated decisions about what supplements I do use.

    Judging from the blatant abuse of information the DEA put into its letter of intent – I would argue that they do not have the wherewithal to make properly informed decisions.

    If you allow this “temporary” rescheduling to happen without proper information or research then you are criminalizing hardworking, decent Americans whilst creating another stream of revenue for black market businesses.

    Blood will be on your hands.

  70. Ryan Leighton

    The fact that so many people have came forward shows just how beneficial this plant is when used responsibly. There is absolutely therapeutic value, and given the proper research could prove to be a far greater benefit than pharmaceuticals. The DEA, using vague stories of overdose and questionable science at best, should not be allowed to have the power to throw so many lives into disarray without some sort of judicial oversight. That they have done just that proves they can not be trusted to have such a wide range of power and control, and I personally feel that there should be some sort of investigation into possible corruption and collusion between Chuck Rosenberg and the pharmaceutical industry.

  71. Anonymous

    Kratom is part of the coffee family, and helps countless good citizens be pain-free, thus more productive. A Schedule I ban is knee-jerk and unfounded.

  72. Larry walton

    Kratom saved my life and countless others. The proper research is needed before anyone can make a call to ban it. We have laws and procedures put in place in this country to prevent things like this.

  73. Anonymous

    Kratom has helped me recover from cancer treatment (surgery and radiation) and neuropathic pain without having to resort to opiods. It is a lifesaver for countless thousands. Why anyone would want to ban this natural substance is beyond me. Unless of course you’re protecting drug company profits. But that wouldn’t be right, would it?

  74. Anonymous

    Kratom has helped me break the walls of my social and generalized anxiety as well as severe depression. This wonderful plant has saved me and many others. Schedule I is an overreach in every state of the word!

  75. Anonymous

    I have both depression and anxiety and have found Kratom to be extremely beneficial for both when used on an as needed basis. It is far less harmful than benzodiazepenes and many other anti anxiety medications and also probably safer than many medications used for depression like SSRIs and MAOIs. It has real medical usages and has also helped people with chronic pain and PTSD. To make it a schedule one substance considered to have no medical value is beyond unfair. The idea that anyone thinks that someone should spend many years in prison with hardened criminals over wanting a natural way to treat their pain, depression or anxiety is frankly shocking to me. There are also many people who have used this rather benign plant to come off of Heroin and it has literally saved their lives. If we as a nation actually care about not only addicts but chronic pain suffers and the mentally ill then we ought not to make brewing teas out of this simple leaf a crime worthy of being locked up. The people who need this plant are suffering already and we need not make them suffer more.

  76. Anonymous

    Kratom keeps me home with my family,where I belong NOT out spending all my time and money,on drugs.I used to make excuses to leave to go buy drugs wasting my time.Driving home screaming at my self and begging God to help me.I found kratom and I’m drug free.God gave this plant to me! Leave us alone. Let us be free! Stay green stay clean

  77. Anonymous

    I know a number of people who have significantly benefited from. kratom. It has helped them manage pain, depression, and addiction. For me personally it has helped me deal with depression allowing me to support and care for my family. It also helped me deal with months of pain due to blistering on my cornea, caused by a decade of glaucoma surgeries, when no alternatives to manage the pain were available to me. I am married man, I own a home and two cars, and have been successful at my job in software development for four years. Please don’t ban kratom, take away a safe alternative that helps, without any reason or rhyme. There are folks out there who could be helped and they should not be denied the opportunity.

  78. Anonymous

    Kratom saved me from alcohol and horrible anxiety for which i was perscribed dangerous medicines. people will do if you do this.. innocent people who are trying to do the very thing the DEA wants us to do. Not use drugs. Please stop and think about what you are doing.

  79. Jeremy gould

    After surgery I was given opiates for pain that were “not habbit forming” LIES
    I was then told of this “Miracle” drug Suboxone that would cure my addiction. LIES
    When I read about Kratom a couple years ago, all I could do was laugh. Wow was I wrong. Anyone with a brain that would do any research on Kratom would obviously see it’s the safe inexpensive choice for countless ailments. It’s obvious that it’s about money, it’s as plain as day. $$$$$$

  80. Anonymous

    Kratom saved me horrible anxiety for which i was perscribed dangerous medicines. people will do if you do this.. innocent people who are trying to do the very thing the DEA wants us to do. Not use drugs. Please stop and think about what you are doing.

  81. Chris

    I have horrible social anxiety that has been treated with a wide range of pharmaceuticals that have taken me from “high” to a zombie… along with alcohol which helped, but I didn’t like how it made me feel either. I heard about Kratom from a friend that takes it for back pain. I heard that it helps with anxiety, so after doing a ton of research, I gave it a try around 5 years ago. It took some time to find the perfect dose, but it’s been a miracle for me and my family. I’m able to function normally now and I even hold a full time job where I need to interact with others all the time. I don’t get “high” or even feel anything from it, besides being able to combat my anxiety. Please do not ban Kratom, but rather regulate it and make it 18/21+. That will help make it safer and allow those of us to continue life without going back to harsh medications.

  82. #IAmKratom

    I have been using Kratom for over 4 years to help alleviate migraines, arthritis, fatigue, to assist lowering anxiety, to aid in dulling life’s minor aches & pains as well as promoting a subtle sense of well-being. Within those 4 years, I was also able to lower my alcohol intake to less than (the doctor-recommended) 1 glass of red wine a day thanks to kratom (kratom does not make one drunk or high nor is it toxic to the liver unlike the ‘legal’ alcohol). I was also able to stop using NSAIDS (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc) as often for migraines as these have been proven to cause liver issues and even liver failure (unlike kratom!!). Many responsible adults rely on kratom as a mild life-enhancing herb no different from those who rely on their Coffee, Chamomile or any other herb that has been used for thousands of years without negative impact upon society.

    Kratom has increased my productivity which in turn has helped me become more of a productive member of society! I run two (going on three) successful businesses of which one of them sells kratom (online). Several individuals rely on my kratom store for their economic well-being and as the business becomes more successful, I have been employing more people that make their living from this industry. Banning kratom will not only have adverse health effects on society but it will also put hundreds of thousands of people out of a job. My own income will be negatively impacted by this ban at a time when my fiancé (soon-to-be-wife) and I are planning to form a family.

    Kratom should remain legal and available for responsible adults like myself and my fiancé who live more productive lives thanks to this mild herb that has been used safely for thousands of years. It is widely understood by the community & an ever-growing array of media outlets that kratom has received undue scrutiny by those that see kratom as a means to lose revenue or worse.

    This ban is absolutely not in the best interest of the public, there are over 100,000 signatures on the white house petition in less than 10 days. The people do not support this outdated and quite frankly draconian approach to an herb that has been in our society (the U.S.) for at least 10 years w/out much incident. We are relying on our lawmakers to listen and speak up for the people and we remain hopeful that you will consider a reasonable outcome to the kratom situation such as an 18+ age restriction (which we completely support). Please, help restore the faith of the people in our lawmakers and do the right thing by us.

    The ban of this benign plant (especially while alcohol, tobacco, etc are available) would be bad news for all responsible adults and for purveyors of personal choice, freedom & liberty…the very fabric from which this land was sewn!

  83. Andrew

    Kratom currently provides a relatively safe, legal alternative to opiate drugs for former addicts and those suffering from chronic pain. Removing access from this alternative will drive these people to more illegal means to manage their conditions. In a sense, the DEA would be pushing people towards more harm if kratom gets scheduled as planned.

  84. jenna

    This is a blatant abuse of power. How can one agency be allowed to make the rules and then also enforce them?
    Where are the checks and balances?
    Kratom is safe and it’s a very effective way for one to enhance their health. It should be treated as an herbal supplement, not a schedule 1 felonious drug. This is ludicrous.

    I have seen first hand how much kratom can help someone’s quality of life.

  85. Anonymous

    My husband was hurt in Iraq & medically discharged- the VA had him on all kinds of medication simultaneously (opiates, muscle relaxers, antidepressants, sleeping meds, anti-anxiety meds)- it’s like he was a shell of the person I knew. He doesn’t have the option to just “suck it up & deal” without medication.
    Someone he served with recommended kratom after they had great success with it. His life changed when he found it. Kratom slowly became the only “medicine” he took. His bottles of prescription pills were replaced with a cup of tea. Not only did kratom help with all of his ailments (pain, anxiety, depression, ptsd)- it actually did a better job than the prescriptions every did. The biggest change was that he was no longer in that constant “stupor” you find yourself in when you take strong medication. He was alert, focused, playful- he began working again- it really feels like I got my husband back because of kratom.

    In the few years he’s taken kratom we have never had a single issue.
    When we heard about the dea’s intent to ban it it felt like getting punched in the gut. I’m not exaggerating, it honestly felt gut wrenching. We both remember life before kratom well & neither of us ever want to go back to that place. We both know if this ban goes through there isn’t really an alternative. We’re hoping & praying that common sense & science prevail here.
    We can’t understand why this is even being proposed. Alcohol, cigarettes, tylenol, etc- all these things kill millions. Kratom, by itself, has never taken a life. It’s given life back to so many.
    My husband feels like he gave his best years to serving this country- as do I. I know he’d do it again. We’re just begging- please don’t take this away from him. Please don’t take this away from the thousands of other people in the same position.
    We aren’t criminals. No one is having turf wars with “kratom dealers”. We’re just people trying to live the best life we can with the cards we’ve been dealt.
    At the very least this ban needs to be delayed until actual proper research can be done. When you have thousands of people telling you how life saving it’s been- while no one is being harmed by it- you owe it to everyone to approach the situation cautiously & while being fully informed. Those of us who have used it know exactly what kratom is & is not & we also know anyone who spends time getting educated on it will also come to the obvious conclusion that kratom is no threat to the public. Banning kratom, on the other hand- we’ve already seen opiate overdoses increase in places that banned kratom.
    PLEASE don’t be reckless in this decision. Please do the right thing. Please understand that this ban will ruin lives if it goes through.

  86. Jefferson

    This country deserves a fair and fact based discussion about kratom. So many establishment media sources are parroting the propaganda talking points that are near entirely false. Kratom has changed my life in such a positive way, I’m scared to think where I would be without it. This is plain and simple abuse of DEA powers and a trampling of our rights as citizens.

  87. Jason Callahan, MPH

    I agree with the quoted sentiment that the DEA is attempting to make a significant regulatory action without procurement of and substance or evidence to their claim. Based on the shared stories of many who Kratom has helped, and scant number of bad reactions that have been reported I don’t believe the DEA’s claim that there is any health threat. “Regulate it and tax it”

  88. Christeen Bramlett

    My name is Christeen. I am 28 years old and a mother of 3 kids and 1 angel. In 2005 I met the love of my life it was love at first site. A year later we had our first child she was beautiful and so perfect. I was the happiest girl alive and I couldn’t ask for more and then few months later we found out we were pregnant again. I was so so happy and even more happy when we found out we were having a little boy. We were so happy after him we would be complete with one girl one boy and us happily married the perfect family. We of course wanted him to have the perfect name and we did his name was Cole Nicholaus Bramlett…it was perfect. I did everything I was suppose to do as a pregnant woman should. We started his room it was gonna be light blue and dark blue walls, we had picked out the perfect crib set although he was gonna sleep in our room for first few months we had his room perfect for when it was time to move him. We had the bassinet, diapers and everything ready. I told him all about it and read to him while he was in my tummy and he would kick like he couldn’t wait to get out and he just knew he was loved so much. At 32 weeks I had my appointment for just a check up on things and ultra sound and the Dr. Told me everything was perfect he was growing like he should be he heartbeat was perfect and was just a couple more weeks and I will get to meet our perfect handsome son. On Saturday July 7th 2007 I woke up and went downstairs ate breakfast, took shower and went on with my day around 4 that afternoon I noticed he wasn’t moving like he usually does. So I knew if I read to him he would get excited and move I read to him for hours and nothing. I called my Dr. And he said to be safe come on in to hospital and we will check everything out. So we got dressed and headed up there and I started to feel empty, I felt something was terribly wrong we got there and I was right somehow our perfect baby boy’s heart stopped and sometime threw out the day he had passed away I didn’t want to believe it, I told them they were lyong and to check again and they did and I just sat there for seemed like forever as tears rolled out of my eyes silent. After hours of silence the Dr. Came in and said that they need to force me into labor so he can come out. I went threw 36 hours of labor to deliver my son that I will not get to see grow up. He won’t get to see how much he is loved and or how perfect we made his room for him. I will never here the words mommy or I love you from him. He will never get to meet his beautiful big sister who was so ready to have a little brother to play with. My husband won’t have his perfect little boy to take fishing or teach how to play baseball. We did everything right made everything perfect and we can’t take our sweet boy home instead we will be burying him. That day changed me it put a hole in me and I was empty, When my husband got me home I went straight to my bedroom where his bassinet was and yet no baby boy to put it in and laid in my bed for days starring at that empty cold bassinet. Each day I grew more and more depressed and disconnected from the world, my husband my daughter not only lost their son and brother but was losing their wife and mommy to. For years the Doctor’s put me on this pill that pill and all it did was either make me more distant then before or cause horrible side effects even to the point of one medication Ambien that caused me to have suicide thoughts and I was almost successful but my husband stuck his hands down my throat called 911 and I was rushed to the emergency room. I was there for a 48 hour reservation. Then they sent me back home and my husband had been doing research all this time and every online remedy to help wasn’t a help at all. Not until he found Kratom by then I was ready to give up and the Kratom sat on our bar for about 3 weeks before I caved and gave it a try and so it saved me it gave me mi life back little by little each day. I would drink a tea in the Morning and I noticed I was out of the bed playing with my daughter and getting up taking care of things that a normal person would. I was able to get up and smile and laugh and be a mommy again. I was being me again but a better me. I started seeing life again and it wasn’t for all the prescription drugs the dr gave me, it was because when I was at my lowest God showed my husband what I needed and it was Kratom. I have no bad side effects of Kratom if me being able to get up out of bed with no pain and to be able to be a good mom again or even better then before is a side effect to Kratom then I am happy to have them. Since Kratom I have been blessed with another perfect baby boy not to replace my loss but to help fill the emptiness inside of me and then 2 years later was blessed with another baby girl.Kratom saved me and it has helped me so much over the years. I can get out of bed in the morning to get my kids ready for school and I can go on field trips and eat lunch with them at school.can get out of bed in the morning to get my kids ready for school and I can go on field trips and eat lunch with them at school. I can go to baseball and softball games and watch my kids play and grow. I can go to dance recitals, help with late night projects and be room mom to my kids classes. I am a better and I am healing each day more and more with Kratom. I am Kratom for me, I deserve to feel alive, to be happy, to be a good caring person. My kids never go without their needs, we don’t spend all our money on Kratom. You don’t lose control on Kratom, you don’t do crazy things on it either. When we take Kratom we are taking it so we can have a normal life and by that I mean simple things like just to get out of bed in the morning. To not go all day in horrible pain and to be the best possible person we can be for ourselves, our families, our community. #Iamkratom #Kratomsavedme #prayingforkratom #Americanshaverights #myrighttolive

  89. Nikki

    Taking away kratom would be taking away me from my kids. I wouldn’t be able to keep a job. I would be completely depressed, anxiety ridden, I probably wouldn’t see my friends anymore, I’d dread having to wake up and get through the day. Kratom is a miracle and it has never hurt anyone.

  90. Anonymous

    It would be wise to extend the time before a blanket ban goes into effect. The consequences could be far worse and should be investigated.

  91. Heather

    I was prescribed hydrocodone after a bad accident in my early 20’s. I didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, never had any problems legally- I was as straight as they come. After taking hydrocodone for a few months I find my tolerance increasing quickly. One pill became two to get any relief.. then two before four- & so on. I didn’t even realize what was happening until I was absolutely hooked. Part of me kept telling myself it was ok, the dr was monitoring me- I had to really hit rock bottom for me to realize I WAS addicted to those pills & it really didn’t matter whether a dr prescribed them or not.
    I struggled to get off those pills four months. I’d quit, do well for a few weeks, relapse- & repeat. I read online snout suboxone one day when I was desperately trying to find help.
    I got on suboxone shortly after reading about it. The dr put me on 16/mg a day- & that was about the extent of the medical help. I stayed on suboxone for 3 years & absolutely hated it. Suboxone did keep me away from hydrocodone but you get addicted to suboxone instead! The side effects from it were miserable as well.
    When I decided I HAD to get off all these prescription meds that I felt like we’re taking over my life I found kratom. I read online that it’s been used for centuries to help opiate addicts, among other things.
    I stopped taking suboxone cold turkey. I was expecting brutal withdrawals- 16/mg is a high dose & 3 years was a long time to be on it. I could not BELIEVE how much kratom got me through it.
    The extent of my withdrawals off suboxone were mild flu like symptoms but nothing that interfered with my life. I haven’t touched suboxone or opiates since I discovered kratom. My life no longer revolves around dr’s offices & prescriptions. I have a cup of tea or 2 a day & go on with my life.
    I work full time as a trainer at a credit union. I have 3 boys in private school. My husband & I recently bought our first home.
    I’m terrified that this ban will go through. Until I heard about the possible ban I hadn’t thought about opiates/suboxone in ages. But immediately I started worrying. I finally got my life on track again, I don’t want to lose it.
    Please don’t allow this ban to go through. For the dea to emergency schedule something it’s supposed to be under the most dire of circumstances. That definitely isn’t the case with kratom. No one’s died from taking kratom. 5 Hour energy has killed people- not kratom! Why are they coming after something that’s proven so helpful & life saving?

  92. Melody

    Kratom is a beneficial herb that has supported pain reduction in millions of human beings for more than 1,000 years. Pain is a real problem for many people. Is the DEA then promoting prescription Opioid addiction? Is the DEA looking to create criminals out of normal citizens? Is the DEA looking to increase their business and have to do a big hiring in order to protect the borders from a beneficial plant? Is the DEA getting paid by a pharmaceutical who wants to push hard KILLER Opioid drugs on Americans for profit?

    The DEA’s proposal to schedule Kratom, if passed potentially would cause Opioid addiction to increase dramatically, killing potentially a million American lives. So my mother who has Kratom tincture in her medicine cabinet to help her deal with the occasional pains of MS, My father, who just turned 70 and is taking Kratom while completing the necessary heart/physical tests before scheduling hip surgery to keep himself able to walk and myself, a working, tax paying middle aged college educated professional with herniated discs and pinched nerves would all be suddenly criminals if we don’t destroy our healthy herb.

    I have missed two days of work this past year, due to the flu. Without Kratom, I might not be able to work at all. If that happens, I’m suing the DEA.

    I can see age regulation, like Florida did to protect minors from recreational use while allowing use for adults with challenges that Kratom helps. I can see allowing time for the herb to be tested so that dosing instructions can be created for various ailments, but to keep Kratom from law abiding citizens… Shame on you DEA, Shame on you!

    In the meantime, Canadians, who support the health of their citizens instead of profiting on their sickness like America, have Kratom stores and Kratom is an approved beneficial herb. Good for you Canada…

  93. Anonymous

    I have a sneaking suspicion that a ban on a mostly harmless plant used by a vast cross section of otherwise non-violent and non-criminal people is a justification for increased funding for escalation of the drug war against people who do not pose much of a threat, and are easy targets compared to armed criminal gangs. This will also generate revenue for the for profit prison industry to house and use these offenders for labor for pennies on the dollar. There has never been a precedent in the DEA’s history of such vociferous opposition from both sides of the aisle of scheduling a “dangerous narcotic.” Compare kratom with also intent to be scheduled synthetic opiate u0771, and compare the death rates, health effects, addiction liability of these two compounds. It is apples and oranges. The pharmaceutical and suboxone and methadone treatment industries will benefit as well because they are losing customers right and left. Kratom allows them the freedom to help with their conditions and to do it with dignity intact, without the stigma and control of standard addiction treatment and MMT, and without the stigma of chronic pain patients all being junkies. Without kratom’s help I would have a lot to lose. If this ban goes through I would have a lot to lose as well. It seems like a no win situation for me, and for many others also. Please reconsider the ramifications of this scheduling.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly.

  94. Joe

    This ban would put an additional strain on law enforcement and create a dangerous black market that would benefit organizations and cartels that promote and benefit from terrorism, murder, human trafficking, sale of illegal arms and illicit drugs. It would cut off legal access to a plant this Nation’s citizens responsibly utilize for reasons distinct to each individual. The ban would also eliminate access to government and civil courts to redress grievances associated with its responsible use, trade, and sale.

  95. Anonymous

    Kratom, like anything else, should be studied, understood, and regulated, not outright banned. One of the scariest eventualities of this proposed ban is that if it does become a black market product, it could end up being cut with other dangerous substances which pose a far greater risk of harm than the kratom leaf.

    Educate the population, regulate and tax its distribution (within reason), and protect peoples right to manage their own pain in a safe, open market. A government has the responsibility to protect its citizens, and treating them as criminals is quite the opposite of that duty.

  96. Joe from California

    I’ve spent the last two weeks panicking about what I’ll do come 9/30. I’ve been clean from alcohol for over four years now, and taking kratom daily has been the biggest factor. After a decade of destroying myself with booze, I hit rock bottom several times and abstaining was always very difficult due to my physical dependence, cravings, and social pressures. With kratom, I have absolutely ZERO desire to drink. I still have no idea what I’ll do and I certainly have contemplated the worst case scenario and it’s pretty grim.

  97. Anonymous

    Banning harmless plants always creates a black market which in turn creates criminals, but then that’s exactly what you want, isn’t it, DEA? That is one reason why this plant is about to be made illegal, the other reason is so that big pharma and the cartels can keep pushing their poisons that this plant helped many people get away from. We all know it, so stop lying and do some actual research about the safety and efficacy of this plant.

  98. KF

    Of course it will, which is exactly what the DEA wants. Without that, they serve no purpose. Seeing a large amount of people using something harmless and then taking it from them means knowing that they will continue to seek the benefits they got from it. Not all will turn to the black market. Some will suffer, but I think a mast majority will. I also think that since many will go onto the black market. drugs they were doing prior to kratom will be thrown into their faces, tempting them due to their addictions. Which will only further the DEA’s agenda.

  99. Anonymous

    I have used kratom for chronic kidney pain with success and it also helps me deal with IBD. I’ve been able to function about as good as a regular healthy person. The DEA ban would make people like me into criminals. That’s illogical.

  100. WV Horticulture

    I suffer chronic pain from intractable Lyme disease. Kratom has been an absolute godsend for the management of my pain. Suffered for many years, and kratom has changed my life in so many ways for the better. With its energy and mood boost, in addition to pain relief as good or better than Rx opiates, kratom is the perfect remedy for the travails of Lyme. I really question a world that has “leaders” that think they can tell a person that they cannot eat a leaf that brings such blessed relief. I am a father 9, 5 of which is we adopted from foster care. I am a business owner and enjoy a great reputation in my community. All that is threatened by the whims of some faceless beaureacrat that will soon see me as a felon for eating a leaf. This is not what Liberty looks like.

  101. Anonymous

    An enormous malevolent elephant indeed. What is this action – a swift attempt to show muscle in light of the recent struggles the DEA has had with enforcing other ridiculous laws on benign plant matter? This will only backfire, as stated above, they are giving birth to a new black market – causing more deaths than kratom would ever cause when mixed with other substances or ailments. And maybe they will be forced to understand the wording of the preceding sentence if the date is moved to 2017 because scientific data will confirm that kratom alone is NOT deadly.

  102. Daniel

    Banning Kratom will most definitely create a black market almost over night. Many people will continue to use Kratom and this will effectively make them criminals. They will buy Kratom and Kratom extracts on the internet and thought other black market sources. Shame on the DEA.

  103. N. from Boston

    I can easily imagine not being able to walk away from heroin without such a miraculously helpful yet benign herb as kratom. Coming up on 5 years effortlessly clean. The criminalization of everyday people who choose to take safe herbal supplements is nothing short of a dystopian nightmare.

  104. Jack from NYC

    Kratom saves lives.

  105. citizen

    As a responsible adult, I feel it is my right to use this plant as I wish. This just feeds into my contempt
    for other dea/fda limits imposed on us. I am going to continue personal use if banned.

  106. Jenni

    I found Kratom when looking for natural ways to ease my extreme social anxiety. I tried many different things until I finally decided to try Kratom and now I wish I would have sooner. It definety helps and I would have never imagined the DEA trying to ban it and put people in prison for it! It sounds so ridiculous. It’s really opened my eyes to how wrong things can be and how nothing is done about

  107. Joey

    This plant is a natural plant, and in the same category as the coffee tree. The banning, and making it a schedule I drug is beyond absurd. It has helped thousands, and the government needs to understand this, research it more, and not let this go through. If it does, it will definitely make our drug epidemic ten times worse. Please think of us as people, and our wellbeing, and not how much money big pharma is losing to those who don’t want to be hooked on a dangerous drug like suboxone. Please research this, and take it seriously. People’s lives depend on your decision.

  108. Concerned Veteran

    I’m a veteran of this country who has used Kratom to help with my PTSD. No more depression and alcohol, no more pills and social failures.

    I’m productive and happy. Please don’t turn people who fought for your freedom into criminals because they are using a natural solution to counteract the effects of trauma.

  109. Anonymous

    Even more worrying is the amount of people that will be severely affected by this and made into criminals overnight. Good, hard working people. People who just want to live a normal life free of pain, anxiety, depression. It scares me to see the impact this will have on our already terrible opiate epidemic. I also really think its just wrong that something so innocent can be taken away from people without any research or critical thought. Thank you so much for this CRE. It means so much to so many people. Kratom saves lives!

  110. Anonymous

    We have an opioid epidemic, we have the largest prison population in the world, and we are nearly 20 trillion dollars in debt.  So we are going to spend more money, to lock up more nonviolent citizens, for a plant that is a safe alternative to deadly opioids.  Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!  I was an alcoholic and drug addict, and since I’ve been using kratom I have been drug and alcohol free.

  111. Anonymous

    Kratom saves life’s. If scheduled the deaths from opiate addiction will only rise.

  112. Anonymous

    I believe at the very least that postponing the ban to July of 2017 would be fair and lawful. In that time we can approach kratom in a logical manner and really look into it. From what I have personally seen it has helped my brother turn his life completely around. After an accident he was addicted to opiates, an alcoholic, and in pain and constant fatigue. Now he is a successful, hardworking individual who never touches any substance except a very small dose of kratom when needed. This is the truth, I just want to approach this in a democratic and fair way. The US is a wonderful country, and I hate to see it be governed by a couple people in charge. Please find the compassion to address kratom logically.

  113. C from Oregon

    The scheduling of kratom will create a vacuum that will be filled by a black market. This will have a rippling effect that will ruin many lives. People who were once law-abiding citizens will be felons. They will be sent to prison at the taxpayer’s expense. Their families will suffer. The illegal kratom trade will provide more business and power to cartels and other smugglers. Kratom will be far less safe to procure and far less safe to ingest.

    I use kratom. I am a young professional, working in a scientific discipline. I pay taxes and I do not break the law. I love my job, my family, friends, and my country. I love my life. It is very possible that this action by the DEA will result in my imprisonment or death.

  114. John D.

    This action will, obviously to anyone capable of rational analysis, lead to not only increased black market activity as a new substance becomes illegal (and therefore more desirable to people who will think its illegal status means it must be able to get them “high”…it won’t…It’s like the DEA is arranging not only for the development of a kratom black market but is also spearheading the advertising campaign) and the violent crime that comes with such enterprises; it will drive many back to the dangerous drugs they choose kratom as a means to escape. Illicit drugs that recovering addicts will be pulled back into abusing, but also prescription pain medicines that can be as, if not more, dangerous. We choose kratom because it is a more gentle, more tolerable, more benign path to wellness than the alternatives. We choose kratom because we have the liberty to choose what we put into our bodies. At least we will have had that liberty. This DEA action will only serve as a driver of crime, incarceration, and death. The “War on ‘drugs'” truly is a war on the people. The people of America.

  115. Anonymous

    It really seems like the DEA is supporting the pharmaceutical industry. Of course they wouldn’t want a natural substance that a company doesn’t hold a patent on. They don’t want you to stop taking there pain medicine. Where is the profit in that. I garentee you all that these big medical company’s lobbied for this to become illegal so they can get their slaves back. OxyContin should be labeled as a schedule 1 and become illegal to produce. The second leading cause of death in this country are contributed to the medicine these company’s are pushing to people. Not letting them know that they are giving them highly addictive substances. The kind of meds that you will need to take a different horrible medication to come off of. And then become more addicted to that ( methadone and Suboxone ). They want you as their slaves and it seems they will stop at nothing to maintain that. The fair thing to do would be at least hold out till July of next year so people can get their affairs in order.

  116. Anonymous

    This ban needs to be delayed! It takes time to come to a logical conclusion on something like this, the DEA’s rush only shows how little they’ve prepared and looked into this.

  117. Lewis

    Kratom has been great to have the past couple of years. I went from harsh prescriptions to a fairly mild powder I ingest a couple of times a day. A month into pain management and I wondered why I was feeling so awful. I stopped the medication and felt better but my nerve pain didn’t relent. I’d teeter back and forth over the next several months. All the while my medicines were being less effective and more detrimental to my health.

    Kratom doesn’t do this in my experience. A little too much makes you feel ill. It will not kill you. The DEA needs to do perform a legitimate investigation into this plant. The ban is a knee jerk reaction to people saying “enough is enough” in regards to dangerous, yet legal, medications (Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, etc).

    The ban will force some to the streets to seek relief. Some will get forced back into a doctor’s office where they are usually treated almost subhuman. I know that from experience. Kratom allows us to live a normal life. If you had a hundred people in a room and 1/4 of them were “high” on kratom, you’d be hard pressed to find them. There’d be no slurring. No lethargy. Nothing of the sort. Here’s a hint: It’s the people that are in a fairly good mood.

    The DEA needs to be put back in its place and told where their boundaries are.

  118. JD

    I am a 42 year old mom with an autoimmune condition that attacks my bladder and kidneys. I have been in constant pain since the end of May. Doctors know that this condition is extremely painful and have been willing to give me opiates to use in moderation as needed. I can work, spend time with my family and stay physically active when I take pain medication when the pain really increases. The problem with this I have really bad side effects if I take any opiates. I am allergic, so I break out in hives, become really nauseous and have dealt the constipation issues that are very dangerous. Initially I had to decide to live with the side effects or feel pain. I researched other more natural ways to help ease the pain. Kratom was recommended and it has been even more helpful than opiates. Using Kratom helps ease my pain without the same side effects of opiates. I have found that Kratom allows me to feel more like myself and not as sedated as opiates do. I only use it if my pain level really increases and the relief last longer for me than opiates. In the ideal world, I would not need pain medication. That is truly my goal. But it was such a relief to find something that helps be able to live a functional life without the side effects.

  119. San French

    I am a recovering 30+ yrs. opiate addict who was aided with my withdrawal by the use of Kratom and subsequently able to find my way into a recovery program and have been clean for over 15 yrs. As a cancer survivor (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) and now sufferer of Rheumatoid Arthritis who has used Kratom for over 7 yrs for my chronic pain management, I am aghast at the news that the DEA has decided this beautiful natural plant… an alternative to hard drugs (opiates)… is going to be placed on the Schedule 1 list of dangerous drugs along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy et al.! I thought it was a mistake at first. Then the bad news hit me and now I am scared to death that I will have to resort back to opiates for my severe chronic pain issues.
    Please don’t do this without a period of public testimony! This plant has medical use for thousands and thousands of folks, including Veterans, folks with chronic pain issues and folks with anxiety issues. To say it has no medical value is just a lie. It seems as though the DEA is either in league with Big Pharmacy or simply is ignoring all of the evidence being presented.
    This will cause a new black market to emerge and force thousands and thousands of folks back to taking hard opiates and contribute to the ever growing opiate addiction and overdose epidemic in this country.

  120. Laura

    This is a copy of the letter I wrote to my senators and representative today, along with a copy of your letter. Thank you so much!!
    My name is Laura **** and I am live in ******. I come from a law enforcement background (my father worked for the police) and I currently work for *****. I am also a born again Christian and I genuinely love my country.
    I have written you my kratom story before (I use it to treat severe Restless Legs Syndrome), but since I last wrote to you, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness has issued a cease and desist letter to the DEA with a clear case laid out of how they have broken the Canadian-American treaty, have violated the Data Quality Act, and how they are ignoring published science from other federal agencies (the USDA and the National Institutes of Health) stating that kratom is safe and has definite medicinal uses, and recommending further research.
    I am pleading with you to not stand idly by while the DEA blatantly abuses its authority and puts the United States’ relationship with Canada at risk. This letter issued by the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness asks that the imminent ban set for September 30th be delayed until July 1, 2017 while the existing research can be peer reviewed, Health Canada (where kratom is classified as a Natural Health Product) can give its input on the matter, and there can be a public comment period.
    I have attached the letter from the CRE to the DEA with my own letter so you can read the case in kratom’s favor and see the evidence for yourself. As your constituent I urge you to do the right thing and tell the Office of Management and Budget to exercise its authority over the DEA and to give time for the evidence regarding kratom’s benefits or detriments to be properly reviewed.

  121. Karis Huot

    I am someone who has many ailments, some chronic that had me taking up to 8 medications a day, majority of them being narcotics. I hated the way I felt, I was tired all the time, had seizures from some etc. I was able to go off all but one of these medications after taking Kratom, have been saving money, am clear headed and never once have felt sick or “high” I do not have side effects, I am aware of the alkaloids in these leaves all working together in harmony, due to some research. Some of the same available research states some of the alkaloids have anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and increases oxygen levels in the brain. I believe it is morally wrong to outlaw something that has not been proven to be dangerous, while at the same time the pharmaceutical companies have been researching the 2 active alkaloids. I am a veteran that would have given my life for this country but am now being told I have to live it in pain, as I refuse to take mind altering substances such as all of the narcotic pain relievers on the market, that are effective for me. Please show the American people that their voice means something. I am a nurse, and I believe Kratom is completely safe. I know though my experience is anecdotal evidence, I have want to say I have taken it for years with no negative outcomes whatsoever but with many positive.

  122. cecelia amanda

    This proposed ban (should it be implemented) will have a DEVASTATING effect on America across the board. And I believe 100% that the DEA realizes this very much; perhaps the chaos that will ensue is what they’re hoping to see. One thing we can say with 100% certainty: This shortsighted decision and overreach is absolutely NOT in the best interests of Americans. And all laws that are passed in this nation should serve the People. Not the special interests, not the pharmaceutical industry.

    And that’s exactly who this ban is being carried out for, sadly.

    Meanwhile, millions of hardworking, law abiding mothers and fathers, veterans, sons and daughters will be forced to either live in misery with their pain and other ailments that kratom successfully treats or they’ll be forced to buy on the black market, turning this valuable group of Americans into simple criminals (in their minds).

    If you’re a nation and you’re trying to create a country where anyone can be considered a criminal THIS is exactly what you do. Just saying. This is not happenstance or coincidence; this ban is specifically being issued to further control and punish innocent Americans while rewarding and kowtowing to the big pharmaceutical companies who run this country and this government in a way that benefits them exclusively (while punishing everyone else.)

    Shame. SHAME on the people who are selling out the best interests of Americans, their health, their dignity, their freedom….SHAME on those who would sell these people out to the highest bidder in order to further the profits of the pharmaceutical companies and SHAME on the DEA for creating a narrative that kratom users are addicts and that kratom presents some kind of health risk to the general public when it could not be further from the truth.

  123. Kate

    I support postponing the ban on Kratom until July 1, 2017, as the CRE suggests above. Kratom is a safe and effective plant that has consistently helped my friends anxiety, after pills from the doctor failed time and time again. It’s helped her to get her life back on track without getting anyone “high”. It also helps those suffering from pain without the side effects of prescription opiates, and is a major aid to the many, many people who use it to help get off of stong drugs like heroin. Many people would lose a safe, effective alternate to prescription pills and hard drugs if Kratom were to be illegalized.

  124. Tom

    The DEA must postpone this ruling.

    There isn’t currently enough data to come to any sort of conclusion. The DEA is making claims that kratom has no medical value, and doesn’t have any real evidence to back up that assertion.
    Perform the studies, trials, and surveys first, then come to an informed regulatory decision.

  125. Juan

    Kratom has helped me immensely with anxiety and depression. I don’t know where I’d be without it. I know many others who use it for physical pain as well. I’m terrified for those that need this amazing plant just to live their lives with a little less pain. I think it’s a disgrace that they could have it ripped from their hands on such short notice and with no real proof of the “imminent health hazard” that it poses. I’ve used kratom for two years and have had zero negative effects to my body and mind. That’s why I believe that this nonsense scheduling should be delayed.

  126. Anonymous

    An emergency scheduling is a terrible approach, as there is no emergency. There should be no urgency in making a decision like this, that is effecting so many Americans’ well being. A scheduling like this will stop people from studying Kratom, even though it has been proven to have medical benefits. It is helping to many Americans to move so hastily. It it unjust, unlogical, and unethical to schedule kratom like this without any approach to learn about it first. The CRE understands this and has the support of so many Americans. The people support the CRE far more than they support the DEA.

  127. Anonymous

    The DEA is disregarding the many sources of information that show kratom to be a helpful herbal supplement, used for thousands of years. If it were so very dangerous, why have we never in those centuries seen epidemic kratom addiction, the way we have with opium and heroin and today, prescription drugs?? Because it is far far less addictive than the drugs the DEA wants to group it with. Kratom is about as habit forming as coffee, but much less habit forming than tobacco. It is also difficult to overdo it with this herb. If someone takes a bit too much, they vomit. Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol cause thousands of death every year and are not scheduled. But when 15 people take a fatal mixture of drugs along with some kratom, it’s suddenly an “imminent danger’ and an “emergency”?

  128. Jimmy

    There’s no telling what people will turn to if Kratom is banned. Depending on the person they will either turn back to legal pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, or simply give up and take their lives. No one likes to speak on suicide, but when you live in 24/hr pain, day in and day out, you just want it to stop. Opioids do not stop the pain, they mask it, and then greatly depress the user while muddling their mind. Kratom has the opposite effect. It masks the pain, gives the user energy, and lifts their mood giving the user a clear mind. Kratom saves people. It saves lives. It saved me.

  129. Motorsheep

    What is the alternative to kratom? Kratom does not have many of the side-effects of prescription drugs, it has none of the harmful attributes of illegal drugs. What exactly does the DEA think people will do if kratom is banned? The stalemate that is the current state of marijuana use? Driving people back to doctors who may have to withhold painkillers because of the current Opioid epidemic? Street drugs which will be far easier to obtain than black-market kratom? Where was the consideration for how people would go on without kratom? I myself use it instead of prescription benzodiazepines which have an extremely aggressive addiction profile. Is that what I have to look forward to now? Did anyone at DEA give this any thought?

  130. Shannon

    Kratom alleviat my pain in my spur on my hip. I wish to stop the schedule of this

  131. Publius

    I’m a child abuse survivor and have been suffering from PTSD, anxiety, and depression for decades. Doctors throughout the years have prescribed a variety of medications, but very few of them truly helped and the ones that did help were only intended for short-term use and carried the problem of being habit-forming (benzodiazepines). Trying to find a safe and long-term remedy to dampen my symptoms has been a tremendous struggle. During the worst times I was completely non-functional and could not leave the house nor perform basic tasks such as cooking food and maintaining hygiene.

    Kratom changed my life. Thanks to small daily doses of kratom I was able function again and get my life back on track. My symptoms still persist, but kratom made them manageable when nothing else did. Kratom is an effective herbal remedy that costs very little and has a proven safety record.

    The DEA’s ban on kratom is ill-conceived, mired in ignorance, and will cause far more harm than good.

  132. Anonymous

    This rush to ban Kratom is terrible idea. I have suffered from severe anxiety and kratom
    has helped where prescriptions can’t. I tried xanax, clonopin etc… I didn’t like the way the made me feel and they were addictive…. then I found kratom. Having kratom
    A few times a week helps keep my anxiety down but be alert and clearheaded. This would
    Be a shame and really have a negative impact on my life

    At least prolong any action to real research came be done. We can’t lose this natural cure to big pharma

  133. Anonymous

    Kratom is beneficial to a wide variety of people from all walks of life. Kratom helps people with chronic pain, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety and opioid withdrawal just to name a few. I am a person who has taken Kratom for the past 3 years to help with depression and insomnia… Kratom has offered me countless benifits no pharmaceutical could even touch. I hope the DEA will revese this ill advised decision to make Kratom a schedule 1 drug.

  134. Ramzy

    Please consider extending the ban date, so we can do more studies on kratom before making a rash decision. It has helped me live a drug free life and saved my life.

  135. Anonymous

    I am 28 years old and kratom has helped my livelihood so much; In the past 10 years I have broken my neck in a car accident, been hit by a drunk driver while long boarding, have developed endometriosis, and have fallen 60 feet off a cliff onto my face; I am in chronic, sometimes debilitating pain and have been prescribed everything from Fentanyl and percocet to antidepressants, benzos, and anti-convulsant medications for nerve pain, and either the medications did not work or the side effects were unbearable. I can’t take NSAIDS due to intestinal bleeding; Fentanyl, Percocet, and Vicodin all made me depressed within two days of using even though I used them according to my doctors; I could not handle the mood swings caused by anti-convulsants or benzos, and anti-depressants did nothing to help my pain. Despite all this, I have managed to hold a job down and lead a healthy, active lifestyle because I found natural remedies that helped ease my symptoms that did not leave me in some way incapacitated. The most important one of those natural remedies happens to be kratom tea. When I take kratom, I can go hiking without being in agony and I can make it through the work day without having to leave early when the pain gets bad. I was on the edge of suicide due to my symptoms but after finding kratom, I was able to cope much better because I was able to stay active. I die on the inside if I can’t exercise, and kratom lets me do that relatively pain free. This plant is poses absolutely no threat to society, certainly not one big enough to warrant an emergency ban that will ruin the livelihoods of so many people. Please extend the ban date so more studies can be done on such a potentially life saving plant.

  136. DJ Arnold

    I am a vet, in the sense that I have a DD-214. I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor. I have PTSD. Up until I discovered kratom two years ago my life was a wreck emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. I come from a homeopathic lifestyle and while I have tried pharmaceutical therapies I hate how they made me fee and, in many cases, not feel. My first marriage crumbled under the weight of my issues. Now, with kratom, my life is finally together. I have a stable marriage, two loving and loved children, an amazing career and I am a productive member of society. All thanks to a plant that grows from the ground. And you wish to infringe upon my Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Shame on you for turning me, and thousands of others, into criminals because you fail to research, fail to educate yourselves and line your pockets by creating criminals. This is not what any of us want. Kratom should not be legislated beyond our reach. You wouldn’t legislate away coffee, alcohol, or cigarettes. Then again…maybe you would.

  137. Chris

    What people who have never had chronic pain before don’t understand is that taking nothing is not an option. If this ban goes through I will have to choose between going back to dangerous pills, living my life in pain again, or keep taking kratom and be labeled a criminal. I am a successful business owner and a good person. I don’t even kill spiders when they come in the house. Through no fault of my own, I suffered a bad accident and live with the pain every day. I found Kratom a year ago and it was like a curtain was lifted. It is not a cure for anything, but it simply makes life more manageable for me with less side effects than narcotics. Now, just when I finally feel like my life is under control and I am happy again, the very people who are supposed to protect my rights are stripping them from me. I honestly don’t feel free anymore. Why was this decided with so little time for us to respond and comment? In fact, I believe Mr. Rosenberg said that we have no right to comment. The government and the DEA exist to serve us, not the other way around. This is an overreach and abuse of the power given to them. This decision was reached based on false information and the scheduling needs to be delayed in order to collect actual scientific data. All this ban will do is cause people who have suffered all their lives to suffer even more. It is inhumane and immoral. What we need is information and regulation, listen to the CRE!

  138. Anonymous

    While our nation is in the midst of a massive heroin epidemic, and people are dying at an alarming rate from heroin cut with fentanyl, and now elephant tranquilizer, banning an all natural tree leaf from the coffee family makes zero sense. It has safely, and effectively helped thousands of people break free from the chains of opiate addiction. But then again, maybe that’s exactly what they want.

  139. Travis

    Changing Kratom to be a schedule 1 substance directly impact the quality of life so many hard working americans who simply don’t want to be addicted to pain medications.
    Banning Kratom would show that the government does not care at all about the welfare of the people, and would simply drive thousands back into the world of deadly drugs in order to get the pain relief they need.

    We are Mothers, Fathers, Veterans, Grandparents, we are Americans, we ask that you reconsider this proposed ban.

  140. KEVIN HARPER

    I took Oxycontin for five years of my life 4 times a day was prescribed by the doctor. It was ruining my life couldn’t keep a job family left. Until I found kratom it wasn’t God sent I’ve been 4 years clean now got a new job got my family back. I’m literally scared for my life if the ban goes through. What the DEA is doing absurd. That should be ashamed they don’t care about the people that they’re supposed to protect and listen to. They didn’t even give us a chance the speak out against it in fact they did the exact opposite they told us our opinions don’t matter they’re not needed. If this ban goes through I have lost hope for this country. The very Foundation of this country if the people speak out that should be listened to if you don’t like the laws we should be able to change them. In my state Missouri we’ve already fought this on the state level and we won. This is just a slap in the face to us.

  141. Melissa Reid

    I am a 53-year-old woman. I am a wife, a mother of three, and a grandmother. If that wasn’t enough to live for I don’t know what it is. For the last five years I’ve lived with so much pain resulting in depression, panic attacks, and now I debilitating blood clot disorder. On top of my every day pain from arthritis and a previous complication from surgery, I now have the excruciating pain in the two areas of my right leg that currently have blood clots. I was running out of options and also running out of pain medication earlier than I should. My doctor kept having to up my milligram dosage to Match my increasing tolerance to pain medication. And of course coming with pain medication, there are side effects such as chronic constipation, lethargy, reclusiveness, driving under the influence or not driving at all, headaches, and forgetfulness. About six months ago a friend of mine, who is a licensed nurse practitioner, suggested that I look into Kratom. My only other option at that time was to go to pain management and have a Fentanyl. I did not want to go down the endless tireless road of narcotics anymore. So I researched, and I researched. It sounded so good to be true. But I ordered it and the date arrived, my life changed forever. I no longer have to sleep half my day away, Kratom has restored my freedom. Where I couldn’t walk before, I now walk daily nearly painless. My night times usually consisted of propping my leg, applying heat to reduce the swelling in the pain, and I usually went 2 to 4 hours maximum for sleep. My sleep time is riddled with pain but ever since I started taking Kratom, I sleep better, feel better, and have no side effects whatsoever. All those nasty side effects from narcotics are gone. Better yet, all narcotics are gone. I no longer need any medication for depression, anxiety, or pain. Kratom is the natural organic leaf that has been ingested by human beings for millennium. It has no place being compared at all to heroin or the like. It has more of a comparison to coffee and chocolate. Like coffee and chocolate, you have a happy sensation and a relief knowing that those things just make you feel good. There is no “high”, but a safe alternative to the awful life pain medications create. I am more focused, or productive, more active, and more social. All Kratom does is provide human beings a natural, organic means to have relief from a lifestyle thrust upon us by pharmaceuticals. You must understand that once you start a long-term pain regimen with a physician, you become stuck in a place that’s very very difficult to get out of. Because medications like Percocet and other opioids do provide a narrow window of relief, the body requires more. But the longer you take his medications the less tolerance you have so The physicians next course is to prescribe more and at higher dosages. Of course this goes on for some time until the doctor decides their reputation is at stake and suddenly well either cut you off or send you to pain management. Nowadays doctors become so paranoid prescribing long-term pain medications for fear of having their license revoked. It becomes a vicious cycle because you start to feel like they don’t believe you when it’s really they’re just afraid of losing their practice. There are so many abusers of pain medication out there, the numbers are staggering. It seems the people that really need pain medication don’t get it because of this. I agree it is abused but if more people learned about and had access to Kratom, I honestly believe we no longer have a drug issue to talk about. We’d no longer have the masses of people on anti-anxiety medicine for antidepressant medication. I can’t stress enough to you how much better my life this and the life of my family with me taking Kratom. So here we are, me along with thousands of other human beings who rely on Kratom for a better existence on this planet. And now it’s being taken away from us. So the DEA is going to have thousands of people either committing a felony and continue taking Kratom, Or you will have thousands of people flooding doctors offices and back on pain medications. It only seems logical that that is exactly what the DEA wants to see happen. Is that what this is all about? Is it all about being in the back pockets of the pharmaceutical companies? Is it just a numbers game to them? Do they not care about all these humans having the relief to not be reliant on narcotics? It makes absolutely no sense at all to take crate them off the market for two years not allowing anyone to legally have it. I can see a reasonable option would be to regulate Kratom to continue to allow people to take it, but in a reasonably controlled environment. I would not be opposed to having age restrictions on the use of Kratom. I would not even be opposed to needing a prescription for it. Please, please, I am bagging the powers that be, please don’t do this to me and all these other people. It is ethically wrong. I honestly believe they will be and number of human beings so deeply affected by this DEA action, that will choose a horrible 3rd option to end their suffering if Kratom becomes illegal on September 30th. And that elephant in the room, will be suicide. That’s a much bigger elephant don’t you agree?

    • Melissa Reid

      Sorry for the typos above. I was using the Talk to Text option and failed to proofread!

  142. Carson

    Kratom has given many people suffering from daily pain or chronic fatigue a quality of life they thought they would never have again. By banning this herb you will be sending many people back into heavy drug usage and ruining countless lives. Please reconsider this ill advised ban.

  143. Cindy

    I’m a 57 year old woman and I’d like to voice my concern & opposition regarding the DEA’s misinformed decision to make Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) a Schedule I drug (this is the same class as heroin, crack, cocaine, LSD, etc!!). Most importantly, please understand that kratom is an herbal remedy and not a drug. It’s as much of a drug as Coffee, Kava Kava, Valerian Root & countless other herbal supplements that help combat anxiety, fatigue, insomnia with the difference being that Kratom can single-handedly soothe all 3 of those common factors in our daily lives.
    I have been using Kratom for over 6 months to help alleviate fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease and pain from herniated discs in neck and low back, as well as promoting a subtle sense of well-being. Many responsible adults rely on kratom as a mild life-enhancing herb no different from those who rely on their Coffee, Chamomile or any other herb that has been used for thousands of years without negative impact upon society.
    Kratom should remain legal and available for responsible adults like myself and my fiancé who live more productive lives thanks to this mild herb that has been used safely for thousands of years. It is widely understood by the community & an ever-growing array of media outlets that kratom has received undue scrutiny by those that see kratom as a means to lose revenue or worse.
    This ban is absolutely not in the best interest of the public, there are over 100,000 signatures on the white house petition in less than 10 days. The people do not support this outdated and quite frankly draconian approach to an herb that has been in our society (the U.S.) for at least 10 years w/out much incident. We are relying on our lawmakers to listen and speak up for the people and we remain hopeful that you will consider a reasonable outcome to the kratom situation such as an 18+ age restriction (which we completely support). Please, help restore the faith of the people in our lawmakers and do the right thing by us.
    The ban of this benign plant (especially while alcohol, tobacco, etc are available) would be bad news for all responsible adults and for purveyors of personal choice, freedom & liberty…the very fabric from which this land was sewn!
    The following are pertinent facts for your consideration:
    ● Kratom is a plant, NOT a synthetic chemical or “Street Drug”.
● Kratom is in the same family as the coffee tree (Rubiaceae).
● Kratom is no more habit forming than coffee see recent article by the cato institute, http://www.cato.org/blog/addiction-problem-case-kartom
● Kratom has been safely used for thousands of years.
● No one has ever died from taking Kratom alone (any deaths were from several drug combinations or pre-existing health conditions).
● It is impossible to overdose on Kratom (one would simply become nauseous).
● Tens of thousands of Americans (Responsible, Adults) can attest to the beneficial properties of Kratom.
    Furthermore, Kratom and its 30+ active alkaloids show tremendous dietary supplement potential. The legislation, as it currently reads, would place Kratom and its alkaloids in the most severe scheduling category, schedule I. Making this plant and its constituents schedule I, effectively makes it impossible for legitimate researchers to study Kratom which could benefit the lives of millions! This ban is not a sensible approach to regulating this plant.
    A few more facts for you to consider when making your informed decision:
    ● The FDLE Report of Kratom: A review of available law enforcement and laboratory sources in Florida demonstrates that Kratom does not currently constitute a significant risk to the safety and welfare of Florida residents. According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), no pervasive health issues have been attributed to the ingestion of Kratom products in Florida.
● According to the CDC, cigarette smoking causes 440,000 deaths in the United States every year; about one of every five deaths in this country are caused by cigarettes!
● Alcohol causes more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking each year!
● Pharmaceutical drugs are one of the leading causes of death in this country, killing one American every 19 minutes!
● Prescription opiate pain killers account for more than 475,000 emergency room visits annually.
● Over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol send over 56,000 people to the emergency room each year with liver related complications.
● The Mayo Clinic has reported a 28% increase in overall mortality in people who drink 4 cups of coffee per day.
    Kratom is a safe herb in and of itself as well as in comparison to other plants (including coffee) and has changed my life for the better, so I’m asking you to please support us by voting AGAINST the Kratom Ban, keeping kratom legal for adults that are 18+. If you have questions about kratom, please visit http://www.americankratom.org.
    Please do not make Kratom a Schedule 1 drug. By doing so you are turning hard working tax payers.. mothers… fathers.. Sons and daughters and grandparents into Felons when all they wanna do is be productive members of society!

    Thank you for your time, consideration and service to the people of the U.S. who rely on your wisdom.
    Sincerely,

  144. Miranda

    I think the Kratom ban should be postponed until July 1st for many reasons. I believe we need time to have more research done on the medical benefits of Kratom. I also think that Kratom should be regulated so people have to be 18+ and so we know we are truly getting this wonderful plant that helps so many people. Kratom helps my chronic back pain and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. I know so many people are going to lose their lives if Kratom is on the schedule 1 list.

  145. Shannon

    3 years sober today!! Kratom gave me a life back of pain and addiction!!! Dont take that away!! My friend is a VET, he takes it along with a network of thousands nust like him! Please do not make us chose opioids over health!!

  146. Holly Currier

    I am a 24 year old woman who has suffered from fibromyalgia, migraines,a compromised immune system, depression, generalized anxiety, panic disorder and C-PTSD. I, like most other people who take kratom supplements, have value to contribute to society.

    Before kratom, fibromyalgia had left me bedridden and depressed to the point that getting up for a glass of water was a task that required great energy. I was subsequently withdrawn from my college because needless to say, if getting a glass of water is a challenge, going to class and doing work is even more of one. Doctors gave me vicodin at first, but that simply was not sustainable. Other treatments were ineffective. I didn’t have enough energy to live, not enough energy or strength to die -I was simply fading away and completely dependent upon my family even for small tasks. At my wits end, I remembered an herb that I tried back when I was 18 because I *thought* it would get me high. It didn’t, but it removed my back pain. After bringing kratom into my life again, I got out of bed. I began rebuilding my life, got a job as a SPED substitute teacher and subsequently as an IA working with non-verbal pre-school children with developmental disabilities. I began taking online courses in social psychology, criminology, and juvenile justice. All around my community, peers and students were overdosing from opioids. At the funeral of a teenage overdose victim (kratom could have possibly saved him) I was moved to reapply to college so that I could formally research why and how this addiction crisis is happening and create an assessment of needs and offer possible community based solutions.

    I am due to graduate in December, pending the completion of this research. The thing is, my ability to complete this research is contingent upon my ability to function, which is contingent upon the legality and availability of kratom. This is not something I can complete from my bed or from a prison cell. If I lose kratom, I literally lose my lifeline, and my community loses the positive things that I am now able to contribute. Will I turn the the black market if it is banned? I can’t say for sure what I will do, but I that know it will hurt those who it has helped with everything from pain to crohns disease to opioid dependency.

    No 24 year old woman nor any other person should be living in the condition that I have had to live in, but here I am, and I should not be criminalized for using the only thing that I have found effectively helps. The law students, architects, first responders, fathers, mothers and friends who I know and love who use this plant to better their lives should not be criminalized for doing so either. It took was hell to climb out of the hole we once found ourselves in. The human instinct is to survive and live with purpose, and this ban is making us choose between various pairs of handcuffs, literal and metaphorical, in order to do just that.Please reconsider scheduling kratom without doing your due diligence to see how it will affect those who benefit from it from both an economic standpoint and a human one.

    Don’t worry, I’m still taking a couple of medications. The pharmaceutical industry hasn’t lost me completely, if that is of any concern.To be frankly facetious, if you’re going to go after a dangerous plant, look at the nutmeg in your spice cabinet. A kid in my high school chemistry class was tripping on it for 3 days. I take that back, that kid was not the norm and people love their pumpkin spice everything and scheduling nutmeg would have significant economic impact on numerous industries.

  147. Anonymous

    There WILL be people who turn to the black market for kratom. There WILL be people who end up back on hard drugs. There WILL be people who will suffer to the point that they consider ending their lives. NONE OF THIS IS ACCEPTABLE

  148. Anonymous

    I am a vet, I am a father, I am a teacher, I am a husband, I am a youth football coach. I use kratom to treat pain and PTSD. I would not be able to do any of these without Kratom.

  149. Tom

    Kratom is so effective for so many people that it will absolutely become a black market item. Maybe this is what the DEA wants… It wouldn’t surprise me at this point. This naturally occurring totally unprocessed plant is a gift from this planet and the fact that the DEA is banning it without public conversation is unjust. I feel disgusted and betrayed as an American; furthermore, sad for all those who will loose their quality of life or worse.

  150. Anonymous

    I am a wife, a stay at home mother, pregnant, an author, a minister who preaches in the local jail, and a Kratom user. To take this plant (that was an answer to prayer) away from me is just cruel.
    When will we learn? Did you know that about 75% of the ladies in the jail are doing time for drug possession? Did you know that placing them in jail does NOT solve the problem?
    And here I am about to be sitting in doing time with them! The very women I am going to HELP, I may be placed right next to them as a FELON. For drinking a pain relieving TEA.
    PLEASE do valid research on this plant. PLEASE don’t listen to the false scare stories. If there is people overdosing on it (which is impossible to do in the raw leaf form) then they are most assuredly mixing it with other substances and chemicals. PLEASE let us have rights to our own bodies by consuming a helpful tea. Why do you want to make so many innocent people “criminals?”
    Why??

  151. Anonymous

    “….. kratom is not your standard smoke-shop drug alternative. It is not bath salts, and it is not K2. It is a natural plant that seems to have some degree of positive effect in certain communities.

    With the potential medicinal benefits of the plant and the testimonies of those who have used the substance to ward off serious addiction, to rush kratom onto the Schedule 1 list seems arrogant and belligerent.

    The Daily Iowan Editorial Board believes the DEA ought to take some time to listen to the public it claims to serve.”

    Please see full editorial at this link : http://daily-iowan.com/2016/09/15/editorial-where-fools-dread-to-tread/

  152. Nick

    I am a single Father of two beautiful boys, ages 6 and 9 months old. I have struggled with crippling anxiety since I was a child. Through out the years I have tried medication after medication with some serious side effects, but still never gave me what Kratom has given me. The gift is a better quality of life, for myself and my two boys! It isn’t a high nor is addictive. It completely eliminates my anxiety with just a small amount of kratom I am free of constant anxiety, socially, and just plain daily anxieties I have had for so many years. Please consider my testimony, because this has truly changed our lives.

  153. Anonymous

    Kratom saved my life, and so many others I know. If this plant is banned many many lives will be destroyed. Kratom is an alternative to pain meds, antidepressants, and anti anxiety meds. Please please do the research and actual studies before such hastily decisions are made.

  154. Anonymous

    There is no reason why hundreds of thousands of Americans who purchase kratom should be turned into criminals by the end of the month. Why create a black market?? There is no kratom public health crisis today. There needs to be a open discussion where studies and tests could be done openly and the Kratom users welcome this.

  155. Lana

    In a day and age where the people have made it clear that they want to be ‘free’ in the ‘land of the free’ to use whatever plants and medicinal herbs they choose, it is a gigantic step backwards to spend precious time, energy and tax money to ban a plant. If this temporary ban goes through, the US will truly be on the wrong side of history.

    The citizens of this country are well aware that the war on drugs has been an epic failure – and people WANT medicinal plants like Cannabis, Valerian, Kratom, Ginseng, etc. to be accessible as alternatives to pharmaceuticals. When hundreds of thousands of people say that these plants have medicinal qualities, and have helped to save countless lives, how can it be considered reasonable to even think of a ban, let alone hastily and ignorantly enforce one and not allow public comment? Clearly the public has a whole lot to say about this – from personal experience.

    Hundreds of thousands of people cannot be wrong. Please do what you can to stop this ban. This ban is going to leave so many people in pain, and worse – make criminals out of non-violent good people who just want to be free with their non-threatening plants! This is the ‘land of the free’ – how can we call ourselves that with a straight face while we are busy banning plants and not allowing people to even have a say? People want to have faith in government, but it’s very hard when all of our freedoms are ripped away one by one.

    Please put an end to this ban.

  156. Ed Hoy

    There is the worst kind of Elephant behind this move by the DEA, the CDC, and the FDA with regard to their systematic demonization of the plant Mitragyna Speciosa (aka Kratom). Worse yet, these organizations are well aware of what they are doing.
    The private prison industry in this country is extremely well equipped to lobby for laws and regulations which will keep the black markets alive, and the prisons overfilled. Additionally, black markets allow for large amounts of money to be siphoned toward corruption, and the destabilization of other countries. Prohibition, whether of alcohol, other substances, and now Kratom, has never been shown to accomplish anything other than to encourage corruption, and create criminals, and fund large slushy piles of money, ripe for those in powers pockets. The DEA is a regulatory agency so corrupt, that they believe that they are beyond the reach of reproach.
    Why should an agency tasked with enforcement, be allowed to name whatever they would like to criminalize anything that they choose, despite any credible evidence of harm, order to increase their own relevancy and budget? This smacks of corruption.

  157. Anonymous

    Banning kratom will absolutely cause an imminent hazard to many American citizens. If its so bad, why not let congress pass a law? Answer: That wouldnt happen cause it isnt bad at all.

  158. Anonymous

    Chuck Rosenberg
    Current Position:
    Appointed Head of the DEA on 5/15/2015

    Past Positions:
    – Was Counsel at Hunton and Williams (2000 – 2002) which have ties to Big Pharma (Source here)
    – Partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP also known as Hogan & Hartson (2008-2013). This company here is very important to remember. We’ll come back to it.

    Company Profile:
    Hogan Lovells is a multinational law firm co-headquartered in London and Washington, D.C.. It was formed on May 1, 2010 by the merger of Washington-based Hogan & Hartson and London-based Lovells.

    Hogan & Hartson does quite a bit of lobbying for Big Pharma.
    Additionally

    The Janssen Pharmaceutical Company” a division of Johnson & Johnson which is in the process of developing on what seems a synthetic version of Kratom named PZM21. See link below.
    https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2016/08/40…killer-scratch

    As stated in the link above, Henry Lin is now principal scientist at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, a division of Johnson & Johnson. Well it turns out that Henry Lin “H.L. (referring to co-lead author Henry Lin, PhD of UCSF) received a pre-doctoral fellowship from the PhRMA Foundation.

    Johnson & Johnson and PhRMA have been old clients of the lobbying firm Hogan Lovells/Hartson since at least the year 2000 as seen in the PDF below. See Melissa Bianchi page 20, Donna Boswell page 21, Irene F. Chang page 22, Stephan Lawton page 31, Warren Maruyama page 33 and many , many more.
    https://www.citizen.org/documents/pharmadrugwar.PDF

    Also have Trevena Inc, which is in the trial phases with their own Mitragynine-mimicking synthetic (similar to PZM21). And of course, Trevena has ties to pharmaceutical company “Glaxo Wellcome”, which are also clients of Hogan & Hartson. More info on Trevena’s Kratom like synthetic TRV374 here

    Just check employees profile from Trevena and quite a bit of the worked for Glaxo such as Maxine Gowen and Conrad Cowan.

    So in a nutshell… Chuck Rosenberg (Head of the DEA) just very recently used work for Hogan & Hartson which lobby’s for the pharmaceutical industry. Hogan & Hartson’s big Pharma client list includes Johnson & Johnson, PhRMA and Glaxo Wellcome. The Janssen Pharmaceutical company (Division of J&J) is in the process of creating a synesthetic version of Kratom. The principal scientist for PZM21 (Henry Lin) works for Janssen Pharmaceuticals and also received a pre-doctoral fellowship from the PhRMA foundation.. which again are both clients of Hogan & Hartson, which the head of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg recently used to work for.

    Coincidence?

    And the cherry on top.. Hogan & Hartson tie to the FDA
    http://www.law360.com/articles/43211…harma-practice
    https://www.hoganlovells.com/en/serv…regulatory-law

    Just the tip of the iceberg.

  159. Still concerned

    DEA is over stepping a lot stuff to ban Kratom. A plant that has so many benefical properties to help users who are addicted to hard drugs.. hard drugs that kill thousands every year. There is no reason to ban this natural herb. Keep it legal. Regulate it if you want to 18+, but keep it legal!

  160. anonymous

    I’m a retired police officer from New York City. I moved out west after I retired. 2 1/2 years ago I had gotten myself into the best shape of my life and was training to run one hundred miles, and then something abruptly happened to me that caused nerve damage in my legs. After two stays in the hospital and a back operation and eight epidural injections the pain is still there. Almost constant pain and the doctors don’t have a clue. Hunting around the internet I came across kratom about a year and a half ago on Amazon. I read the amazon reviews and ordered some. It was the first thing that really helped me, and with no side effects. Later I learned that I could order better quality ground up kratom leaves from venders that specialized in it. I even cleared it with my doctor. All I ever wanted from it, and all it ever did for me, was to relieve the pain. I never felt any kind of high. I read the kratom forums that I found online and I feel so sad for people who are in much worse shape than me (I am still in pretty good shape despite the pain – I fight it!) and have found the leaf to be a lifesaver. Why are you arbitrarily wanting to ban this and make it on to the same level as heroin no less!? Do you want to instantly change all the honest people who use it for pain and getting off opioid drugs (which they tried to give me too but I refused…they made me nauseous and didn’t help my pain) and even illegal drugs from which they’ve gotten clean, into instant felons subject to many years in prison…including me? Why!?

  161. Anonymous

    Like many others who have posted Kratom has literally saved my life. For the first time in my 33 years on this planet since using this herbal supplement I feel “normal”. It has significantly reduced my social anxiety to almost zero percent. PLEASE DO NOT BAN THIS PLANT.

  162. Travis

    My name is Travis, I’m a 32 year old from Minnesota.

    I’d like to voice my opposition to the DEA’s Intent to Schedule the alkaloids Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, which would make Kratom (Mitragynaspeciosa), a schedule 1 controlled substance with no medicinal value. This would put kratom, a plant helping millions of people suffering chronic and acute mental and physical conditions that is also safely easing the nation’s opiate epidemic problem naturally, on the same level as illegal drugs like heroin. It would also prevent further research which, to date, has shown kratom to be an effective painkiller that does not cause respiratory depression; the main cause of death from opiate overdose.

    I was diagnosed with migraines at a young age and have been through many treatments including trigger point injections in the back of my head (ouch). I recently found kratom and was relieved that it was a natural product. I joined a forum that is filled with thousands of individuals just like me. I have never tried hard drugs, I work in one of Minnesota’s top ten law firms. I am not a criminal. If kratom is scheduled my medicine will be gone. My medicine comes from a plant that is made into tea, there’s no snorting, injecting etc that you see with other drugs, its tea. I have a family and kratom has helped eliminate my migraines so I can enjoy my children even more. Please take the time to review the benefits of this wonderful plant before it is to late.

    If you have questions about kratom, please visit http://www.americankratom.org. Thank you for your time and service to the state.

    Sincerely,
    -Travis

  163. Seth Long

    Some demographic dimensions of kratom users: middle class professionals, disabled workers, veterans, young women, all largely white.

    Does the DEA really want to be in the news for rounding up young white women, veterans, and middle-class professionals? Does the DEA really want sorority sisters, teachers, and vets to flood the streets in search of illicit substances?

    I suppose they do. With marijuana inching toward legalization, they need more “customers” to throw in jail.

  164. Anonymous

    I have been using Kratom for over 4 years to help alleviate migraines, arthritis, fatigue, to assist lowering anxiety, to aid in dulling life’s minor aches & pains as well as promoting a subtle sense of well-being. Within those 4 years, I was also able to lower my alcohol intake to less than (the doctor-recommended) 1 glass of red wine a day thanks to kratom (kratom does not make one drunk or high nor is it toxic to the liver unlike the ‘legal’ alcohol). I was also able to stop using NSAIDS (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc) as often for migraines as these have been proven to cause liver issues and even liver failure (unlike kratom!!). Many responsible adults rely on kratom as a mild life-enhancing herb no different from those who rely on their Coffee, Chamomile or any other herb that has been used for thousands of years without negative impact upon society.

    Kratom has increased my productivity which in turn has helped me become more of a productive member of society! I run two (going on three) successful businesses of which one of them sells kratom (online). Several individuals rely on my kratom store for their economic well-being and as the business becomes more successful, I have been employing more people that make their living from this industry. Banning kratom will not only have adverse health effects on society but it will also put hundreds of thousands of people out of a job. My own income will be negatively impacted by this ban.

    Kratom should remain legal and available for responsible adults like myself, who live more productive lives thanks to this mild herb that has been used safely for thousands of years. It is widely understood by the community & an ever-growing array of media outlets that kratom has received undue scrutiny by those that see kratom as a means to lose revenue or worse.

    This ban is absolutely not in the best interest of the public, there are over 100,000 signatures on the white house petition in less than 10 days. The people do not support this outdated and quite frankly draconian approach to an herb that has been in our society (the U.S.) for at least 10 years w/out much incident. We are relying on our lawmakers to listen and speak up for the people and we remain hopeful that you will consider a reasonable outcome to the kratom situation such as an 18+ age restriction (which we completely support). Please, help restore the faith of the people in our lawmakers and do the right thing by us. CRE has the right idea and I’m looking forward to the day where these draconian/restrictive ideals are no more. Where we the people have actual civil liberties and freedom.

  165. Moon

    I would ask the CRE to look into any conflicts of interest that exist between the heads of federal agencies and the companies which created synthetics/patents like PZM21, MGM-9, MGM-15, MGM-16, TRV130, TRV734. It has been pointed out that there are indeed connections between members of a big lobbying firm to these companies and our federal government, and the CRE would be able to help launch an investigation into these conflicts of interest.

  166. Anonymous

    Kratom has a centuries-old track record of safety and its effectiveness is testified by the tens of thousands or more that rely uniquely on this plant to maintain a quality of life.

    If the ban is not at least delayed in order to sort out fact from fiction, it will arbitrarily turn thousands and thousands of hard-working, law-abiding citizens—people with illnesses, people in pain, people in recovery—into either felons, relapsed addicts, or people unable to function and enjoy their lives.

    Opiate overdoses will rise dramatically and quickly. Veteran suicide rates will go up (from the already astonishingly high number its currently at). Many who are now productive members of society will become a burden to that society as they’ll have no choice but to resort to receiving unemployment benefits.

    People will suffer. People will die.

    We need public discourse. We need scientific input. We need to stop and take a breath and think about the repercussions of this move before ruining the lives of so many people with the simple stroke of a pen.

  167. Anthony

    Kratom was a godsend for my household. It helps me with anxiety and pain which give me a better quality of life overall. Those of us who look to this plant for relief rather than seeking narcotics will be driven to some other means.

  168. Anonymous

    Please, somebody who matters & is an actual caring human being, please put a stop to the DEA nonsense. It’s completely obvious it will only make matters worse, & will ruin so many lives.

  169. Anonymous

    Don’t our voices matter? Is the DEA listening?
    There is no need for an emergency ban on kratom! I hope to the sky that the extension for July goes through. Then maybe they could do some actual research on it and see it poses no real threat.

  170. Anonymous

    Ethan Nadelmann’s TED talk really explains how this DEA decision to ban kratom will only grow the black market! Another very sad day in the USA!

    https://www.ted.com/talks/ethan_nadelmann_why_we_need_to_end_the_war_on_drugs?language=en

  171. Anonymous

    Different from most Kratom has allowed me to break free of allergy medicine that was becoming less and less effective on a yearly basis. I live in a area with heavy tree, weed, mold allergies that are year round.

  172. Anonymous

    There is no need to ban kratom period! However, if the DEA truly believes it’s a danger then they need to present we the people with proof of this. This is why the ban needs to be pushed to July 2017. This way the proper research can be done. We need time!

  173. Pasha

    I am a partially disabled Army Veteran. I injured my knee during my deployment and had to have surgery. I was prescribed powerful narcotic pain medication such as oxycodone, hydromorphone, morphine and hydrocodone. I became extremely addicted to those drugs. I had to go to rehab several times and put on another addicting drug Suboxone for 2 years. I was injecting Suboxone. I have overdosed on those medications several times and had friends who died from prescription pain killers. Then I finally found the benefits of Kratom. It has allowed me to live a normal life without the constant obsession that opiate addiction causes. Kratom doesn’t get me high like the prescription narcotics, it makes me feel normal. If the DEA bans Kratom then I will probably go back to using narcotics and eventually they will kill me. My best friend is Ann Army Infantry veteran with severe PTSD. Before I introduced him to Kratom he was drinking himself to death. I asked him what is he going to do after they make Kratom illegal. He simply told me that he will just go back to drinking. I don’t think these people realize that for some this is a life and death situation. Please extend the Kratom ban to July 2017 and allow the scientific and medical professionals to at least study this herb. Thank you.

  174. JA

    Yes, let us, as a nation, be on the wrong side of history yet again. Let us imprison generations of working, law-abiding citizens for their use of a harmless ancient medicine. Let us take their possessions when the users are arrested. (To be clear, the wealthy will continue to have access to any medicine they choose, natural or synthesized.) The black market criminals love a new source of profit and power.

    The postponement of scheduling kratom would allow for many public and private institutions to at least begin, if not complete, the studies necessary for a more complete picture of this plant medicine.

    If kratom is to be scheduled, it would also allow for patients with chronic conditions to find a replacement. I pray ithe replacements will not be more toxic and ineffective opioids and dirty black markey substances, but be assured, government that has our best interests in mind, the replacements wil be none other than those listed. The United States will have an entirely preventable medical and social tragedy, bloodying the hands of a law enforcement agency, and those that allowed a law enforcement agency carte blanche to make and enforce law.

    Are we not free, as Americans, to heal our bodies outside of the chemical dystopia of psychiatry, ineffectual pain management practices, and the fraud of expensive drug addiction therapies? If it does not work, why would American citizens continue to use kratom?

    In this climate of mistrust and obscene abuses of power, do law enforcement agencies really need more unchecked power? The DEA is a disease, corrupt to the core and infecting any part of the citizenry it touches with rot and death. It has eviscerated lives, families, communities, doing more harm than good. It has done this for decades, for generations. The DEA does not need yet another substance over which to perpetuate deadly, civilian-killing, no-knock warrants.

  175. Anonymous

    My name’s Dominic, and I am a recovering alcoholic. Before I found kratom and the 12 steps, my life was in ruins. I hated everything, I drank from morning to night, and I was destroying my relationship with my future wife and daughter. I was always sick and truly hated my life. After I went through a Detox here in Austin, I started hitting up meetings, got a sponsor, and started to enjoy kratom regularly. It has worked miracles in my life, and I am proud to say that I am a functioning member of society. I cannot imagine life without kratom, and I don’t intend to even think about it. I really hope the DEA sees the problems they are creating and at least extend the ban. Please.

  176. Anonymous

    Everyone who didn’t know about kratom tea knows now and it’s helpful more than not. How is it even considered a substance 1 like heroin.. people use it to get off heroin but I’ve never done heroine and kratom makes me feel comfortable, less amxious, and work 5 times better! I’ve never thought about someone using kratom and turning into a tweaker because of it. It’s a mild stimulant. It’s all natural and should be legal for everyour 18 and up. And can we think about how many more drugs people are going to get into once kratom is illegal?! Not cool.. setting people up for disaster if it’s banned. Please think of how this will affect everyone..

  177. Sarah Bauer

    It is ABSURD to ban kratom. Im a veteran and I am always in pain. Instead of jumping through degrading hoops like urinating in a cup every month and being practically made to feel like a groveling criminal in order to be treated properly and with respect by the 15year old Doctors daughters who are playing receptionist for the summer Ive been successfully enjoying kratom for about 3 years. I know that many people will end on heroin to dull thier pain. Many people will become felons. Who will benefit from the kratom ban? Drug cartels will have higher demand for all drugs. Drug dealers on all levels will kill more people, the user who owes money and other drug dealers. Dont ban kratom DEA . I know, I just have to believe you already know what people are trying to tell you. Thank you for hearing us.

  178. AJ

    Kratom has saved my life! Stop the DEA from turning me into a criminal!!

  179. Someone who is out of options with medications

    I suffer from a rare autoimmune disease, Behcet’s Disease (and other conditions that go along with it), and have intractable pain as a result. I use Kratom instead of opiates to manage my pain. I have 32 allergies/adverse reactions (and counting) to FDA approved medication to treat my symptoms and ZERO to Kratom. I have the right to use a natural plant to treat my medical condition instead of taking the risk of using FDA approved medications that will likely send me to the hospital from an allergic reaction or worse- I have one medication left I could try but refuse to because it’s fentanyl. Too much danger for me to try it given my history of adverse reactions. This plant should be allowed to be studied, not banned.

  180. Anonymous

    My mother takes it exclusively to stem the gastrointestinal side effect of a prescribed ssri, Cymbalta.  Without her one teaspoon of kratom daily, she would have constant, unpredictable diarrhea.  After decades of trial and error, Cymbalta is the only medication she has had that helped issues of PTSD and depression, and kratom is the only medication (counting prescriptions) that has allowed her to leave the house. Imagine every warm, sentimental moment, in a family, picture-perfect. My mother would not be in that photograph, because she would be in the bathroom. No OTC or prescribed medication has corrected this side effect. Her life grew smaller ans smaller, for years, until she basically was bedroom-bound. Now, she can travel to visit friends in her town, go grocery shopping, and even travel out-of-state to see her only grandchild.  Kratom vastly improved the quality of my mother’s life, and she has taken it for years underneath the supervision of her primary care physician.  She does not drink alcohol, and does not use any illegal substances.  Kratom is not a recreational drug for her, and her dosage has never increased.

  181. ConcernedMom

    Kratom was the only thing that helped my child’s Crohn’s disease while we went through several ineffective pharmaceuticals, including one with a dangerous bad reaction. It took time and I wanted to my kid to live as a normal-as-possible teen – Kratom did that. I’m not opposed to pharmacy drugs because now we’re using Remicade (big pharma for real with the price tag to go with it) and it’s a miracle right now so no need for Kratom. But Remicade doesn’t lasted forever for anyone and then there’s a time lag while your health declines and then the approval process for the next drug – Kratom can bridge that gap like nothing else herbal or drug. Even MMJ didn’t work near as well as Kratom and Kratom allowed normal, legal, non-drugged function.

    I’m a reasonable person with medications but banning Kratom is akin to banning cigarettes (never tried) or alcohol (didn’t work out so well). They all have medicinal uses and the distress from abusing alcohol is so far above any possible Kratom abuse they’re not even in the same galaxy.

  182. Danny

    I am a 47 yr old married man with 2 young children and a homeowner, responsible, pay my taxes, pay my way for everything in life and receive no assistance or support from any city, state or government.
    Last year I ended up in the emergency room for heart palpitations and loss of vision in my left eye.
    After keeping me for the night, was let go with the diagnosis of optical migraine.
    A follow up with my doctor, and a cardiologist uncovered that I had developed an Anxiety disorder.
    Funny that I was also told that even though I know it now, it doesn’t just go away.
    From then on I found myself at least once a day, gripping my desk and trying to breath while being dizzy and in fear that I was having a heart attack.

    My doctor then suggested some form of anti-depressant among other drugs.
    By now, I had also developed TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder) from the stress I was now experiencing with this new life change and prescribed Tramadol for it.
    I was very reluctant to begin anti-depressants as well as taking tramadol as I researched the side effects of taking them and also importantly, getting off them!

    In my search for help I found Kratom, didn’t think it would help but at this point I needed to be proactive about what was happening to me, my life, my job and ultimately my family.

    Well Kratom COMPLETELY changed my life for the better, and used in responsible amounts I have not needed to take an anti-depressant/anxiety drug and don’t even need the tramadol!
    To find that the DEA has suddenly taken a few bad experiences others have had with Kratom upon themselves to ban it has been a hard punch in the gut for me. I feel that’s it’s an injustice to me.
    Age restrict it if they must but to just outright put it in the same class as heroin is a gross mistake.
    Please take my statement and do not allow this incredible, effective, inexpensive alternative herbal treatment away from me.
    I served my country in the Marines way back, please help me now.
    Thank you

  183. Ronnie

    Moving the ban date to July 1st of 2017 would help minimize the loss of jobs this would cause. It would also allow independent research to be conducted to prove the medicinal properties in the plant. Keep Kratom Legal!

  184. Shea Anderson

    Thank you for acknowledging the DEA for their over reach in this matter. It is very suspicious to me that they are conducting this without public comment or factual information. All of the statistic they are providing are skewed to make it seem as though kratom is dangerous, when in fact it is the a very safe alternative to harmful drugs and pharmaceuticals. Why are they so eager to ban this? There have been zero proven deaths with kratom ALONE as the responsible agent. The 15 deaths that they are claiming all had other harmful and strong drugs in their system. And this kratom plant has been around for thousands of years being used for therapeutic reasons in the Eastern part of the world. Please stop them from carrying out their plan, which is a blatant over reach and takes no account of our constitutional rights.

  185. Anonymous

    This decision is making me question many of my core views about the government. It just doesn’t make sense to ban kratom due to an imminent public danger. There simply isn’t a public danger. Opiate abuse is an actual danger and is killing users rapidly. Kratom has a proven benefit in keeping addicts of these dangerous drugs clean. Alcohol and tobacco are dangerous but adults are given the opportunity to decide whether they want to take the risk of indulging. Why isn’t this an option for kratom? All I can conclude is the public safty is not actually the driving interest behind this ban.
    I use kratom to complement my meds for severe aniexty, osteoarthritis and treatment treatment-resistant insomnia. My medications, while not serious narcotics, still have serious side effects (stomach bleeding, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and T2 diabetes. I couldn’t keep talking them at the dosages I needed for much longer. Kratom allowed me to lessen my dosages and I’m doing better than ever.
    Extending the ban date would allow for kratom to be studied for use as a dietary supplement without pulling it out from under those of us relying on it. A delay would also give me time to confer with my doctor about what in the world I’m going to do next. I’m devastated knowing I’ll be back to 2 horrible pain-filled days for every 1 okay day in just a few short weeks.

  186. anonymous

    Kratom helps my menstrual cramps better than ANYTHING else, OTC or RX including narcotics. It just works, no side effects, best thing for PMS and cramping EVER.

  187. lucy

    As a 58 year old woman on disability, I can tell you that economics can be harsh for a single parent, resulting in a lack of medical insurance, inability to afford the high cost of medication (in 1995 the basic medications cost me 800 a month) and adequate medical treatment resulted in my permanent “early retirement”. It is not pleasant to hear a doctor say, “If only you had gotten the right medical treatment just a few years ago you would have still been able to work (as a chemical engineer for the Utility regulatory commission and paper industry).” Even now, as I go weekly for physical therapy, I find that the side effects of high doses of pain medications are not an option. Medical marijuana is not an option. What keeps me going is my family that count on me to stay out of bed and active. I make my own kratom capsules, a herb that does not keep me bedridden like opiate prescriptions and with nasty side effects like high doses of OTC antiinflammatories.. Taking this herb away from us without understanding why this herb works for me without dire side effects just doesn’t make any sense. This ban on kratom will harm me, and have a negative impact on my family life. I was not only surprised how few people know about this herb, but that now it will be banned without any reasonable amount of study or investigation as I can tell you now that I may have to consider moving to Montreal and stay with more distant family there just to obtain this simple solution to keep my quality of life going. Obama care came to late to help me get the treatment I needed to not reach this point in my life. Please do not fail me by taking away this simple herb because of an overzealous undereducated group wishes to pass judgment on a herb not well understood, but known for centuries to help people like myself. Looks like it will be easier to buy heroin than coca tea or kratom for those suffering from autoimmune disorders. Heroin and opiate prescription drugs does not help the quality of life for those of us with autoimmune disorders as anyone will tell you they tend to have side effects that hamper our mobility, our ability to care for ourselves. Kratom is also affordable for those of us who are solely dependent on social security checks. Heroin is cheaper and more easily available to the average opiate addict in central Michigan than kratom is. Plus the desired high isn’t there, so good luck pedalling this to your average opiate addict. Please don’t hand this over to the black market in a misguided effort to “protect our children”. It will have the opposite effect, as it will encourage the more desperate and misguided pain patients to turn to their local heroin dealer for relief that will negatively impact their sanity and health. The recent restrictions on opiate medications is already doing that now, causing an explosive growth in the heroin industry in central Michigan, as they are well known in every small town. Please do not take away this mild herb.

  188. April

    My name is April Smith and I am a Certified Medical Assistant. I am expressing my opinions regarding the DEAs decision to classify Kratom as a Schedule I drug. I take kratom daily to help with several health issues and my life would be negatively affected if this happened. I am 30 years old and developed arthritis in my back in my early 20s. Because of this I developed an addiction to prescription pain pills. My life revolved around them and I could not stop no matter how hard I tried. Because of this I Put myself into a methadone matienence program. The $400 monthly out of pocket cost for the program quickly became too much of a financial burden for my husband and myself to handle with 2 small children to care for. In addition to the financial costs, I was  having nasty side effects from consuming such a large quantity of methadone daily. I detoxed out of the program, and even doing a taper the withdrawal symptoms left me unable to function. I came to close to relapsing back to my prescription pain pills from my back pain reemerging and the crippling withdrawal symptoms. After a desperate Google search I became educated on kratom. I can't begin to describe to you how amazing that day . The plant as like a beacon of light to me in an entirely dark world. It took away my withdrawal symptoms and by back no longer hurt! This is something narcotic pain pills had only been able to do in the . There at also no side effects like with prescription drugs. The cost is something my family can afford. True kratom does not give a "buzz" or a "high" feeling. The most Ive ever felt from kratom is a coffee like burst of energy and improved mood because my pain is gone. I have also suffered from depression and anxiety since my teenage years. I had been on strong medications to treat this off and on throughout the years, also with side effects. Since finding kratom I have not had to resort back to those medications. In addition to kratom's pain relieving properties, it significantly improved my anxiety and depression. I do take kratom daily, bc I the dramatic improvement on my life it has made. With kratom I have been able to discontinue several strong medications with known side effects, including death in certain cases, with a natural alternative that has no side effects. I am an educated person. I graduated magna cum laude and have a degree in Medical assisting. I have obtained certifications in Medical Coding and Billing, EKG, and Phlebotomy. I can hold a job now, and be a functional memeber of society. In getting up and gling to worm daily. Something I was not able to do before. Im going to be honest. Im scared. I'm scared that if the DEA follows through with there intent to classify Kratom as a Schedule 1 I will have to return to use of prescription pain pills again. I dont want to live that addict lifestyle anymore. I am on a good path, and I am happy. There are hundreds of thousands of I the testimonies out there just like mine. Please don't take our right away to choose a natural alternative to prescription medications. Kratom has made such a significant improvement in our lives. Please, please don't take this away from us. Your not just taking out plant away, if some cases your taking our jobs, our families, or our ability to get out and function. Your taking our freedom away by removing our access to Kratom. Please reconsider. Thank you.

  189. Dean Henson

    I found out about kratom on an online support group for anxiety and depression. I was looking for natural ways to get of depression and anxiety meds that had nasty side effects and high risk for dependency. I ordered some from an online vendor and it soon helped me get off all my medications. I told my doctor about it during my annual physical and he never heard of it, so he was weary about the possible danger after reading what the FDA stated on their website. However, he ran a series of blood tests and my liver/kidney functions were not only normal, but they actually improved from my last physical! My cholesterol even went down! He never once mentioned that I should quit kratom but did tell me to “whatever you’re doing,keep it up.” I’ve never done illegal drugs, so to think I’d be considered a felon for possessing a plant that never impaired me or got me “high” is a travesty. The U.S. may be home of the brave, but we’re no longer the land of the free! The DEA must reverse their decision on kratom and focus on the real illicit drugs.

  190. chris romoser

    Kratom is a life saver and must be available. I found Kratom leaf when I was in chronic pain. Nothing else worked for me, and I did not want opiates as I tend to abuse them. I tried kratom and it worked immediately. That was a few years ago. Today it still works and helps me deal with anxiety as well. Perfect for me, and I now do not know what will happen if the DEA ban goes through. Kratom helps so many, it would be hard to swallow if a small federal agency could overthrow the will of the people. Not constitutional.

  191. Mona

    I’ve read the things many ppl have posted…..some made me cry. The hardships and preserverence you have endured….. and this DEA comes in and shuts all of this happiness and accoplishment down. I’m so confused why they didn’t do real research….. Then it came to me $$$$$$

  192. Anonymous

    Big Pharma just doesn’t want an herb to replace all the oxycotin, oxycodone and all the other pain meds they SELL not to mention the drugs that aleviate depression. Kratom has helped my sister so much. She has serious stomach problems (nausea, pain) and has suffered for over 20 years. The medical doctors have done nothing to help her. I told her about kratom and she started taking it in the morning. It STOPPED the nausea and the stomach pain. Now the DEA wants to make it illegal. My sister will go back to being in pain and throwing up. This action on behalf of the DEA is wrong on so many levels.

  193. trey mcabee

    The DEA has proved that they do not care about keeping the public safe. Big pharma cares about how much drugs they can shove down our throats. Even the hospitals don’t give a fuck about us, to them we are customers. And people are starting to wake up to it all. The DEA is nothing but a bunch of lap dogs working for the real tyrants

  194. Anonymous

    My belief is that the DEA has decided to outlaw something else to save their jobs due to the fact that marijuana is being legalized quickly in the nation. Due to the increased popularity of kratom, I believe that they saw a good opportunity to outlaw it and create a new black market that they can then “crack down on” daily for job security. That is the only reasoning I can think of they would ban something as safe as kratom.

  195. katherine

    Of course this will create a black market! Apparently the government has learned nothing from the days of prohibition. Although it will create a market for the prison industry. The DEA has overstepped their bounds and this ban must be stopped

  196. Anonymous

    I am a mother of two, I currently teach at an educational co-op, I am involved in community volunteer opportunities, church functions and fund raisers. I have no criminal offenses, have never been arrested, and have no prior drug addictions. I did not use Kratom in place of a narcotic. I found Kratom while searching for natural remedies for pain. I suffer from severe Dysmenorrhea and anxiety attacks. This issue would leave me feeling helpless because it would interupt my life and keep me from having the energy to play with my children or participate in the activities I enjoy so much.
    I refuse to take prescription drugs to help my issue after watching what prescription drugs have done to so many members of my family. My mother, who was a vibrant and energetic woman was prescribed pain medication for her back about 6 years ago. I watched as the drugs changed her whole personality and her health. She spent more and more time in bed, she was always out of it and loopy from all of the meds they had her on. She would forget when she took her meds and OD (4 times in 2 years to be exact). I watched as she went through the most horrible withdrawals if she couldn’t afford to refill her prescription. Last year the pills took my mothers life. She over dosed for the 4th time, this time she did not recover. She was only 50 years old. I wish I would have known about Kratom before she started the pain pills. I wish she could have used Kratom for her pain like I have. I know 100% that she would still be here if she had. I would still have a mom and my kids would still have a grandma.
    To take an herbal remedy from the people in this way is tyrannical. Why allow alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription opiates on the the street but then deem an unadulterated plant dangerous? This makes me ashamed to live in this country. A country that is “for the people” wouldn’t take from the people something that helps and keeps them from opiate addictions.

  197. Brian

    I take kratom daily for chronic pain in my abdomen from Ulcerative Colitis and to keep me away from my demons from years past. I have been clean from drugs for almost two years now, and my life has drastically improved. I no longer spend days high up in the sky to escape the pain of my disease, and I have the motivation to be a functioning member of society. Taking this plant away from me will quite literally ruin my life. I can’t even speak more about it, I am overcome with emotion

  198. Daniel Mento

    To place Kratom in the same class as heroin is ridiculous. This plant has done wonders to help with my anxiety and depression. I have never felt any “craving” or addiction to this substance that has been used for hundreds of years. The center for poison control receives FAR more calls each year over alcohol and various household chemicals than Kratom. Should everything be banned? Big Pharma is obviously behind all of this. Tens of thousands of people use this herb with absolutely no problems. Does the DEA really want to turn us all into felons and lock us all up? Honestly the DEA seems more in the business of doing all they can to throw Americans in jail than actually SERVING the public.

  199. Jon Frederick

    Kratom has allowed me to stop using opiate pain killers and has kept me from a horrible addiction. I can live a normal life with Kratom. I fear what will happen when it is no longer available. I predict I will fall back into my horrible addiction and my life will collapse.

  200. erin waage

    Through out my years of taking kratom… I have..
    1) Quit all prescription medications
    2) Quit drinking alcohol
    3) Quit smoking cigarettes
    4) Started meditating
    5) Recovered from a life threatening disease
    6) Took on full time employment
    7) Started a youtube channel to promote health

  201. Nicole

    It helps me refrain from drinking alcohol – alcohol caused many problems in my life – Kratom gave me hope – alcohol free for several years thanks to Kratom

  202. Anonymous

    Kratom eases my chronic pain related to multiple surgeries.

  203. Lorelei A. Schufletowski

    This is such an obvious case of Government overreach that it astounds me. The DEA is in charge of enforcing laws not making them. And to not allow any public comment whatsoever on this topic shows a complete lack of regard for the many law abiding American citizens who depend on Kratom daily for their pain management needs. These people don’t want to be forced to take prescription medications which were previously killing many of them. They have found a natural alternative and now that is in danger of being taken away. I am very afraid of what will happen to those who are suffering if this ban is allowed to go through. Thank You For your prompt attention to this matter.

  204. Anonymous

    I am a middle aged professional, and strongly oppose the kratom ban, for everyone of the same common sense reasons previously cited

  205. Luke

    Kratom Saves Lives. Why can’t the government just leave it alone or at least come up with some scientific evidence to justify this decision. IT HELPS PEOPLE!!

  206. supplement

    Quality control, Regulate and tax it. Less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. This herb has been legal and sold openly for the past fifteen years or more. It has been on the chemicals of concern list for at least ten years, and all of a sudden it’s a menace. It hasn’t caused any problems before now, it should be de facto legal.

  207. Anonymous

    This decision has put more lives at risk than any decision in the last 2 decades….When opiate abuse is at an all time high. This plant has centuries of history, none of which has shown harmful results.I feel more apprehension and despair over losing a supplement that gives me my days back, gives me the energy, and lack of pain that makes my time with my son so much more enjoyable. I don’t know if I can be me without some sort of meds….and I’ll not go back to pharmaceuticals ….ever…

  208. Anonymous

    regularly use kratom to help my anxiety as well as maintain focus at work. I used to get sever panic and anxiety attacks and was on benzos for years. Drugs such as xanax and klonopin made me feel completely incapacitated, I had a loss of memory while on them, and my mood changed dramatically. Ever since I started medicating with kratom, I am able to work long hours while still on point, due to kratom’s nootropic-like qualities. This also signifcantly uplifts my mood and instills a sense of motivation, that I could never find before with any prescription medication. I don’t see in any way possible that this plant could be harmful. It has helped the quality of my life and others I know who also medicate with this plant….

  209. Anonymous

    My boyfriend suffers from congenital scoliosis of the spine and used to live in daily excrutiating pain mixed with anxiety and insomnia. He was prescribed oxycodone and found that he had grown a tolerance to the medication along with an unhealthy addiction to it. It barely masked his pain along with a change in mood and other negative side effects from the medication. Luckily, he discovered this beautiful plant called,”kratom”, which helps his pain DRAMATICALLY. He is able to get through his day with minimal pain and his spirits are up again. Not to mention the availablity and cost effectiveness of this plant seriously trumps any prescription pain killer.

  210. Grant Dumas

    Kratom for me serves multiple purposes. For daily use it gives me the energy and clear mind to perform my job as a respiratory therapist. Working a 12 hr shift, I need something for a energy. Caffeine drinks and coffee do work…for a short time. Also these can cause slight jitters which I don’t want when I have to draw blood from a patient’s artery.

    I also have DDD and I will not take narcotics. I have used OTC pain meds which help but those have wrecked havoc on my digestive and esophagus. I have GERD and frequent heartburn due to these meds. I know have to take nexium for probably the rest of my life. Every since I discovered kratom, I have not needed these OTC meds.

    Restless Leg syndrome also runs in my family. I would only get RLS maybe 4 or 5 times per month but that is still too much. With kratom, I am able to sleep sound which means I am more productive and more alert during the day. This means I am less likely to make mistakes at work which would be detrimental to patients.

  211. Anonymous

    It is wrong to deprive those in physical or mental anguish of something that helps them function and maintain a livelihood. If the DEA wants to maintain a shred of legitimacy, they will at least delay this ban.

  212. Anonymous

    I’ve been suffering with depression and anxiety, and also very bad headaches form a severe car accident which I was involved all from my teen years, I am in my 40’s now. Over a long period of time I’ve been prescribed a number of different types of prescription meds which helped, but cause many unbearable side effects which always caused me to stop them. Then a few years back a family member recommended that I try an all natural, organic herb “Kratom”. I did and I have never been more happy, positive, normal, etc. with absolutely NO side effects whatsoever! It DOES NOT GET YOU YOU HIGH, in any way shape or form. I am a very spiritual and religious person. I fully believe that everything that all living creatures need to keep themselves happy, and healthy are all on this planet, and its NOT a coincidence. Please leave all natural products alone, they have been put here for us, not for a group to pass judgement, turn us into criminals, and keep us from making our god given rights personal decisions.

  213. Anonymous

    The DEA should NOT immediately ban Kratom, and if anything should at least extend the date of effectiveness to july 2017 simply because too many people will lose their lives or lose their functionality from pain.

  214. KratomPro.Info

    Kratom is a natural herb with medicinal properties. It’s been used by millions of people for thousands of years. It helps people with depression, chronic pain, opiate addiction, and dozens of other ailments without resorting to expensive medications. There are dozens of studies on its efficacy and properties. The DEA should not ban a substance without understanding it. There should be further research. We should look into understanding kratom and educating EVERYONE about its effects, risks, and benefits.

  215. Sean

    When people who used to use kratom start dying en masse, this will go down as one of the dumbest, most pointless moves in the history of american bureaucracy.

  216. Anonymous

    I started taking Kratom about five years ago after only one year of taking Vicodin. In that year my tolerance tripled to Vicodin as it’s pain reliving effects diminished. Kratom was a God send….helped me get through withdrawals from opioids and I have used it to manage pain ever since. I work 40+ hours a week in a very labor extensive career and I know for a fact I would not be as productive on opiates. Banning it would hurt alot of people!

  217. Anonymous

    Kratom has been a daily remedy for me for the past several years. I take it as a stimulant in the mornings, and a calming/anti- inflammatory in the evenings. Never have I once been harmed from this natural herb. I did accidentally ingest too much when I first began experimenting dosage…. all that happened was I got dizzy and threw up. Not once did I feel the need to visit the ER nor have I died, obviously! Banning this plant would only prove yet again freedom doesn’t actually exist in the land of the free. My body, my mind, my choice, I choose KRATOM!

  218. #Iamkratom

    I like many,many other have been trapped in the vicious cage of opiates prescribed by doctor’s for over 20 years personally and here recently have found a plant called kratom. After several attempts to Wien myself off pain meds and the meds prescribed for the side affects of the pain meds , I have cold turkey quit with no withdraw symptoms at all because of this plant. It in no way needs to be banned by anyone period. It’s a plant ! That our Creator placed upon this earth for exactly what it is doing, helping tens of thousands of people get back to being productive citizens and giving people their lives back.

  219. Anonymous

    The question as to the DEA’S motives needs to be addressed. Why are they acting like kratom is such a threat? Why would the the government agency, put in place to protect people from hazardous substances, not know wether or not something is truly dangerous? Why, even after the outcry from the people and all of the studies popping up, are we still even having this conversation? It seems at this point that an agency that wants to protect people would not only admit they were wrong but immediately change directions on this one. Why are they still hell bent on scheduling this leaf despite the overwhelming evidence of the harm it would do to the very people they are put their to protect? I guess that’s a lot of unanswered whys……

  220. Jamie

    Our government should learn from their mistakes from the past. We no longer need or want a DEA. It is easier for children to get their banned substances then to get substances that are regulated, like alcohol & cigarettes. The drug war has more of our population in prison then in any other country. Prohibition was such an utter failure. Why keep making the same mistakes over& over again?

  221. KD

    As usual, only Big Pharma stands to gain, and also the DEA need more funding since MMJ is becoming legal in more states. I am a 57 y/o woman who found Kratom after 10+ years of rx’d opioid use. I was able to kick the prescription drugs, though I did it cold turkey and it nearly killed me. A few months later, I found Kratom and now am able to actually lead my life instead of only existing. You see, congenital scoliosis and being a long distance runner increasingly complicated my back problems to the point of either going on opioids or ending my life to end the severe 24/7 chronic pain. I began to get my life back and all the things about me that those evil pills had taken from me. Then earlier in the year, my State banned it as Schedule I. Since that time, my constant pain has steadily increased along with the damage to my spine and surrounding structures. From T-11 down to S-1, my spine is a mess. The doctor told me he will never be able to keep me out of pain. His words! I refuse to go back to narcotics and spend my days in depression and increasing suicidal ideation. No, no plan yet, but I can’t take it much longer. On the other hand, if I continue on, the increased cortisol levels in my blood (due to chronic pain, think of ‘fight or flight’) are damaging my body, especially my heart and blood vessels. Perhaps it will kill me soon enough. I really don’t care any longer. This country is a corporatocracy, and the system is beyond corrupt. I see no way out. Perhaps my gravestone should say, “killed by the DEA and corporate greed”. Thank you for listening.

  222. Hayley Mercer

    Who is anyone to deny a miracle? Dream come true? Answer to my prayers? I need far more than fourteen more days to attempt any safe way to survive and live with chronic horrendous pain without kratom on top of the heartache of knowing for a fact I am far from alone. Pharmaceuticals are not an option for me after eight years in pain management but never pain free, only side effects. How can this not be questioned as corruption when the evils far outweigh the good? I am suddenly a potential future felon after living a law abiding productive life for 51 and do need more time than two weeks to find my way.

  223. Anonymous

    Kratom is so beneficial to many, many people. It is an amazing plant that helps so many people. My Neice overdosed on Heroin at age 20, and it was laced with fentanyl, the DEA needs to worry about drugs like those not something they believe is damgerous, and indeed it’s the opposite. The DEA doesn’t have all the facts or evidence to back their claims. There are bigger fish to fry then a harmless plant because you see it as a threat to pharmaceutical sales.

  224. Anonymous

    I am writing you Today on behalf of the Thousands of people that will be Affected if the DEA makes Kratom a Schedule 1. I have Bone on Bone Arthritis in my Knees. I can feel the bones scrap together when I walk. I have tried varies Prescription Medications. I tried prescription pain meds. I tried to only take them, to work. I quickly needed a higher dose. My pain seemed to be worse, and I began to feel the need to take these harmful pills on days I did not work. Growing up with a Father with a addiction Problem, I know the signs. I found Kratom 8 months ago. With Kratom, my pain is manageable I can only take Kratom on the days I work, and my pain, and inflammation has subsided to where I can not take Kratom on my days Off, and have no withdraw symptoms . I have not had to increase the small amount of Kratom I take to make it thru my day at work. I do Not get a high off of Kratom. Which is what I like most. I don’t like the feeling High that Pain Pills give me. Please, don’t take away my choice , and force me back to harmful Prescription Pain Pills.

  225. Anonymous

    This proposed ban is frightening, insulting and demeaning. I am scared of the person I will become after the end of the month if this ban passes. Being in chronic pain 24/7 means I cannot work, keep my home clean, shower or maintain my own care on a daily basis and let’s not even talk about sleeping. I hadn’t gotten a full night’s sleep for almost 30 years until I found kratom. Kratom also gives me the ability to manage my day to day activities. Even though I no longer work, I still have a home, husband and a child to care for as well as myself.
    I find the proposed ban insulting because it assumes I cannot make an intelligent decision regarding my own health. Even when I was seeing a Dr I was pro-active in my treatment and using kratom does not mean that I have tossed all logic out the window. I researched kratom and vendors thoroughly before purchasing any and sought out advice and wisdom from others who were experienced and knowledgeable.
    The language used in the proposition is demeaning by lumping Kratom in with Schedule 1 drugs and those who use them. Drugs like Heroin, LSD & Ecstacy are illegal street drugs and more often than not used by drug addicts, criminals and others of that society. Kratom users, myself included are using kratom to benefit their lives, not escape from it. We desire to be able to work, function and be productive citizens and family members.
    This is a hard situation for ALL of us to understand and if our testimonies do not make a difference, then all is lost for that is all we can give. We are who we are, people who suffer from a variety of conditions who have been brought together because the DEA has decided to come after us through our healthcare. Who does that? What kind of government would say this is the way to treat their citizens? I am ashamed to say that it is my country, the United States of America.

  226. Anonymous

    This seems like a hasty call. The number of comments in support of this use is exponential greater than the reported cases mentioned in the entire paper. Clearly the societal good outweighs the dangers and so moving the date back is logical.

  227. Shane Deveroux

    I used to abuse alcohol and opiate pain pills, to escape the crippling anxiety and severe depression ruining my life. I was able to quit drinking and using drugs by using kratom,finally I am living a normal life,able to function and work a steady job. I used to think about suicide every day, I hate what this world has become. I know what’s going to happen. Kratom will be a schedule 1 narcotic, I feel so bad for all of these people. Goodbye

  228. Meredith

    I am posting my story again with the added information that yes I probably would seek Kratom out to avoid going back on prescription narcotics.

    I have been taking Kratom for 5 years now daily. I have rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain. Kratom has helped me live a normal life. I used to have to take narcotic pain medication and live my life in a fog so to speak. I’m 39 years old and I’m a mom, a wife, and a baker. My job requires me to be on my feet and on the move sometimes 9-10 hours a day. I would not be able to complete my duties without the help of Kratom. I am a law-abiding citizen, I’ve never been arrested and have the utmost respect for law enforcement. After hearing the news that the DEA wants to ban Kratom I was, and still am devastated. I don’t know what will happen to me. I suppose I will have no choice but to either be in constant pain or return to using narcotic pain medication. Honestly I think the former is the better option for me although I know that would lead to depression and I probably would ultimately turn to the pills. This ban is not right. I would be considered a felon if I continued to use Kratom and that is mind boggling to me. I want the right to take care of my body and what ails me however I choose. They will ruin lives if this ban goes through. They have no basis for pushing this ban and it isn’t right that they are trying to manipulate people into believing Kratom is dangerous. I am a living, breathing testament to the benefits of Kratom. Please help us to stop this abuse of power.

  229. Deborah Joiner

    I pray that the DEA will read all the benefits and factors of this all natural herb. There have been no overdoses with this herb, unless otherwise, been taken with opiates or narcotics. Kratom has helped many addicts overcome their addiction by using this miracle herb. It has helped them through the withdrawals and cravings. I’m sure the statistics are a lot lower for addicts to start using again after using Kratom as a form as treatment, as opposed to the 40 to 60 percent of drug addicts that relapse from their plan of treatment. Not to mention the thousands of dollars they would save using Kratom rather than the latter.

    I am a 51 year old mother of 2, and grandmother of 2, ages 6 and 7. Up until about 6 months ago, I was 95% bedridden from severe, chronic neck and back pain, herniated/bulging disks, migraines, fibromyalgia, 2 brain aneurysms, blackouts and alcoholism. Now, I am a recovering alcoholic! I’m out of bed, cooking meals again taking my grand-daughters outside, gardening, shopping, and more! All thanks to kratom!

    Please.. just research this miracle herb further. Listen to the people who take it. Don’t take away what has saved so many lives, and gave us our lives back.

    Thank you.

  230. Anonymous

    Plants not pills!! #IAMKRATOM
    Open your eyes here. Kratom is good, not bad. It’s no different than any other supplement.

  231. VC

    I have to wonder…does anyone at the DEA read these testimonials? Do they realize how this will affect thousands of US citizens? Do they care? And many of us wonder, are they being paid off by Big Pharma? This borders on criminal behavior. The way they’re doing this seems illegal. Where are our rights as citizens? They state that they’re doing this to protect people, but I think all they’re doing is creating more problems for people. I already feel like a criminal when I have to get a prescription for pain killers filled. My doctor doesn’t want to prescribe what he calls ‘too much’ (which for me averages one pill every other day and each one lasts about 4 hours). If he wants to prescribe more then I’ll have to go to a pain clinic and get drug tested all the time. That seems like such a blatant invasion of my privacy. Kratom allows me to get through those other 44 hours with less pain. My health insurance has a $6,000/year deductible, and I already pay close to $1,000 a month for that crappy insurance and my husband is presently out of work. I can’t afford to keep going to doctors! I can’t afford the drugs my insurance won’t pay for! Kratom has helped minimize my pain and has allowed me to function without those pain killers. It has also allowed me to get off a lot of other expensive pharmaceutical drugs that I have to fight my insurance company to pay for. I dread to think of how my life will be turned upside down by a kratom ban. Please don’t take our kratom away. #IAMKRATOM.

  232. Heather G.

    Vetted, legitimate vendors are being forced out of business by the DEA’s hasty decision, and already some dishonest people are seeking to take advantage of this situation. Word-of-mouth and friendly relationships with reputable, law-abiding vendors who care about kratom and the people who need it has kept us safe for many many years, and we do not need a ban, for ANY length of time!
    We cannot afford to establish a black market and risk the safety of those who may feel they don’t have any other option. Those who suffer incredibly from chronic pain, severe mental health issues, and those who are not on solid ground yet with their recovery from heroin or synthetic opiate addiction.
    This ban would take something safe from the hands of good people and give it to those who do not care about the law. It takes the open, caring and helpful community of users who have supported each other, and plunges them underground to a world of illegal drugs, that many of these people would be entering for the first time.
    This will hurt many, many people. Prescription opiates are already deadly, sold illegally, and hard to obtain through doctors for even legitimate patients who really need them! You have cracked down on their pain meds and left them with kratom, a natural and safe alternative. Now you want to force those people who can’t get through a day of life without excruciating and debilitating pain to choose to either live with that pain for years while you decide if it’s safe enough for people to use, or become criminals! There many people who will not follow this law because their only choice is to either get kratom illegally or kill themselves because the pain is too much! Those are the people our community cares for and are standing up for! Don’t take kratom away from those good people. Not even for a moment!

  233. Jolyn

    It is clear to nearly all of us that use Kratom as a tool to improve our daily lives, that there is in fact a very large Elephant in the room. The DEA.clearly has an agenda beyond what they are choosing to make public regarding this hasty scheduling of Kratom. A 30 day deadline leaves so many folks scrambling for a viable option to keep their daily lives on track, or is forcing many to become criminals. Many more probably won’t even know about this and unknowingly be criminals! I think an extension of the deadline to July 1st is even a generous one, as they should.have to give an entire year warning to allow for proper research to be conducted, and FULL COMMENTARY by the American people. This is something that should be placed for a vote, using ACCURATE information on the ballot. Not hyped up info that seeks to make it look bad. Statistics should be placed near others to show the relevance of them.

  234. AMR

    I am a 38 year old female in the Health Profession. Recovering alcoholic and drug abuser. I have depression and anxiety, and turned to those items to disguise my illnesses. About 5 years ago, I found Kratom and use it on a daily basis. Why on EARTH would they schedule this amazing plant as a harsh drug? Are they serious? Yes, they are, and I am completely disgusted. Does this mean I’ll have to either “buy it on the streets” like one would do for cocaine or switch to a disgusting government-approved drug to “help” me? Is this even comparable? My mind is baffled and I hope to God they do research this before just pulling it. I wish they would TRY it and SEE that you CANNOT overdose from this. Either you’ll get a little sleepy or a little nauseated. What if I take a baby aspirin and heroin together and die…does that mean it is the baby aspirin that killed me? No. People mix Kratom with harsh drugs and the harsh drugs kill them, NOT the Kratom. Come on American Government….why is this now a dictatorship?

  235. Dee

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Do NOT take this away. I am a 62 year old grandmother with muscular dystrophy that was prescribed Oxycotin at one time. I refused to take it. I can legally buy medical marijuana and I have no problem with people who use this God given healing plant, but I could not function on it. Then I discovered Kratom. I am overjoyed to have found something that does not make me high but takes away the pain. I too do not need to take it everyday, just when I have extreme pain. I am so confused why my government wants to make this illegal. I agree with others that it is the influence of the big drug companies that want life long junkies on their drugs because of the all mighty dollar and the votes they can buy. I think this problem goes much further. Until we can ban lobyists, we have no control over our elected officials but then that is another argument. In the meantime, please don’t take our Kratom away!

  236. Anonymous

    I hope that, by some small chance, someone who has influence over this ban reads the many thousands of cries to stop this madness. People’s lives are saved by their right to use this plant. How can anyone turn a blind eye to the immeasurable pain that will be caused by this?

  237. Joel

    I hope the DEA doesn’t create another black market. It’s so counter productive.

  238. Anonymous

    Big Pharma is using the DEA as its tool to strong-arm the American people, and to monopolize the legal drug market. I read that the acting DEA director Rosenberg used to work for a pharmaceutical lobbying firm. This is just like the CEO of JP Morgan becoming the new Secretary of the Treasury! This creates a scenario where the “regulated” stage a coupe, take control of the government, and become the new “regulator.” Now knowing that Rosenberg used to work for big pharma lobby, we can all conclude that his actions regarding Kratom are highly suspect indeed.

  239. LT

    I used to use Kratom for my Chronic Pain and Fatigue. Ever since I found out that it is going to be scheduled I’m afraid to purchase any more of it because I don’t want to get in trouble and not using it has significantly affected my daily life. My pain and fatigue have increased and I am back to being unable to accomplish simple daily tasks.
    I have an opiate prescription but it doesn’t work as effectively as it used to and I don’t want to keep increasing my dosage. What if I need surgery in the future? A small dose of Kratom powder (no additives) would diminish my pain and increase my energy for several hours, thus allowing me to clean my house, take care of my yard and other small chores. I was able to skip days and NEVER felt any ‘withdrawal’ symptoms.
    I am a responsible intelligent adult and I never took too much, mixed it with other medications etc. I dislike taking a lot of medications anyway. I am absolutely devastated that it is being scheduled. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I can only think that there is some serious financial reason behind this move and chronic pain sufferers are the victims.

  240. Ann

    As proved by the opiate epidemic in this country it is NOT hard to get prescription opiates. Doctors are writing prescriptions like they’re ib profen. If I wanted to abuse opiates I’d go by any one of many doctors I know who prescribe them & be on my way.

    The point is that I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to take prescription medication I know for a fact has killed millions. I don’t want to end up addicted to prescription medication. Why on earth should I be forced to take something that’s killed millions and be banned from taking something that’s killed no one. (& to be clear- blaming kratom for suicide or a death with other drugs also in the system is absolutely ridiculous).

    I don’t have the luxury of being able to just take nothing. I have chronic pain caused from a bad car accident years ago. After being prescribed pain killers- getting addicted to them- & getting off them- I know what that life is like, I never want to go to back there. Kratom has been more effective than anything else I’ve ever taken & it also helps my depression/anxiety.

    The drug war is failed. The US is trillians of dollars in debt. Our prisons are over capacity. Banning kratom will be making felons out of veterans, professionals, sufferers of chronic pain & other medical issues, recovering addicts, & many others.

  241. Phyllis

    Phyllis
    September 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm
    Thank you Mt Tozzi. It would be pointless for me to list the 31 pharmaceuticals that I have experience with, because we all know that the entire focus here is to keep all of us, law abiding citizens, on as many of those big money making meds, as possible. Money is the name of the game. The greedy, selfish individuals that profit from us as long as they can keep us UNhealthy, will have to answer for their actions one way or another. It would take me hours to list all of my diagnoses and most of them have already been addressed in previous comments. I accepted years ago, that my daily life would consist of unrelenting pain, due to an S1 to T9 spinal fusion. But what I had not accepted and desperately longed for was my mental health and emotional state. I wanted to know what “normal” felt like. I wanted to be and feel normal. After years of anti depressants, anti anxiety meds, sleep meds, etc. left me in a coma and my 4 children almost lost their Mother, I’d had enough. I chose, without any help, to discontinue every single one of them. I believe I was actively taking 12 different ones at the time. For 6 years I just existed, literally. 2 years ago I began my quest for a more natural way of living and discovered Kratom. For the first time in my 50 years, I feel and I am, normal. The past 2 years have been the most enjoyable and fulfilling years of my life! My only regret is that my children missed out, all those years, on the “normal” Mom I am today! Shame on the DEA! What has happened to MY great country that I once was so proud to live in? What about MY rights and MY freedom? Why isn’t it MY choice to do and treat my body as I wish? Basically, what it boils down to is, the greedy, conniving politicians, pharmaceutical companies and government officials, actually own MY, this, body that I’ve been living in! I’m saddened and filled with grief, knowing this is the country I’m leaving to my children. I’m a disabled Mother, Grandmother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt and my name is Phyllis. Please help stop the ban on Kratom

  242. Anne

    It is purely criminal what the DEA is trying to do. I am a chronic pain patient with degenerative disc disease, 4 degenerated discs, 1 herniated disc, spinal stenosis and fibromyalgia that developed courtesy of FDA-approved statin drugs. After a lot of physical therapy, spinal injections…the usual path for someone like me… I was referred to a neurologist (head of the department at a well respected hospital in my city). He was a big fan of opiates and wrote 3 books about how great they were, and I was a model patient for 5 years. When he retired, the doctor that took over his practice parked a police officer in the waiting room. I was so upset and was not going to be treated like a criminal or a junkie when all I was doing was what I was told to do. I started to research and try to figure out a way I could manage my chronic pain without opiates- I wanted something safer and I wanted something that would work. I found out about Kratom in a fibromyalgia forum and began utilizing it instead. It worked better! It was safe! It actually gave me a slight lift in energy which was so needed- chronic pain is exhausting physically and mentally. Opiates just made me a zombie who spent most of her time in bed. I own a very busy business with my husband and am able to keep up with it and with my grandson because of how much Kratom helps me. I’ve learned from being in the Kratom community how much it helps other people with everything from PTSD to depression, people who were heroin addicts becoming clean…we have an opiate crisis for God’s sake! This is the absolute WORST thing to do in the situation we are in! I am thankful for you guys at CRE and everyone else who is fighting this along with me. I pray that the DEA will reverse itself.

  243. Erica

    I am a 36 year old mother of 3, part time student, work full time, happily married and own my own home. I started taking Kratom 3 years ago when I got sick from taking too much Vicoden for my chronic back pain. I have Degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, herniated discs and sciatica. I have tried steroid injections, physical therapy, chiropractic care, harmful pharmaceuticals and several other things. Kratom is what has allowed me to become mobile again. I fear what will happen next month as I no longer am able to continue taking Kratom. Will I once again become debilitated with pain? Will I be able to continue working? Thanks DEA for lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies and taking the rights away from individuals like myself who want the right to treat themselves naturally and harmlessly. I’m sincerely disappointed.

  244. Jasmine

    Hi, I’m a mother of 2 beautiful girls and full time phlebotomist. I’ve worked in the medical field for 17 year, and I use Kratom. I suffer from Spina Bifida Occult, Sacralization of my L5/S1 vertebrae, along with lower back osteoarthritis, disk degeneration, ankylosing spondylitis and nerve damage from a fall in 2003. I’m unable to take narcotic pain medication due to a high probability of addiction and because I take medication for Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorder. Being in the medical field I have seen what addiction to narcotics can do and I couldn’t risk loosing my job because I was in pain all the time. Up until a month or so ago, I would literally just power through my daily pain. I would take over the counter naproxen and ibuprofen and grin and bear it. A friend of mine from high school introduced me to Kratom. She has similar lower back issues as I do and was telling me about how wonderful it was. I decided to give it a try and I couldn’t believe it. I walked from the bus stop to my work (a little less then a mile) and I had no pain. I couldn’t believe it. I was ecstatic. I could stand, walk, run around and do the things that I needed to do and not want to die afterward. It was the first time in 15 years that I didn’t feel like I needed to lay down after a full days work/shopping/walking/being a mom.
    I can honestly say that, if the DEA ban goes through, my life won’t change. I will still do that things that I do, I will still power through my life attempting to ignore the pain. I will start to take the OTC pills that I have to take to make it through a day without crying my eyes out in the bathroom at my job. My quality of life with have diminished greatly, but I will keep going.
    I am honestly more concerned about the people in the Kratom community who will have no quality of life if the ban goes through. The courageous people who turned to Kratom to end their addiction to narcotics. The folks who suffer from PTSD, chronic pain and other things that Kratom helps them with who will have nothing to turn to after the ban. Those that can’t power through their lives because the weight of the problems that Kratom helps them manage are too great. I worry about them. How many of them are going to turn back to narcotics, or worse, turn to heroin? We can not allow this to happen. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and attempting to change the DEA’s mind about this ban.

  245. Brooke

    I am a fifty-one year old college educated professional. I have been using Kratom for 4 years to help manage chronic pain. It is stunning that the DEA can decide to ban a somewhat harmless substance without any oversight. There should at least be an open public comment period where users and researchers can weigh in. This is very shady on the DEA’s part.

  246. Anonymous

    What I envision happening if kratom is banned in the US is that production of high grade extracts will move to Canada and Mexico, which will then be smuggled into the US, since powdered leaf kratom is too bulky whereas high purity extracts are compact. High purity extracts may actually be dangerous, unlike the raw leaf. This would be awful for the ongoing opiate epidemic in this country.

  247. Citizen John

    There is nothing to be gained by emergency scheduling of a non-toxic plant that has been used to mitigate pain and addiction safely for two decades in the USA, and more than a thousand years in South East Asia. People will unnecessarily die as a result of this policy and many more will become addicted to synthetic analogs with no hope of release.

  248. Anonymous

    We must abolish the DEA. The Waron drugs is an utter failure and millions have suffered due to the failed policies of these incompetent uneducated blithering idiots.

    We must extend the ban and stop hurting our vets and the mentally ill.

  249. Anonymous

    A new black market means more money for the DEA, it would be to their advantage to have as many new black markets as possible. The tables are turning on public opinion on marijuana, and I have a mind that it will soon be decriminalized. Here is a plant being banned that is much less intoxicating than marijuana, yet helpful and indispensable to so many. If there were truly no illegal drugs in this country, and the drug war was actually won, there would be no use for the drug warriors. The war was designed to be unwinnable.

  250. Anonymous

    I am very sad about this upcoming scheduling. The future looks quite bleak for me now. Many who have been helped with chronic pain, depression, ptsd, opioid addiction and other disorders who have not been helped fully by the medical establishment because they do not have a never ending source of funds to offset the increasing prices of medical care and drug costs will experience such a decrease in their quality of life that suicide will seem like the only answer.

  251. Jenn Hiles

    After a car accident 10 years ago, I have been in pain on a daily basis. My doctor has prescribed me pill after pill. After the insane amount of side effects, I could no longer function. I almost lost my job and I ended up divorced. Once I discovered Kratom, my life has turned around. My job is secure, I can sleep at night and I don’t have to take all those awful medications. Kratom saved my life.

  252. Anonymous

    Such an immediate ban with so little supporting evidence is certainly cause for a suspicion. There is an elephant in the room, and its name is Big Pharma.

  253. Bill H

    PLEASE do NOT put Kratom on the List of Schedule I Drugs. KRATOM IS NOT A DANGEROUS DRUG. I am 59 years old and I have been using kratom everyday for OVER 3 years now. I take kratom for my back pain (I have 2 compression fractures of the spine) and for my osteoarthritis AND IT DEFINITELY WORKS. I also take kratom for my severe anxiety and depression and sleep problems AND IT DEFINITELY WORKS. I also should mention that I do NOT take any RX or OTC drugs — NONE. And, I do NOT drink alcohol.

    I do NOT take kratom to get high. Kratom does NOT get me high no matter how much I take. Kratom is not addicting like heroin, it’s much closer to a coffee addiction which I can easily deal with [IF] I have to. We all are addicted to something, be it coffee, sugar, wheat, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, gambling or fast food. The fact is… too much of anything can be bad for you and could lead to an addiction.

    Too much of anything can also be dangerous, for example, a person can die from drinking too much water, but the fact is nobody has died [specifically] from taking too much kratom ALONE. I do NOT crave more and more kratom even after daily use for 3+ years — I always take the same amount everyday.

    On August 31st the DEA irresponsibly placed the active compounds in Kratom , Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, into Schedule I, effective September 30.

    As a taxpaying citizen who has elected you to office, I ask that you represent my voice and please act immediately to halt the DEA’s irresponsible action to place Kratom on the list of Schedule I drugs.

    Why not just regulate kratom in the same way you regulate alcohol, cigarettes and E-cigarettes which are definitely more of a health problem than kratom. The industry needs to come together to self-regulate and self-police one another and get rid of some of the bad apples out there.

    I support placing an age restriction on kratom for consumers who are 18 or older. I also believe that stricter labeling guidelines are necessary. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t use kratom, for example, and anyone with a medical condition or who is taking prescription medications should consult their doctor before trying kratom. Perhaps most importantly, make sure that products aren’t being deliberately marketed toward younger consumers, or with the intent of comparing its effects to other drugs, like actual opiates.

    Kratom is a tropical plant in the coffee family from Southeast Asia that has been used to support energy and focus, as well as a potent immune system booster. Kratom is inherently safe and shares many therapeutic constituents in common with other widely recognized medicinal plants such as Cat’s Claw and Yohimbe, which currently enjoy wide spread safe usage as dietary supplements in the United States and abroad.

    The DEA, without a serious review of the available scientific literature, has chosen to emergency schedule Kratom and designate it as schedule I substance; one that has no accepted medical value. The common citizen can easily perform a search for “Mitragyna speciosa” in Google scholar and find over 1,660 search results documenting the potential medical value of Kratom. The DEA has not only turned a blind eye to the scientific literature, but it has also taken the stance that it is uninterested in hearing testimony from Kratom users who use it for its therapeutic value. Thus, the DEA considers any and all use of Kratom to be abuse, while ignoring the medical literature, NIH funded studies, numerous patents, and millions of users testimonies, all of which point to its therapeutic potential.

    Rather than consider the therapeutic potential for Kratom, the DEA has unilaterally moved to make millions of felons out of Kratom users who are simply using Kratom in accordance with its historical use, its patented use, and the conclusions of thousands of scientific studies. Allowing the DEA to unilaterally criminalize the use of Kratom will not only create millions of felons out of otherwise law abiding citizens, but it will also halt all scientific investigations into Kratom’s medicinal benefits which would benefit millions of other law abiding citizens. With America currently suffering from an opiate epidemic and opiate related overdoses at an all-time high, a policy that prohibits the research of therapeutic compounds does not make sense.

    Furthermore, the economic impact of the criminalization of Kratom will have unforeseen consequences due to the enforcement costs and public health costs associated with addiction such as emergency room visits due to substituting Rx medicines, petty theft to obtain said Rx medicines, etc. Lastly, harsh penalties, such as a felony charge for possessing Kratom will not only be ineffective in preventing its use but it will also severely limit otherwise law abiding citizens’ future prospects for jobs, housing, voting rights, food assistance, and education, a challenge that can be permanently damaging to individuals, while costing US citizens tax revenue that is better spent on serious crime.

  254. Steve

    Just another example of “big brother” taking control of our lives! If you would please, check in to see how many veterans are using kratom for a better quality of life because PTSD is only ONE of the afflictions faced by veterans that kratom helps! Really lost faith in my own government and am going to consider moving to Canada…

  255. Lisa Masters Crotty

    This is totally insane! It will hurt so many people to even make it unavailable for a short time. I have Addison’s and was in a total of 3 car accidents over the years and Kratom got me up and out there again after years of pain and a lot of sleep due to the medications I was on. I have read and watched so many heartbreaking video’s over the past weeks and will not understand any of them if they go through with this. Not this way anyway. Please do your home work and find another way if you have to. Kratom has helped save so many from a very dark place and I am praying we won’t have to go back there. The last few weeks have been so hard even thinking about it all. You will be throwing many people under the bus and it is so obvious! If you are trying to protect We the People then do it and leave this alone for us to choose to use it or not.

  256. Anonymous

    This is exactly why people are voting for Trump instead of status quo.

  257. Cris

    I am health, and fitness professional and have been in the industry for a good number of years. With that, I am quite attuned to the negative or positive effects different substances have on the body. I took opiates as prescribed by my doctor for a number of years, and never exceeded the recommended dose. I noticed the effects the opiates had on my body, and mind and didn’t like what i was discovering. I felt like my insides were rotting away and just felt crappy, imagine putting a bit of sand into the gears of a clock….

    Over time the positive effects lessened, and I felt even worse. Instead of raising the dosage yet again recommended by my doctor I sought out an alternative. I discovered kratom, and since that day haven’t looked back. I am able to function pain free through the day without my many extreme sports injuries(past broken bones, surgeries, 2 slipped discs, etc..)

    Not only has it helped my physical ailments tremendously, I have completely abated from caffeine, have normal bowel movements and a normal appetite which is non existent with opiates. But my most favorite of all is not having the typical opiate fog, or “dirty” feeling in my brain where it feels just aren’t running quite right up there!

    I will never go back to opiates, and will keep spreading the word of how this simple leaf called kratom has improved my life. You can be darn sure I am going to do everything I can to keep those nasty chemicals out of my body!

  258. DJC

    I am a sixty year old woman who works an outdoor job in Montana year round, and as of three years ago did not dream I would be able to continue in my job. I was dealing with increasing pain in my lower spine and my joints, primarily my knees. At that time I discovered and started using kratom and my pain reduction and health was improved to the point that I feel I have many years of productive work left in me. Kratom does not make me “high” at all. I use it daily, and if the DEA’s claims are correct that kratom is harmful, then why have my health, energy levels, activity and alertness levels improved steadily over the past three years of using kratom as my morning tea, and why do I feel great and why am I able to keep up with people who are a lot younger than me in the workplace? I replaced my morning cup of coffee with a tea made with a cup and a half of hot water poured over 1 teaspoon of kratom, 1 teaspoon of guarana, and a bit of stevia sweetener. I do not want the DEA to force me to have to quit my job and to become an invalid for the rest of my life who is forced to choose between living in constant pain or to live on mind-crippling and addicting pharmaceutical drugs. We lose 19,000 human lives per year in the USA due to prescription opiate pain killing drugs. So why does the DEA want to make a law abiding citizen like me a “felon” for having found a healthy herbal alternative that has kept me productive, working, and able to pay income taxes? Speaking of taxes, the vendors who presently sell kratom legally also pay taxes to the US govt, so the act of keeping this helpful herb legal keeps this source of tax income in the hands of the US govt. Please don’t allow the DEA to give this herb over to the Black Market. Please don’t allow the DEA to give entire control of this helpful herb in its whole and natural form over to the USA-price-gouging-Big-Pharma-monopolies who will chemically alter kratom and transform it into a distorted and dangerous drug. We need our government to do what it was designed to do, to stand with and for the People. Thank you.

  259. Jennifer Wiesen

    i am a 55 y.o. woman.
    for over 40 years i have suffered from depression & migraines.
    i have suffered from ptsd for 14 years.
    i was soooo happy to find that kratom brought relief for these ailments.

    there is no “high,” it simply makes me feel better–it allows me to live!!!

    what will happen after the ban?? will i have to resort to medication that doesn’t work as well, that has side effects, and costs so much that sometimes i must go without?

    there are some things you can’t put a price on, and i hope my government–the government of the greatest country in the world–decides that the well-being of its people is one of those things.

    please.

  260. Anonymous

    To think this benign plant, related to the coffee family and used for thousands of years, warrants a schedule 1 classification is just, in my opinion, ignorant. The DEA’s claims are false and the rush to get this done seems suspect. I will continue to fight for those I love who have benefited so greatly from this plant.

  261. David

    Have we learned nothing from prohibition? The DEA has no basis for putting kratom on schedule 1. It has countless medical uses that we will not be able to research if it is banned. They claim it has no medicinal value because it hasn’t been studied, yet they won’t study it because it’s put on Schedule 1. Irony?

    What this comes down to is individual rights. Despite some hype in the media, kratom is a naturally occurring plant, it is not a synthetic chemical or pharmaceutical drug so it has no place on the DEA schedule. It’s a harmless substance and frankly the government has no business telling responsible adults what they are and are not allowed to consume. The only danger here is black market synthetic substances which will only INCREASE (along with the related violent crime) if this unwarranted action is taken, in the same way people turned to moonshine during prohibition. Have we learned nothing from those dark days?

  262. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee
    September 15, 2016 at 1:13 am
    I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It’s affected all parts of my life. Some days I find it hard to even function. But luckily, with Kratom I was able to keep it manageable, where no prescribed medicine helped, and also no side effects from kratom. If this plant is banned, me and many people like me, and those much worse off, will have a much lower quality of life.
    Please, look at this from a different perspective. There is no reason to cause this much pain to so many.
    If a black market is created, I obey the law, and would not buy, but I’m sure many people will. Without kratom my life may go back to being a maddening spiral of different meds and adverse reactions, over and over. Don’t make me and so many others go back to suffering, for nothing other than a knee jerk reaction without basis in reality.
    Thank you,

  263. Tom R.

    Kratom has saved my life! I am a very hard working 35 year old tax paying
    United States citizen With so much to live for. I suffer from ulcerative colitis ,
    Social anxiety from being bullied as a child and
    Lower back pain from 20 years of manual labor. I started taking Kratom
    3 years ago in seek of an all natural treatment for my stomach pain.
    Wow! No more stomach cramps amazing but then I realize
    My back doesn’t hurt either? Absolutely amazed I was thinking I will probably
    Build a tolerance to this and have to take more and more this will be short lived
    Relief , but 3 years later still at the same dose as when I started..
    I no longer have anxiety either I have made very meaningful relashionships in
    These last 3 years. I want to thank The Cre and thank you Kratom for helping
    Me get where I am today! Legalize Kratom PLEASE!

  264. MaryBeth

    Pease reconsider this could damage a lot of lives. People who use this are functional citizens who contribute to society and their families. This could lead to a lot of depression, physical pain and/ or suicides. Please let the people have a choice of natural healthcare. Pharmaceuticals are destroying lives kratom is helping people live them. My mother and grandmother have both stopped using pain meds after being on them for 20 and 30 years. they are happier and more functional today from drinking this tea the last 5 years than ever. Please I fear what will happen to my family. We are praying hard and taking what action we can. God bless

  265. Allyson

    I think the possibility of a black market is absolutely 100% with two bordering countries allow it. People are desperate to continue their use of Kratom not because of any sort of high but because it actually alleviates whatever ailmentthey suffer. It is deserving of further research. Placing it scheduled one will only hinder research and grow a black market. Thank you CRE for you’re very responsible request of the DEA.

  266. Xelle Wyble III

    This move will absolutely give birth to a black market. We’ve all seen it before and it will happen again. I know that people are already getting ready to engage in previously legal but made felonious activities involving kratom. I suffer chronic pain. I would definitely use kratom illegally as apposed to using dangerous opiates. I have a family and I cannot risk becoming an opiate addict. I have seen what happens to people who are injured and prescribed opiate pain medicine. It’s not pretty. Kratom has given my life back. Made it possible to care for my children without cursing everytime I need to get up to do a chore. Please do not let this happen.

  267. Anonymous

    I put a few grams of Kratom in my coffee before I work out. It makes me feel great and I have been been getting more reps lately. It is absolutely insane to put this plant in the same category as Methamphetamine. I don’t understand why there needs to be emergency scheduling for a harmless plant when the US is in the middle of a Heroin epidemic

  268. Mike

    I am a veteran & simply another American who isn’t rich & whose family doesn’t make tons of money so health needs often go unmet for awhile. Kratom, fortunately, has provided a way for me to take care of my chronic pain, no doubt. I’ve been a user for over a year & it took me awhile to buy it because I was skeptical at 1st, but not because I was fearful of bad side effects, but because most natural products don’t do what they claim to do. Kratom does. It’s got ZERO negative effects, only positive. Even IF someone were to ingest, let’s say 30 grams in 1 day, the worst that can happen would be you might feel extra sleepy, constipated the next day & maybe nauseous. My body is pretty sensitive to drugs or anything like a drug, so for me to be able to use Kratom effectively to prevent pain from being a hindrance to my daily life, it has helped me to live better. For anyone to take that option away from me, well, it seriously hurts me & many others like me. Kratom is expensive, that’s the worst about it, but that’s good in a way too. By banning this, it will cause loss of jobs but worst of all, it will hurt the few millions of Americans who use this God given gift of a herb to mankind.

  269. Tim

    The DEA really needs to extend the action to go through the steps to make the right decision.

  270. Anonymous

    What’s going on here? Will someone tell me when the DEA began having the authority to MAKE laws, rather than ENFORCE them? I’m a registered voter in my district who votes for the person and refuses to toe a party line. The DEA has proposed and intends to make kratom, a tree in the coffee family a schedule 1 drug, due to the fact that “there is no medical benefit” on September 30, 2016. Besides the fact that congress should compel the DEA to present its case, and call for public input, you should know that kratom (mitragyna speciosa) has relieved pain for hundreds and thousands of people who, if kratom is designated schedule 1 along with heroin and meth, will instantly become criminals. This includes members of the work force, stay-at-home Mothers and Fathers, LEO, and even members of the clergy. Kratom has also allowed people addicted to heroin, morphine and opiates to break the chains of addiction. Kratom does not cause respiratory depression as pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs do. I am now retired with arthritis, DDD, osteoporosis, and until I found kratom, my dreams of working with the elderly and shelter animals were shattered. I found kratom mentioned, studied it, and tried it and now I’m able to fulfill the dreams of my Golden Years! In my opinion, the only fair way to deal with this is to compel the DEA to present scientific evidence and allow the public to present its case and rebuttal. I agree with the date of July 17, 2017 to accomplish this. I also would be amenable to an age restriction of no purchases of kratom for those 18 or 21 years of age or younger. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  271. Kayt V

    Kayt V

    My anxiety was debilitating before I discovered kratom. Conventional prescription medications such as Xanax or Valium were discontinued for me by my doctor and it left me dependent on them and completely cut off. My anxiety got much worse- not because of my dependence on my prescriptions, but because my anxiety was never truly treated. Enter kratom. Not only did it alleviate my anxiety in a much safer and gentler way, I found that I was more energetic and sociable in a way I never experienced with prescription drugs. I could focus better, create better and even make wiser decisions faster . I could fully engage with life. I know that I am not alone on this. Kratom has been used by humans for millennia and it poses no danger to anyone- especially when you look at its track record next to the truly dangerous man-made designer drugs. Please reconsider this ban. Kratom is not some horrible synthetic drug like flakka/bath salts. It doesn’t destroy the mind or body. It actually feeds it- it has antioxidants! Keeping it legal will make for less drug related crimes as well. Please keep leaves from a tree in a separate legal category as something made in lab! Thank you for reading!- Peace!

    Testimonial
    Age: 42
    Gender: Female
    Condition: Anxiety

  272. Brittany Jordan

     I’ve used Kratom safely, responsibly and successfully for a couple of years to treat my depression, anxiety and physical pain from type II bipolar disorder and back pain. I continue to use Kratom while taking up healthy practices of prayer, mindfulness, exercising self control and personal ethics. All of these things used together help me to maintain a calm mind and satisfied sense of being. 

    I found Kratom three years ago after I had began searching for natural and safe ways to address my physical pain. This, as I understand is a side effect of bipolar disorder and depression. My medication schedule was so oppressive. So many side effects and the amount of time took to get the therapeutic dosages, it was draining and most of the time unsuccessful. I finally gave up all prescription medication and spiraled into a 6 year period of alcohol and drug abuse. 

    Kratom is absolutely, without a doubt, the best natural intervention I have stumbled across. I am extremely grateful to have had it.

    Kratom, with its alkaloids, needs to have some conclusive studies done, SOON, to verify that this IS a promising plant and has endless potential. Kratom, with its alkaloids, is scaring the FDA. Allowing the DEA to schedule Kratom as a Schedule 1 substance is extreme and unnecessary. Scheduling Kratom this way prevents science to study it’s effects in a medical setting. This is overreach is terrible and harmful to most of society. It is undemocratic. It is a thievery of basic human rights. 

    Please step in and stop this perversion of what this country was founded and built. Freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

    There is currently a petition to the Whitehouse that has yielded over 70K signatures in 7 days. We the people deserve to be heard, but the DEA claims there is no reason for public comment. 

    Please help us get the word out about this amazing plant, it helped me with my mental illness but countless people use this tea for chronic pain, lupus, endometriosis, PTSD and a myriad of other health concerns. 

    This is me. We are human beings: 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzRlc08sNV4 

  273. Sean W Murphy

    I am writing regarding the DEA’s upcoming rush to schedule Kratom as a Schedule 1 drug. I do hope the DEA will reconsider its position and at least put off action till July 2017 so further consideration can be made of this issue. I am a widely published author and college professor at the University of New Mexico-Taos who suffers from chronic fatique syndrome and Kratom has been enormously helpful in helping me live with my condition. I experience it as no stronger or more stimulating or addictive than coffee, but without the side effects of caffeine. It is nowhere near comparable to other schedule 1 substances, but is an herbal supplement comparable to, for instance, ginseng, which is widely used and perfectly safe. It has no more potential for abuse, in my experience, than caffeine or ginseng or many other legal plant-based supplements. It would be a big shame to deprive sufferers like myself from its many helpful benefits. In addition, those who use it for its useful pain-relieving properties may be inclined to go back to using far more dangerous and addictive drugs such as heroin or even the widely prescribed, yet highly addictive hydrocodone. I do hope you can intervene on this matter and at least open the doors for further study so this useful herbal remedy can remain available for the many who are benefited by it.

  274. Catherine

    I personally don’t understand people calling this a legal opiate. My experience has been pain relief and a mild energy boost similar to 1/2 a cup of my morning coffee. I was on pain meds for 2 years that were prescribed. I felt so loopy and uncomfortable that even though my pain was great I could not take the medicine during the day and be productive and go to work and care for my children. I tried suffering during the day and only taking the meds at home in the evening. The pain was so debilitating though I had to quit work and hire a nanny to help in the evenings. I was miserable. I told my Dr. I just couldn’t stand to live this way anymore. in bed not working not being active enough and present enough in my childrens life and that I wanted to start the process of stopping the meds. He began a slow process removing a little at a time I had never experienced withdrawal before and I didn’t see myself as an addict since I always took my prescrioptions as told by my Dr. at the appropriate times.To my surprise I began too feel it. It was such torture I went to my Dr. crying saying I just couldn’t handle it. I had my mother and father come to help with my two children. It was a nightmare. eventually my Dr and I decided I would go to s specialized detox facility where it can be more gently done and he told me because I had already decreased my meds so much it should be a piece of cake. A piece of cake it was not, but I was grateful for the facility as the horrendous detox a traditional hospital gives was torture. When I got home I was determined to heal naturally I began researching herbs and reading articles from Dr Oz and put together a healthy diet that included supplement vitamins and herbs, but I was still to miserable to function and get out of bed. I was just about to call it a day and tell my Dr. it was a mistake to quit the pills when I stumbled onto kratom.I was skeptical , but would try anything at that point and decided to give it a go. I made a tea and although I could still feel a lot of my pain, it was probably cut in half. Which was enough that I got out of bed. Two months later I was able to return to work. I was able to let my nanny go, rejoin the pta and be present for my children again. I was drinking one cup of tea once daily. After alot of hard work, physical therapy, healing foods ,nutrition I no longer have to take it daily. I still get flare ups maybe once or twice a week, although ive been several months at a time without needing any, but i always know its there. If it wasn’t I’m not sure i would have had the energy, motivation or relief to do the hard work it took to heal and i know , I would not have been as able to be present for my children and returnto work. Now if its gone i will be forced to return to the dr for medication or suffer and that is very scary to me. Although at present i don’t have severe daily pain anymore when it comes its bad enough to need those awful things.I don’t want to become dependant. My choices today if that pain pops up are drink a cup of tea that allows me to be present coherent go to work and be active with my children or to take a pill, lie down call into work and call over the nanny. My finances, my quality of life, my childrens quality of life will all be affected by this. I hate pills I’m scared of pills. Please don’t hurt my familys quality of life, please give me the option to heal myself how i see fit. Please extend this until July 2017. The public at least deserve the chance for more than 30 days to speak and contact people and research. This has been legal since the United States was founded it’s legal in Canada and Mexico we the people deserve more than 30 days with no public forum to not only banish , but criminalize this plant. I don’t know who or who all will read this, but if you have ever been in pain known someone who was addicted that turned to stealing prostitution lost their job became homeless lost loved ones or perhaps their own life or freedom, perhaps you will have some understanding and/or compassion for something that helps people get their lives back. People living beautiful full lives.Holding onto their jobs homes possesions and loved ones.What is more of a blessing than that, being able to live feel good in your skin and pursue happiness and your dreams. Please reconsider. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider our comments. God bless

  275. Anon

    Please do not ban kratom, thank you.

  276. Anonymous

    I was on pain meds for seven years , Then I tried kratom, It worked so well. I have not touched a pill sense. First the gov. wanted to take away my pills , no they want kratom. Please don’t

  277. Catherine

    Hi I am writing again to add most all of the people I have spoken with about this had no idea it was even happening. Whether or not they have used, still use or have never used or maybe never even heard of kratom. I assure you if more people knew or know that this was about to happen the public outcry would be huge.( that’s why the quick 30 day thing). Look at the outcry already from the relatively small amount of people that know and well over 100,000 signatures not including the many people who are just too nervous to sign a name . We only have a few days left so please and with urgency write those letters call your local radio and news channels, sign the petition, get your friends to sign, tell and educate your friends who don’t know about kratom. You have a very large, larger than you know frightened populace. at the very least please hear the peoples cry and extend this until July 2017 Think of all the destroyed lives you’ve seen from pharmaceuticals and give the people the freedom of choice. The freedom to live a healthy pill free life. The freedom we fight for as americans for our health to be our choice.. Please hear us. We are good decent hardworking American citizens not criminals. God bless

  278. ANONYMOUS

    Kratom gave me my life back after years of being an opiate addict. Please do not take my saving grace away. My life has meaning now and I am a productive member of society. Don’t make me go back to the turmoil of addiction.

  279. Mike

    The DEA’s ban on Kratom will seriously hurt a lot of very good people in a very bad way. Kratom is a legitimate herbal remedy that if banned, will have the effect of turning upstanding law abiding citizens into law breakers. Please look at all of the controversy surrounding the DEA’s total ban. I believe a delay is appropriate to have a chance do some real science on this herb and listen to the thousands of testimonies from people.

  280. Doug

    Please, take a step back and properly examine kratom’s true properties. It helped me to stop using alcohol and is a remarkable analgesic. My arthritis is soothed like no other drug and I don’t get high or sleepy. And I believe in it’s antioxidant use, I don’t get colds any more.

  281. Eleanor I Stanford RN

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I’ve been an RN for 44 years. After almost a year of being unable to sleep because of body pains and my physician REFUSING to order a sleep med for me (she said to take an Epsom salt bath – like I hadn’t already tried everything), I went on the hunt for a supplement that would help me. I finally discovered Kratom and what a Godsend it was. I finally slept and totally without the hangovers, drowsiness and side effects of pharmaceutical medications, BTW.

    I don’t smoke nor do I drink but I rely on my nightly Kratom to ease my arthritic pains and get some sleep. Without sleep I cannot function and I’m far more impaired from lack of sleep than I ever am from a dose of Kratom, I can assure you.

    Many people use this legal substance as an organic and safe alternative to pharmaceutical drugs which they may not be able to afford or which may cause many serious side effects for them.

    I’m begging you – please do not force an entire group of law abiding citizens to become criminals overnight by the mere passing of some arbitrary legislation on the part of the DEA. Please allow some discussion and research first. Please allow some consideration for the American citizen who is only trying to get along in life. Please allow some kindness and understanding for the vendors who will overnight be losing their businesses.

    Thank you

  282. Diane

    Hi, Kratom gave me back my life. When I found kratom, I was able to stop taking the opiate based pain medication that I had been prescribed for years. I am now able to work full time, play with my grandkids and be a positive, active member of society. Please stop the DEA from taking this crazy action. I beg of you!

  283. Caduceous

    This is a copy of the email I sent to Congresswoman Bonamichi here in Oregon:

    Congresswoman Bonamici,

    I can’t imagine what the demands on your time must be like, so I will keep this as brief as possible. My name is ********, an undergraduate student at both Portland Community College and Portland State University and I’ve never written anything like this before, so please excuse any errors in décor from a fellow Michigander-Oregonian.

    Geography isn’t the only thing we have in common, as I grew up in Michigan in the 70’s and 80’s and have extremely fond memories of the then-newly elected Senator Carl Levin and his brother Sander, who were friends and clients of my late grandfather, *******. I was only six and yet I can still remember “Sandy” visiting during his campaign for the 18th District with a bag of goodies and balloons for me! Also, next month is my ten-year anniversary here in Oregon and I still wake up enchanted by the simple fact I live in the most beautiful place on Earth. Coming here is the best decision I’ve made in my civilian life. I enlisted in the Army after the attacks on September 11th, 2001 and have never looked back to Michigan since.

    My reason for writing this correspondence is that on September 30th, the Drug Enforcement Agency – an agency I once did contract work for after leaving the Army – plans to Schedule a substance known colloquially as “Kratom” as a Level One Controlled Substance, equivalent to heroin.

    I’ll spare my personal feeling about the corruption I saw permeating every aspect of the D.E.A. and supporting agencies and instead make the factual statement that this will create a vacuum that hundreds of thousands of people will fill with either pharmaceutical opioids or worse, heroin.
    I suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from an extremely violent and traumatic career and have found great relief in using Kratom to help with pain from a traumatic-brain-injury without having to resort to using opiates, which I thankfully have never done; and I am one of hundreds of thousands that do every single day.

    I believe in the rule of law and love my country, but allowing the D.E.A. to arbitrarily schedule Kratom this way isn’t in the spirit of the laws I fought to uphold. The public has a right to have their voices heard before action is taken. If after research and debate it is decided to schedule Kratom; I – and many others – would have to accept that as a fair decision. But that isn’t even close to what could happen in 11 days.

    Recently, Congressmen Pocan of Wisconsin and Congressman Salmon of Arizona have authored a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter that asks, among other things, that the Director of OMB and

    Acting Director of the DEA delay a final decision on the placement of Kratom as a schedule I, provide ample time for public comment on this significant decision, and resolve any inconsistencies with other Federal Agencies regarding the use of Kratom.

    I am humbly asking for you to sign this letter to show support for public discourse on this matter.

    Thank you so much for your time Congresswoman.

    “Caduceous”

  284. Anonymous

    I am the mother of a 29 year old heroin addict. My son staring using heroin while in high school; unfortunately, I didn’t find out until much later. I live in a safe affluent town with good schools. My son comes from a good family. I could never had imagined that he would become addicted to heroin which I thought of as a ghetto drug. However, the heroin epidemic is rampant in Westchester county and too many young people have lost their lives to this addiction.
    I would like to voice my opposition to the DEA’s Intent to Schedule the alkaloids Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, which would make Kratom (Mitragynaspeciosa), a schedule 1 controlled substance with no medicinal value. My son has been in and out of rehab numerous times. He has been clean now for well over a year. He is living on his own, has a job and is able to support himself. He just told me last night that it is kratom that has helped him stay clean this time. He rarely uses it now but says it helped ease the relentless cravings in the early stages of recovery. He claims that it is not addictive and only uses it now when the cravings for heroin are very strong.
    I am aware that there have been reported overdoses. Compare that small number to the number that overdose on opiates. Opiates are scheduled drugs and heroin is illegal, but that does not prevent their abuse. Is it realistic to believe that banning kraton will prevent it’s use or will it just add create another crime to add more inmates to our already overcrowded prison system?
    I request that further research be conducted prior to making this a schedule 1 controlled substance. My son has become a productive member of society. Others should have the same assistance legally. Kratom is much more effective and less addictive than methadone and Suboxone.

  285. Anonymous

    I just wanted to reiterate what I have stated before. This plant is a Godsend for so many people in chronic pain who do not want to become addicted to, or remain addicted to opioid pain medications. It is not dangerous. This is false. This plant has been used safely for thousands of years and does not cause respiratory depression. Taking away this plant will be detrimental to hundreds of thousands of people. Banning Kratom will have the opposite effect and will make the opioid epidemic WORSE by FORCING people back to the more dangerous and highly addictive drugs like Oxycontin, Methadone, and others. Kratom saved my life and saved the lives of so many others. Delaying or overturning the proposed ruling by the DEA is required to prevent imminent harm to the public.

  286. Anonymous

    Kratom has been a great blessing to my life as well as to others in my life that I know personally. It has helped with pain and stress management. The plain unmodified tea has a very low potential for abuse. Using too much is not a desirable experience and dependence is closely related to coffee. This tea has helped me when all other pharmaceuticals were not able to help and caused other health problems. Due to my health problems there are many drugs I cannot take. I am a sole provider for a family of 4 children and my wife. Making this necessary medication illegal will do us great harm and put our livelihood and my health at risk. I use kratom under my doctor’s direction and supervision.

    DEA Overreach:
    The DEA is claiming this herb has no known medical use and a high potential for abuse in spite of the conflicting NIH[dot]gov published study that highlights the medicinal benefits AND low potential for dependence. The study is here:

    www[dot]ncbi[dot]nlm[dot]nih[dot]gov/pubmed/21594658

    Congress should make laws; not unelected federal agencies who reject academic research and all public comment. The DEA is seeking a ban, which would make the medicinal herb, Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and/or its constituents Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy-mitragynine, illegal. I ask you to make an informed decision by educating yourself on the safety of this plant compared to coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs, and I urge you to research the medicinal potential that this plant has ALREADY displayed. Consider reasonable legislation that would restrict its use to 18+ like other states.

  287. Anonymous

    I’m not one for conspiracy theory but it’s obvious there is more to this than meets the eye. Perhaps there has been recognition of the profits being made by this industry and they want those profits. Government agencies and Big Pharma are using the DEA as their scapegoat in order to cash in on this beloved plant. They’ll probably turn it into the next pill and you’ll see some ridiculous commercial asking you to ask your doctor to prescribe you “Mitraxalone” or some such ridiculous name….sad. This is really a tragic day for the American people.

  288. Josh

    I am not a drug addict, and thus I have avoided the prescription of Adderall due to its addictive poisonous properties. however, I discovered kratom and began using it in early 2016 to help me juggle the life I have of school work and community service. Kratom has kept my mind clear enough to let me help other people as well as myself, and now that it is gone I have had to scale back on my community service in order to juggle my life and my survival. I’m angry and I don’t know how to help.

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