One of the Many Informed Reactions to the CRE Proposal to Regulate Kratom as a Dietary Supplement

Editor’s Note:  We appreciate all the emails our  readers have sent us through the “contact” link on the CRE website. But please note that to ensure the privacy of the sender our software eliminates all email addresses which make it impossible for us to respond.

CRE appreciates the many positive responses to its proposal to regulate kratom as dietary supplement; see cre-position-statement-on-kratom. CRE’s position is similar to the program in place in Canada where kratom is classified as a natural health product.

Please see an excellent response which follows. Also see the 9/28 post in the Of Note Blog in the preceding post which solicits public comment on the CRE proposal.

Of Note!

 Week of September 25


9/28   Comment on cre-position-statement-on-kratom

CRE has conducted an in-depth review of the kratom issue and has read and benefited from the numerous comments posted on this website. Based on the said information, CRE has developed a proposal for addressing the issue.

We welcome public comments prior to arriving at a final position. Please note that the CRE position is contingent on the DEA not taking any additional action on its intent to ban kratom.

The Ultimate Scientific Verdict on Kratom: WebMD?

Publisher’s Note: One implication of this article is that kratom should be regulated as a dietary supplement. The resultant regulation would address labeling, adulteration, health claims and related issues of product integrity. If this end is pursued, the kratom industry should examine the use of voluntary-consenus-standards-kratom.

What Is Kratom? Why Does the DEA Want to Ban It?
By Jennifer Clopton
WebMD Health News
Sept. 19, 2016 — Advocates say the herb kratom offers relief from pain, depression, and anxiety. Scientists say it may hold the key to treating chronic pain and may even be a tool to combat addiction to opioid medications.

But the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is moving to ban its sale as of Sept. 30, citing an “imminent hazard to public safety.” The DEA last month announced it would make kratom a Schedule 1 drug — the same as heroin, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy.

Quebec Chapter of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club is Poised to Dominate the Post-Prohibition Kratom Black Market

The face of organized crime is changing and becoming vastly more dangerous as it merges with terrorist organizations and extends its economic tentacles. Professor Louise Shelley of George Mason University described the evolving nature of crime, “At the end of the 20th century, a new phenomenon appeared—the simultaneous globalization of crime, terror, and corruption, an “unholy trinity” that manifests itself all over the world.  . . . it is a distinct phenomenon in which globalized crime networks work with terrorists and both are able to carry out their activities successfully, aided by endemic corruption.”[1]

What Role Did HHS Play in DEA’s Decision to Ban Kratom?

Publisher’s Note: We appreciate the splendid reaction you have made to our posts.  Your comments are viewed by regulators, the press and Congressional staff.  We apologize for not responding to the questions you raised in your comments or the questions you raised in the submissions to CRE via the contact link on this website.  Rest assured a member of our staff reads all submissions and the comments are  placed in a database which we use for our advocacy operations. That said, we simply do not have the resources to be as responsive to your requests as your have been to ours.

CRE Open Letter to Ms. Valerie B. Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to President Obama

Publishers Note: CRE very much appreciates the insights our readers have displayed in their comments and are transmitting them to Administration officials.

Ms. Valerie B. Jarrett

Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement

Re: CRE’s Creation of a Kratom Scheduling Docket

Dear Ms. Jarrett:

In his Open Government Directive,[1] President Obama called for creating and institutionalizing a “Culture of Open Government.” The President explained that to

create an unprecedented and sustained level of openness and accountability in every agency, senior leaders should strive to incorporate the values of transparency, participation, and collaboration into the ongoing work of their agency.

An Open Letter to the Obama White House Staff

Publisher’s Note: A similar letter or email from members of your Congressional delegation to the White House staff would be very helpful.

DEA Is Creating a Black Market Which Will Finance Organized Crime and Terrorist Groups

At the end of this month, September 30, 2016, the DEA will create a black market as a result of its ban of kratom. The ban will go into effect on October 1 unless it is modified prior to that date.

The effective date of the ban should be extended from October 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017 in order to allow the public to comment on the proposed ban.

The Black Market: Part 2

One thing an Interactive Public Docket ( IPD) does is that it provides an open forum for the public not only to express their views on a topic but it allows others to comment on their comments.

The post we made yesterday  resulted in a number of  very notable contributions in that many of the comments  addressed the  two critical questions raised in our post:

  1. If kratom is banned will a new black market come into existence?
  2. Is there an elephant in the room?

In one instance a comment answered a question CRE did not ask, namely the identification of the elephant or elephants.

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.

2nd CRE Letter to Department of Justice: A Roadmap to Sensible Regulation

On September 12 CRE sent a letter ( cre-dea-kratom-1 ) which contains a roadmap for the Drug Enforcement Administration to address the alleged problems with kratom through the adoption of a transparent and public process.

CRE concluded in the aforementioned letter:

However in this instance, the DEA action to ban Kratom, the conflict is considerably wider in scope. In this instance there is a sharp disagreement among a number of federal agencies. Consequently if there were ever a time for an OMB intervention this is it.

CRE recommends the following: