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]

In a new in-depth report, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation detailed the reemergence of Quebec chapter of the Hells Angels, the province’s most notorious biker gang.[2] Unless the US Drug Enforcement Administration delays its October 1st ban on kratom, the agency will provide the resurgent Canadian crime organization with a lucrative new trade, the smuggling of kratom in to the US. As the CBC explains, “as scores of gang members are being released from prison, organized crime experts say the Hells are not only seeking to reassert control of their traditional illegal enterprises. They are also branching into new businesses and trying to reinvent the way it operates.”

Welcome to the future of the kratom trade. Kratom will remain legal in Canada irrespective of the US ban. Unless the DEA delays its ban on kratom so that substance control policies are coordinated on both sides of the border, criminal gangs can be expected to exploit the financial opportunities presented by the kratom ban in a move that that will bring violence to both sides of the border.

National security and bilateral agreements between the US and Canada requires that substance control policies be coordinated on both sides of the border.



24 comments. Leave a Reply

  1. Paul P

    Although it may or may not be the Canadian Hells Angels, you can certainly bet that criminalizing kratom will do exactly that: criminalize it. An entire underground industry will grow around prohibition — as it always has (do we not learn our high school history?). And the irony is that the good people we have heard from during this scheduling fight, the people who use kratom for wellness while also leading responsible lives with strong families and good jobs, will suffer the most. They will not break the law, so they will suffer, and perhaps even die.
    Instead, kratom will be turned over to the criminal element. Laced products will spread everywhere, shady dealers will push tainted products onto people calling it “kratom.” In this way, still others will die.

    So it becomes clear that under this ban, people will die. The law-abiders and the law-breakers. What a strange decision to be making during a heroin epidemic. More deaths. But also, at the risk of sounding cynical, higher budgets for enforcement agencies, more revenue for pharmaceutical companies, more profits for private prisons. Let the Great Wheel of Prohibition spin …

    • Anonymous

      Bravo! Very well said! Anybody for some black market kratom? Ugh!

    • Melissa Reid

      Well said!! It’s just pathetic no one ever learns!

  2. chris romoser

    In no way does a ban on kratom help us. It will open the door to the illegal markets, and also keep those addicted to opiates loyal to the bottles of Vicodin, Percocet etc. The ban must be postponed at the very least.

  3. Anonymous

    The DEA should have seen this happening. They know full and well that banning stuff doesn’t mean you cannot get it. I even stated that people will still get it, and it will come from underground. Best to just keep it legal.

    • Anonymous

      It’s what they want. Keeps a need for them, provides bodies for prison slave labor, keeps people in pain buying expensive, dangerous Big Pharma drugs and keeps the populace under unconstitutional control and unhealthy. There is a plan and its being carried out perfectly.

  4. Anonymous

    Is anyone still pretending that banning a substance makes it go away? When a government bans something, they’re not getting rid of it, they’re just abdicating control of it. They’re handing its supply and regulation over to organized crime.

  5. Anonymous

    As usual, the US government would rather put people in prisons than to see their people prosper and succeed! Would private prisons even exist without the war on drugs?

    • Anonymous

      There doing away with private prisons

  6. J

    Even if the proposed ruling does not happen, other federal agencies won’t let the natural material go through our ports of entry. CRE, please cover this specific issue. If supply can’t meet the massive demand (especially after the whole world is now interested, thanks to the attention), importation will have to occur via a black market anyway. What I’m saying is that even if the material is legal, the entities that control imports will still seize shipments now more than ever, essentially being the same as “banned”. The only WIN for our people is to battle and succeed on both the legal front and the supply end.

    • CRE

      Your are correct; supply side issues are immense. That said the main actors are the FDA, Customs and the banks. With respect to the FDA and Customs they will argue that there is a risk associated with impure and adulterated products. An issue that has to be addressed head on. CRE has no plans at this time to address both sides of these arguments.

      • J

        Well. the lack of cooperation by FDA and Customs is just like the DEA not acting in cooperation with NIH, NIDA, USDA, etc… as they as are also federal agencies. We would assume the 2nd CRE letter to the DEA would encompass any other Agency. We would hope those acting on the DEA’s word would follow suit if the proposed ruling was shot down… Or would those other agencies actually need to be sent letters addressing them specifically?

  7. Anonymous

    Have they not learned a darn thing by scheduling marijuana?? This ban will create black market Kratom and sadly those dealing with depression or PTSD will succumb to their sadness in an abuse of govt powers. Why do they have to even get involved at this point? The cops across the country will tell you they have zero crime & literally no issues from Kratom. It just doesn’t create the issues in our society that the DEA claim. We’d hear about it in our news. Alcohol causes way more problems but it’s still legal. Alcohol has ruined so many families, ugh. This all makes me sick, the corruption runs so deep. I will be making sure none of the lawmakers that support the ban will see another vote from me

  8. Sad Citizen

    Who is to say the DEA isn’t fully aware of this? I’ve seen a lot of talk on how the DEA is clueless, I think they have thought this out carefully. They say they didn’t realize so many took kratom safely, well why have seizures of imported kratom been happening more and more? Was the DEA clueless to the response states banning it got? I think not. Which means, they are very aware people even in banned states still take it. Meaning they know full well this creates a black market. Why wouldn’t they want that? Their function is exactly that, illegal substances. This is one more thing they throw millions at with no effect other than to help organized crime and big pharma. Google it, this isn’t the first substance to be banned while big pharma either had a drug rolling out or already had a drug with a natural substance in it. Make those who take the natural safest form criminals, make our organized crime more profitable and large, allow big pharma to continue to be the richest forces we have. The DEA knows what it is doing. It is the point of doing it.

    • Anonymous

      I second this. Importers of this tree leaf have been experiencing shipment seizures for over a decade. HHS used the reasoning: “because the Product is listed on the DEA’s Drugs of Concern” (at the time). The spokesmen for DEA are pretending and playing dumb.

      DEA: Guys, if you want a piece of the pie, why don’t you simply propose a tax, and have a bill submitted? You’d actually make more revenue and not lose so much precious warehouse storage space and resources. There are better ways to go about announcing your intent to take away our liberties. You’ve made it obviously clear via your cherry picking of dark data that you wish this plant were your jurisdiction, but it’s really not. You’re only trying to make it fit your business model, but your real intent is to create a black market which would be your jurisdiction. Surely our Congress sees the problem with this setup and will make a stand for the people. This action has only hurt your credibility and may result in a loss of funding. You guys do realize how ridiculous this all makes you look, right?!?

  9. Anonymous

    Well said everybody….if this ban goes into affect it will mean people’s lives…people are going to die, maybe even me.

  10. Chad

    govt never learns, but who gives a s… when they want to control you

  11. Anonymous

    The DEA makes me sick. Corrupt bastards who will cost people their lives
    For Gods sakes. Keep this healing herb legal.

  12. Mad Citizen

    Sad Citizen,
    With prescription painkillers becoming harder to obtain legally from docs, it isn’t really doing too much for the pharm companies that make them. Maybe the company that makes Narcan would benefit though, with people turning to the street pharmacy. The for profit prison industry could probably also use some middle aged white people in order to make the system look a little less racist/they just need a new thing to crack down on to fill their cells.The thriving Canadian black market will perhaps justify overtime hours since people will be cutting illegal kratom with illegal heroin./half sarcastic.

    For real though, this impact it is going to have on those who take kratom for medical ailments is going to be nasty. Productivity will be lost, people will end up dead (if taking it for addictions) or back on disability.

  13. Brittany Jordan

    Please don’t turn me into a criminal, I am a responsible tax paying citizen and I work 3 jobs on top of being a yoga teacher. Kratom was/is essential to my success, if I had never found this plant I would most likely either be dead or a complete hermit in isolation away from the world.

    We are real people. We have families and beautiful lives. Please don’t take that away from us

  14. Anonymous

    This is abuse of the powers that were granted to them and they should be held accountable. They obviously cannot handle the Power. Even if a person doesn’t advocate for Kratom they should advocate for proper due process of the law. Thank you for writing these letters. Every single one that is written is 100% accurate.

  15. Anonymous

    It’s simply sad. Our vendors were largely hardworking, tax-paying persons and now kratom will be distributed by criminal gangs, actual drug dealers.
    It’s almost preferable to think that the DEA is somewhat oblivious. They aren’t so stupid as to believe that this ban is actually for the good of the people. They realize that this ban will cause additional deaths of opiate users, which they surely believe to be collateral damage in their quest to stay relevant and funded. That’s unpleasant to admit of a government agency that is supposed to operate for the good of the people. However, I suspect the other motivations of the DEA are far more sinister, in that they are not interested in avoiding a dangerous, crime-ridden black market. I don’t have a tin foil hat on and I don’t think Mr. Rosenberg has a standing meeting to exchange cash with the local top Hell’s Angel. I don’t believe there is any simple, quid pro quo relationship between the DEA and the criminal drug trade. It’s sure it’s complicated but it’s impossible to believe that the DEA doesn’t foresee the rise of an illegal kratom trade and that this isn’t advantageous to them somehow. I’ve never thought I’d be the one to think these things, but it’s impossible not to, as this ban just doesn’t make sense.

  16. Anonymous

    It may possibly be that the death of opiate addicts (i.e. carfentanyl laced heroin), and the suffering of pain patients (by no prescriptions writtenI IS thier answer to the opiate epidemic. Kill off a generation.

  17. J

    Now that financial data has emerged from the kratom industry, you can bet that black markets can pick up the slack:

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