DEA withdraws kratom ban, opens public comment period

The American Pharmacists Association posted an article titled, “DEA withdraws kratom ban, opens public comment period.” The article reads in part as follows;

“In late August, DEA announced its intention to make kratom a Schedule I drug to avoid what it called “an imminent hazard to public safety.” But after a public outcry and enormous pressure from lawmakers, in October the agency took the unprecedented move of withdrawing its plans to ban kratom, according to a notice posted in the Federal Register.

Instead, DEA is opening a public comment period ending December 1, 2016, before making a final determination, along with formal input from FDA, about scheduling kratom.

Kratom reversal an optimistic sign for changing drug policy

CollegiateTimes published an article titled, “Kratom reversal an optimistic sign for changing drug policy.” The article reads in part as follows;

“In an interesting, but positive turn of events, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has listened to the outraged voices of the citizens and has temporarily lifted the ban of kratom in the United States. Kratom, a plant native to Southeast Asia and used as a painkiller or safe alternative to prescription or illegal opiates, was previously assumed to be assigned as a Schedule I drug as of Sept. 30 due to an emergency scheduling order.

Is Kratom the Plant That Heals, or Kills?

The NY Times posted an article titled, “Is Kratom the Plant that Heals, or Kills?” The article reads as follows;

“As overdose deaths from opioid pain relievers soar, more people say a plant called kratom, grown largely in Thailand, and its derivatives, are alternatives to pain killers and can wean them off opiates. But others say it merely creates another form of addiction and danger.

In a highly unusual move last week, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration succumbed to criticism and reversed its decision to temporarily classify kratom’s chemical constituents in the same way as opiates. Several states, though, have already banned it.

Benefits of Kratom Are More Legitimate Than the Fears

The NY Times released an article titled, “Benefits of Kratom are More Legitimate than the Fears.” The article reads in part as follows;

“People suffering from chronic pain are having difficulty getting effective treatment, in part because of doctors’ legitimate fears about prescribing opiates. These fears stem from a recognition that millions of people are suffering from prescription opiate and heroin addictions.

Kratom has quietly become an alternative treatment for pain and opiate addiction and our own qualitativestudy of people who use kratom suggests that, with few harmful side effects, people are successfully using the plant to get off of opiates and to effectively treat their pain.

Regulate Quality, Dosage and Purity of Kratom

The New York Times published an article titled, “Regulate Quality, Dosage and Purity of Kratom.” The article reads in part as follows;

“Kratom was used for centuries by manual laborers for its analgesic and stimulant effects. Its active components (mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine) target the same receptor as morphine, which accounts for its historic use as a remedy for opium addiction. But as early as the 1960s, the medical literature described addiction among people who compulsively ate kratom throughout their day.

Unfortunately it falls under loose regulations for dietary supplements. But making it a restricted drug would harm scientific development.

What’s Next for Kratom after the DEA Blinks on Its Emergency Ban?

Scientific American published an article titled, “What’s Next for Kratom after the DEA Blinks on Its Emergency Ban?” The article reads in part as follows;

“Researchers and users of kratom or Mitragyna speciosa were stunned by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s abrupt withdrawal last week of its stated plan to place the Southeast Asian plant under an emergency ban in the United States. One reason for the famously tough federal agency’s unusual move was “a large volume of phone calls from the American public” as well as messages from the scientific community and letters from members of Congress, says DEA spokesperson Russ Baer.

Why Does the Government Want to Ban Kratom, an Herbal Supplement?

The Cut published an article titled, “Why Does the Government Want to Ban Kratom, an Herbal Supplement?” The article reads in part as follows;

“You may have seen the word “kratom” flying around the web in recent weeks, and though it sounds like it could be a comic-book villain, it’s actually a tree in the coffee family found in Southeast Asia. For hundreds of years, people have used its leaves to make tea or capsules in order to relieve pain and improve mood. More recently, people have embraced it as a treatment for conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, but government officials are increasingly concerned about the psychoactive substance and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has moved to ban it, at least temporarily. Here’s what you need to know.

Is the DEA high? The agency’s emergency ban on kratom has to make you wonder what they’re smoking

Salon published an article titled, “Is the DEA high? The agency’s emergency ban on kratom has to make you wonder what they’re smoking.” The article reads in part as follows;

“How insane is America’s drug war? Look no further than the Southeast Asian plant known as kratom, which the Drug Enforcement Administration recently announcedit would be temporarily adding to the list of Schedule 1 substances, along with heroin, LSD, cocaine and marijuana. This emergency ban, which the DEA justified by calling the plant an “imminent public health and safety threat,” may go into effect as early as this weekend, and can last up to three years before becoming permanent or being reversed.

Impending Ban On Herbal Painkiller Kratom Could Hamper Research

September 30,016

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.

As of September 30, a relatively unknown herbal supplement called kratom will likely join the ranks of Schedule 1 drugs in the U.S. — alongside drugs like heroin, LSD and marijuana.

This supplement has been traditionally used in Southeast Asia, but has recently gained popularity in the United States as a way to manage opioid withdrawal or chronic pain without the use of prescription medications.

Lawmakers slam Obama administration’s ‘hasty decision’ to ban another plant

From: The Washington Post | Wonkblog


The DEA’s decision to place kratom as a Schedule I substance will put a halt on federally funded research and innovation surrounding the treatment of individuals suffering from opioid and other addictions — a significant public health threat,” the letter states. Mitigating the effects of the national opioid epidemic — which along with heroin killed close to 30,000 people in 2014 — has been a major goal of the Obama administration’s drug policy.

In the letter to the Obama administration, spearheaded by Mark Pocan (D.-Wi.) and Matt Salmon (R.-Az.), the representatives representatives urge the director of the Office of Management and Budget to use his authority to delay the DEA’s action.