“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.