JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators have killed bills that would either ban or regulate kratom, an herbal drug that can be used for pain relief.
Kratom is currently unregulated in most parts of the United States, but has been outlawed by a few local governments in Mississippi amid concerns that it can be harmful.
Kratom is derived from a tree that’s native to Southeast Asia. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says the leaves can be crushed and then smoked, put into capsules or taken with water or other liquids.
The DEA characterizes kratom as one of its “drugs of concern.” The agency says people have used it to relieve muscle strains and as a substitute for opium; the drug has also been used to manage withdrawal symptoms from opioids.
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For months, the fate of the opioid-like plant kratom has hung in the balance. Will the US government make it illegal next year? Next week? With every fresh piece of news, scientists and kratom users alike tense up, ready for the hammer to fall. But the anticipated day hasn’t arrived yet, and it’s still not clear when it will. The moment seemed nigh on November 13, when Business Insider posted a story in which a US Drug Enforcement Administration spokesperson seemed to suggest that the decision would be announced any day now.
DEA spokesperson Melvin Patterson told Inverse that Erin Brodwin’s article for BI “wasn’t a very accurate portrayal” of his comments, though his telling of the facts outlined a distinction without a difference. “There’s no telling when the documentation will be submitted to the [Federal Register],” he said. “It could be next week, it could be the week thereafter, it could be the next month, it could be sometime next year.”
Whatever the timeline may be, the fact remains that a ruling is coming. Regardless of what Patterson really meant, the DEA’s stance on kratom raises serious questions about whether federal authorities are considering the latest research, the experiences of scientists, or the reality of illegalizing drugs when deciding the future of kratom, a controversial substance that has shown promise in helping people with chronic pain and opioid use disorder. The Federal Drug Administration submitted its recommendation to ban kratom powders & its extracts to the DEA in 2017, and researchers at the DEA have been reviewing the recommendation since then.
Continue reading at Inverse.com
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy wants to ban the herbal supplement Kratom.
If you’re not sure what that is, it’s an all-natural product that comes from the Kratom plant found in Southeast Asia, primarily Indonesia — and some use it as pain relief.
It can be purchased in several forms including powder, capsules and liquid extracts.
Hemptations owner E.R. Beach told WLWT his customers have been requesting Kratom for more than seven years and tell him it helps with anxiety and pain relief.
“We’ve seen an increase in business. Everyone from veterans that are trying to get off of opiates to people that are trying to use something all natural to help with whatever it is this may help them with,” Beach said. “Science hasn’t found that it is addictive in any way. But I believe it is giving pain relief to people.”
Click here to read what Beach told WLWT.