The kratom controversy

The sale of kratom is really taking off in South Dakota, but if you still aren’t familiar with it, you no doubt will be soon. Millions of people take the substance derived from the leaves of a plant from Southeast Asia, either in capsule or tea form for a variety of health reasons.

Proponents have a powerful lobby behind them; so powerful that when the DEA wanted to make kratom a schedule one drug, public outrage made the government agency change its mind.

While some states and cities still banned it, over concerns of it being addictive, misused and even deadly, South Dakota is not among them. While some states and cities still banned it, over concerns of it being addictive, misused and even deadly, South Dakota is not among them.

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Some say this herbal remedy eases pain, but 4 southwest Illinois cities have banned it

Kratom Powder

Some people swear by kratom as an herbal remedy, and it’s legal for use by adults in Illinois.

But a state representative has tried to ban it, and three metro-east cities and a village have prohibited its possession, use and sale due to safety concerns. Most recently, Edwardsville City Council passed an ordinance in March on the recommendation of Police Chief Jay Keeven.

“We were presented with quite a bit of health-related data, and members of the community spoke out against it because of its potentially harmful side effects,” Ward 1 Alderman S.J. Morrison said last week. “There’s just not a lot known about it.”

People who violate the ordinance are subject to a $750 fine. Kratom already had been prohibited in Jerseyville, Alton and Glen Carbon.

Continue at MSN

House committee passes two resolutions authored by Struzzi

State Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, announced Wednesday that the House Health Committee has passed two resolutions he authored. House Resolution 459 would request guidelines for the commercial sale of CBD products from the Food and Drug Administration. House Resolution 460 would request guidance and appropriate protocol from the FDA for the safe use of Kratom.

“The affects of these products are still relatively unknown. Without oversight from the FDA, there is a lack of consistency in the market. This leads to retailers not being fully knowledgeable about the products they sell, and consumers not being fully knowledgeable about the products they purchase,” Struzzi said in a news release. “My resolutions would go a long way in providing clear guidelines for the sale and use of these products so retailers and consumers know they are being safe and responsible.”

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Thailand’s Lawmakers Edge Closer to Legalizing Kratom

Thailand’s lawmakers have taken one step closer to legalizing Kratom with proposed legislation that would remove kratom from the narcotics list, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) said on Tuesday.

The Council of State, the government’s legal arm, finished examining the amendment to the Narcotics Act last Wednesday. It will send back to the cabinet for endorsement before it is forwarded to parliament, ONCB secretary-general, Niyom Termsrisuk, said.

The cabinet approved in principle to remove kratom from the drugs list in March.

Mr Niyom warned the public that the plant is still on the narcotics list at present. Which means possessing and using it is still illegal. The warning came in response to a recent surge in drug cases involving kratom.

Read more at CTN News

Kratom Legality In The US – Everything You Need To Know

Kratom, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa is a healing plant that grows in Southeast Asia as well as other parts of Africa. This plant has grown immense popularity in the last few decades. This is because it is being touted as a natural healing plant that comes with a lot of health benefits for one and all.

Traditionally, the use of this plant was restricted to chewing its leaves by the farmers while working. This was mainly done to obtain a boost of energy. Over time, the use of kratom became popular for many other purposes as well. This plant is believed to be having compounds that help you to alleviate your chronic pain as well as pain caused because of chemotherapy. Furthermore, this plant also provides many benefits for different problems and ailments such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, diabetes, arthritis, joint pain, or any other kind of chronic pain suffered by a person.

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Petition to legalize natural psychedelic drugs in Canada signed 13,000 times

A petition that will go before the House of Commons and calls for the legalization of natural psychoactive drugs has gained over 13,000 signatures.

After it was posted on Apr.18, Trevor Millar, Chair of Board for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, says the petition gained a whopping 500 signatures in a mere 12 hours.

So far, Ontario has the lion’s share of signatures, with 4,746. B.C. follows in second with 3,698 and Alberta comes third with 1,918.

MP Paul Manly of the Nanaimo—Ladysmith Green Party Caucus is sponsoring the petition, which will close for signatures on Aug. 14. As such, Millar tells Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone call that he hopes people will take time to understand what the petition is about.

“It is only about legalizing natural substances right now,” says Millar. “Things that grow from the ground.”

Read more at Tricity News

State legislators seek kratom meeting with FDA commissioner

In a letter to FDA’s commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, lawmakers from four states suggested it would be a “fool’s game” for the agency to try to keep kratom from consumers.

Four lawmakers from Arizona, Georgia, Utah and Nevada who sponsored kratom legislation in their states have requested a meeting with the top official of FDA—an agency that has long raised concerns about the safety of the botanical from Southeast Asia.

Positions held by FDA related to kratom and another botanical ingredient—CBD—were adopted long before Dr. Stephen Hahn was appointed commissioner, the lawmakers wrote to Hahn in a June 8 letter.

Read more at Natural Products Insider.

CDC flooded with comments on marijuana and kratom as alternative painkillers ahead of deadline

Federal regulators looking into pain management options at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received hundreds of comments related to medical marijuana and more than 1,000 about kratom.

The federal agency’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is looking for input on “individual stakeholder’s values and preferences related to pain and pain management options,” it said in an e-mail last week.

“Through this opportunity, CDC is seeking stakeholders’ perspectives on and experiences with pain and pain management, including, but not limited to, the benefits and harms of opioid use,” it said. “CDC invites input specifically on topics focused on using or prescribing opioid pain medications, non-opioid medications, or non-pharmacological treatments (e.g., exercise therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy).”

Read more at MSN.

Monroe County supervisors rescind ban on kratom

A countywide ban of the herbal product kratom put in place last spring was lifted Monday morning following a 3-2 vote by the Monroe County Board of Supervisors to rescind it.

A delegation of citizens, business owners and advocates of kratom made impassioned pleas for the supervisors to overturn the countywide ban on the controversial supplement for treating chronic pain.

Supervisors met for half an hour in executive session before going back into open session to take the vote. Supervisors Joseph Richardson, B.R. Richey and Rubel West voted in favor of rescinding the ban, while Fulton Ware and Hosea Bogan voted to keep it in force.

Representatives from the Crime and Addiction Task Force of the Lowndes County Foundation requested for the previous administration of supervisors to pass the ban last March, making it the seventh county in the region to approve a kratom ban.

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Cascade County Officials Express Concern About Kratom

Kratom Powder

Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant which grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned that the drug, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, may have properties that could expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence.

In Cascade County, officials including Dr. Deborah Rose with Benefis Health System, Great Falls Police Chief Dave Bowen, and District Judge Gregory Pinski are also concerned about the drug’s existence in the community. According to Pinski, almost all criminal activity in Great Falls is connected to substance abuse, and the addictive nature of Kratom and other drugs like it are exacerbating that problem.

Read more at KRTV

Mississippi Steps Back From Regulating or Outlawing Kratom

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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Federal Authorities Tight-Lipped on When Kratom’s Future Will Be Revealed

Kratom Powder

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

Ohio Board of Pharmacy wants to ban Kratom

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.