Amazon Is Lobbying the U.S. to Legalize Weed

Amazon is ramping up its pro-weed campaign, announcing on Tuesday that it is actively lobbying for legislative reforms aimed at decriminalization and reaffirming its commitment to not screening job applicants for cannabis.

Beth Galetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of human resources, declared in a blog post the company’s support for two pieces of legislation aimed at decriminalizing cannabis nationwide. The move comes amid expanding legalization at the state level, with 36 states allowing some level of public access to cannabis and 18 states plus Washington, DC, legalizing recreational adult use.

The first is the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act), introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, which would remove cannabis from the federal government’s list of controlled substances, effectively decriminalizing it at the federal level.

Keep reading at Gizmodo.

Psychedelic drugs in Vermont: A grassroots push for legalization picks up on lawmakers’ effort

As a January 2020 bill to decriminalize certain hallucinogenic drugs in Vermont currently sits in committee, a grassroots petition was recently started to “legalize psychedelics for mental health in Vermont.”

Garnering over 260 signatures over the past two weeks, the petition cites research from the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research as evidence of the safety and mental health benefits of psychedelic drugs. Johns Hopkins has found that psilocybin, also known as “magic mushrooms,” can help relieve depression, anxiety, nicotine addiction, and alcohol dependency.

The petition urges Vermont to follow in the steps of other parts of the country that have decriminalized certain psychedelics, which include Oregon; Denver; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Santa Cruz, California; and Washington, D.C.

Continue reading at Burlington Free Press.

Thailand: Kratom officially removed from being Category V Narcotics and draft Kratom Act to be presented to Parliament

By way of background, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa (Korth.) Havil.) is a tropical tree with opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects, and was previously controlled under the Narcotics Act due to these properties and effects.

On 26 May 2021, the Amendment to the Narcotics Act (the “Amendment”) was published in the Government Gazette. The Amendment, once effective after 90 days from its publication, will remove kratom from being Category V Narcotics. The rationale behind this Amendment is to make the regulation of kratom in line with the position of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended, and the local customs in some areas where kratom is consumed.

Following the removal of kratom from the list of Category V Narcotics, on 1 June 2021, the Cabinet approved the amended draft of the Kratom Act to be considered for presentation to the Parliament.

Read the full story at lexology.com.

A Twitter Tiff Between Former Federal Health Officials Highlights the Weakness of the Case for Banning Kratom

Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says he is “convinced” that kratom, a pain-relieving leaf from Southeast Asia, is “fueling the opioid addiction crisis.” To the contrary, kratom enthusiasts argue, the plant is “the cure for the opioid epidemic.”

There is not much evidence to support either position. But as a recent Twitter tiff between Gottlieb and former Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir shows, the argument about whether the federal government should ban kratom hinges on the question of where the burden of proof belongs.

Gottlieb seems to think any potentially dangerous psychoactive substance should be banned unless it meets the FDA’s strict criteria for approval as a medicine. If a drug is not explicitly permitted, in other words, it should be prohibited by default.

Continue reading at reason.com

U.S. Marshals seized more than 207,000 units of adulterated dietary supplements containing kratom

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that U.S. Marshals, at the agency’s request, seized more than 207,000 units of dietary supplements and bulk dietary ingredients that are or contain kratom, including over 34,000 kilograms of bulk kratom. The dietary supplements are manufactured by Atofil, LLC, which is located in Fort Myers, Florida, and is a subsidiary of Premier Manufacturing Products. The dietary supplements are marketed under the brand names Boosted Kratom, The Devil’s Kratom, Terra Kratom, Sembuh, Bio Botanical, and El Diablo. The seized products are worth approximately $1.3 million.

There is substantial concern regarding the safety of kratom, the risk it may pose to public health and its potential for abuse. The FDA will continue to exercise our full authority under the law to take action against these adulterated dietary supplements as part of our ongoing commitment to protect the health of the American people. Further, there are currently no FDA-approved uses for kratom.”

Keep reading at news-medical.net

What is Kratom and Why Did the UK Ban It?

Before you take any medicine, it is important to do your research and understand everything you need to know about it. This is especially crucial if you have heard about Kratom and considered using it. Kratom is a natural and traditionally used medicine that grows and exists as part of a tree. The effects it has on the brain are similar to opioid painkillers, which has led to people using it as a recreational drug. The side effects and addictiveness of the plant are recognized by doctors and many countries and states are or already have banned products that contain Kratom. It has not been made completely legal because more research is required to understand how and why it works in the way it does. To help you understand more, here is what we know about Kratom and why it was banned in the UK. 

The History of Kratom 

Kratom was used for medicinal purposes tens of thousands of years ago, but it wasn’t officially unearthed until the early 19th century and is still relatively popular today.

Keep reading at About Manchester.

Kratom will be illegal in SD for those under 21

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While you can find it in convenience stores and specialty shops on almost every corner in Sioux Falls, kratom will now be illegal for anyone under the age of 21 in South Dakota.

KELOLAND News investigates has brought you a series of reports on the controversial plant from Southeast Asia, which typically comes in pill or powdered form. It’s more than a billion dollar business and the supplement acts as a stimulant on the brain at low doses and at higher doses has an opioid effect.

According to a CDC report, the substance has been linked to overdose deaths across the country.
Brian Helmbrecht’s brother, Jake, died of a kratom overdose in 2020; one of three last year linked to kratom.

Brian testified in favor of the bill in the South Dakota legislature to raise the minimum age for purchasing kratom to 21.

Keep reading at Keloland.com.

Medical Breakthroughs Propel Psilocybin Closer to Legalization

The psychedelics market is currently navigating a similar legal situation to the one the cannabis market found itself in for many years. Psychedelics are not legal for recreational use in Canada or the United States, yet medical research on the efficiency of such products may help reduce some of the stigma around them. In fact, some major developments have already begun to change the landscape for the better in this market. For example, earlier in 2019, Colorado became the first state to decriminalize magic mushrooms (mushrooms containing psilocybin). More recently, the state of Missouri introduced a bill that would allow seriously ill people to use substances such as MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, DMT, mescaline and ibogaine with a doctor’s recommendation.

Read more at PR Newswire.

Senate passes bill removing kratom from narcotics list

The Senate on Tuesday approved an amendment bill removing kratom from the narcotics list in its third reading, a step closer to households being allowed to grow up to three kratom trees each for daily use, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said on Tuesday.

Mr Somsak said the next step is for the Senate speaker to forward the bill to the House speaker, who would submit it to the cabinet. The cabinet send the legislation to His Majesty the King for final approval. He did not give details of how the Senate voted in approving it. 

The bill will become law 90 days after it is published in the Royal Gazette.

Mr Somsak said supplementary laws would regulate the cultivation, possession, use and sale of kratom. The draft regulations were being considered by the Council of State, the government’s legal advisory body.

Keep reading at Bangkok Post.

California to consider decriminalising LSD, ketamine and magic mushrooms

Psychedelic drugs such as LSD, ketamine and magic mushrooms could be decriminalised in California amid a wave of drug liberalisation that is sweeping across the US.

A proposed law put forth in the California senate last week would make it legal for anyone over 21 to carry small amounts of eight substances including DMT and MDMA, as well as expunging many criminal convictions.

The bill, introduced by San Francisco Democrat Scott Wiener, says America’s war on drugs has inflicted “overwhelming financial and social costs” while ignoring the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.

It is only the latest example of US states turning against decades of harsh drug enforcement, chiming with momentum to federally decriminalise cannabis in Washington DC.

Continue at The Telegraph.

Kratom could soon be illegal for those under 21 in SD

South Dakota is one step closer to restricting the availability of kratom in the state to people over the age of 21. Our KELOLAND News Investigation last fall looked into the dangers of kratom, which comes from Southeast Asia and has mild altering effects.

According to a CDC report, the substance has been linked to overdose deaths across the country. Kratom is banned in at least six states and several cities.

Last year, Aberdeen Representative Carl Perry, introduced a bill to ban kratom in South Dakota, but that attempted failed.

This year, Perry came back with a bill to restrict its use to 21 and older, which has now passed the state House.

Continue reading at Keloland.

The legal and illegal ways people are turning to psychedelics as the drug regulator rejects reclassification bid

In Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, down the hall from the cancer day unit, there’s an unassuming room known simply as “The Retreat”.

This is where a select few volunteers are offered a unique opportunity: to confront their deepest fears under a heavy dose of a psychedelic.

Terminally ill patients spend three to four hours here under the influence of psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms”.

The participants are supported by therapy before, during and after their psychedelic experience.

“We go to a lot of trouble to make sure that it doesn’t look like a hospital room, but it looks more like a really chilled, really comfortable and inviting atmosphere,” clinical psychologist Marg Ross said as she walked around the room.

Keep reading at ABC News.

American Kratom Association: HHS Rescinds Scheduling Recommendation For Kratom But FDA Failed To Notify The Public For 2 ½ Years

Congressman Mark Pocan (WI) and Congressman Morgan Griffith, in exercising their oversight responsibilities over the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), discovered that on August 16, 2018 HHS had rescinded the request for the kratom to be classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

In the HHS letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) HHS recommended that “mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine not be controlled at this time, either temporarily or permanently, until scientific research can sufficiently support such an action.” The FDA had made a recommendation for scheduling of kratom on August 31, 2016 that was subsequently withdrawn by the DEA on October 13, 2016 for insufficiency of evidence to support the scheduling under the CSA, and FDA submitted its second recommendation on October 17, 2017 that has been withdrawn by HHS because the scientific research did not justify the scheduling.

More at PRNewswire.

Thailand to remove Kratom from narcotics list after recent unlocking of marijuana and hemp

Following the unlocking of marijuana and hemp for medical and commercial purposes, preparations are being made to remove Kratom from the narcotics list.

Minister of Justice Somsak Thepsutin, as chairman of the committee considering amendment to legislation criminalizing narcotics, declared this week that a report is being compiled for the House of Representatives that will call for the decriminalization of Kratom to be placed on the government’s agenda. The move will be made at the end of this month and appropriate use of the plant could be decriminalized in 90 days after a decision is made in Parliament. The committee will review relevant drafts during the proceedings.

Democrat Party MP Thepthai Senpong, who is a member of the body, indicated a positive decision would allow Thais to utilize the plant legally for any purpose except as a narcotic.

Continue at Pattaya Mail.

Kratom Legality 2020: What Is The Legal Status of Kratom In The US?

The issue of Kratom legality is still a debate in few of the states of the US. The picture has become a bit clear from 2016 till today.

Most of the US states have legalized the usage of Kratom due to its medicinal properties, but there are still few states which are barring the people to either sell or buy it.

What Is Kratom?

What is KratomMitragyna Speciosa also known as Kratomis a natural plant that grows in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea. It is a tropical evergreen which belongs to the coffee family and mostly found in Southeast Asia.

Primarily it’s grown in the southern or central regions of Thailand and it has been historically used as an opium substitute. Various American folks are interested in developing their own plants from the seeds, to save the cost as well as to control their supply.

Keep reading at Kratom Guides.

Board of Supervisors approve ordinance banning Kratom, synthetic opioids in Lafayette County

After the City of Oxford banned the sale of Kratom and other synthetic opioids 16 months ago, those products are also banned in Lafayette County.

During their first regular meeting of 2021 on Monday, the Board of Supervisors approved a new ordinance, prohibiting the use, purchase, possession, distribution, sale or offering for sale of synthetic opioids or other synthetic products.

The ordinance was proposed by Lafayette County Sheriff Joey East and Alex Fauver, commander of the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit.

In August 2019, Oxford’s Board of Aldermen approved a similar ordinance proposed by Oxford police chief Jeff McCutchen.

Since the City prohibited the selling of Kratom and similar synthetic products, East said stores in the county have begun selling those products in the last few months.

Read more at oxfordeagle.com

A ruling is imminent on the legality of a controversial drug that’s used to treat addiction — but some have called it a ‘dangerous opioid’

A final decision on the legality of a controversial drug is expected imminently from the US government.

The drug, called Kratom, has pitted government regulators against scientists and advocates. The Food and Drug Administration has called it a dangerous opioid and sought to ban it by making it a Schedule 1 drug like heroin or ecstasy. Some advocates say it’s helped them end their addiction to opioids, and scientists want to keep exploring its potential as a medical treatment.

Right now, researchers at the DEA are evaluating the two main components in kratom. They will either rule the same for both ingredients, effectively banning all forms of kratom nationwide, or they will ban one and make the other potentially available as a medicine at a later date. That’s according to Melvin Patterson, a spokesperson with the Drug Enforcement Administration who described the ruling as forthcoming.

Keep reading at Business Insider.

Feds Want Help Finding Evidence On Marijuana And Kratom’s Role In Treating Pain

A federal health agency is conducting a review of studies to learn if marijuana and kratom could potentially treat chronic pain with fewer side effects than opioids.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is asking the public to help identify research that specifically looks at the risks and benefits of cannabinoids and kratom, a type of plant known for its analgesic effects. The agency said the rise in opioid prescriptions and overdoses necessitates exploring plant-based alternatives.

The public is invited to submit studies on how these substances impact chronic pain until the January 4 deadline.

“Some data suggest that cannabinoids may have analgesic properties, though research in this area is mixed,” AHRQ, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a notice, adding that THC “has demonstrated analgesic properties, though its psychoactive effects and abuse potential increase its risk and suitability as an analgesic.”

Keep reading at marijuanamoment.net

What is Kratom and Why is it Illegal?

Kratom isn’t presently an unlawful substance and has been anything but difficult to arrange on the web. It is at times sold as a green powder in bundles named “not for human utilization.” Here the details about what is kratom and “is kratom illegal”

It is additionally some of the time sold as a concentrate or gum. A great many people take kratom as a pill, container, or concentrate. A few people bite kratom leaves or mix the dried or powdered leaves as a tea.

In some cases, the leaves are smoked or eaten in nourishment. Kratom can cause impacts like both narcotics and energizers.

Is Kratom Illegal?

Two mixes in kratom leaves, mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, collaborate with narcotic receptors in the cerebrum, delivering sedation, delight, and diminished torment, particularly when clients devour a lot of the plant.

Continue at Halt.org

FDA warns of using kratom as alternative treatment for pain and mood disorders

In our modern age people often look for something that gives them comfort.

An herbal (tropical plant) alternative “treatment” called kratom has been being used by some people for pain, mood disorders, and even opioid withdrawal without any supervision from a licensed physician who knows about kratom.

That is why the FDA is warning consumers not to use kratom, or mitragyna species, which grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

At least until a lot more is known about how it affects humans.

The main things the FDA is warning people about is trifold.

“FDA is concerned that kratom, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence,” the FDA information page on the plant states at fda.gov.

Keep reading at wmicentral.com.