Indonesia’s Leader Appeals to Biden for Easing Kratom Import Restrictions

In a recent high-level discussion, Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged U.S. President Joe Biden to reconsider the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) stringent import restrictions on kratom. This appeal, as highlighted in a Marijuana Moment article, represents a significant step in the ongoing dialogue about the international trade of kratom, a Southeast Asian plant used for various medicinal purposes, including pain relief and opioid withdrawal management.

The FDA’s current import alert on kratom has notably affected Indonesia, a major exporter of the plant. President Widodo’s request underscores the broader implications of these restrictions, particularly highlighting the economic hardships faced by the Indonesian kratom farming community, which numbers over 250,000.

While the White House has not yet provided a detailed response to this request, the conversation between the two leaders brings to the forefront the complex issues surrounding the trade of kratom. It underscores the need for a balanced approach that considers the economic, health, and environmental aspects of kratom trade and usage.

Massachusetts Psychedelic Legalization Effort Faces Signature Hurdle

In a significant development in Massachusetts, the campaign to legalize plant-based psychedelic substances, including psilocybin mushrooms, is facing a potential setback. State officials have identified disqualifying marks on ballot papers, putting the initiative’s place on the 2024 ballot in jeopardy. The campaign, led by Massachusetts for Mental Health Options, reportedly printed a labor union logo on their ballot sheets, a move that contradicts signature-gathering regulations and may invalidate thousands of signatures.

Jennifer Manley, a spokesperson for the ballot campaign, expressed determination to meet the signature threshold despite these challenges. The petition aims to allow individuals aged 21 and over to legally consume psychedelics at licensed therapy centers and decriminalize the possession of substances like psilocybin, ibogaine, and mescaline in Massachusetts.

This development underscores a divide within the activist community, with some local activists skeptical of the ballot question strategy. They are concerned about the creation of a regulatory body for psychedelics, fearing it could make access prohibitively expensive, similar to what has been observed in Oregon.

The campaign has until November 22 to file signatures for certification, with Manley confident in meeting this deadline. For more details on this unfolding story, visit the original article on WBUR.

Uniting for Kratom

In a landmark development for the kratom industry, a diverse group of industry leaders, scientists, academics, and advocates have announced the formation of The Kratom Coalition. This new nonprofit organization is set to spearhead efforts in advancing the scientific understanding and global regulatory framework of kratom, a plant with a long history of traditional use in Southeast Asia.

The coalition’s formation, detailed in a recent article, marks a significant step towards addressing the complex and often misunderstood nature of kratom. With a focus on ensuring safe access to kratom products and advocating for informed regulatory policies, The Kratom Coalition aims to bridge the gap between scientific research and public perception, ensuring a balanced approach to kratom use and regulation.

New Kratom Ordinance Takes Effect

In a significant development, a new kratom ordinance has recently come into effect, marking a pivotal moment in the regulation of this controversial substance. Kratom, derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, has been a subject of debate due to its opioid-like effects and potential for abuse. The ordinance aims to regulate the sale and distribution of kratom, ensuring that only pure, unadulterated kratom is sold.

This move is seen as a balancing act between acknowledging the potential benefits of kratom for some users and addressing public health concerns. The ordinance requires vendors to adhere to strict guidelines, including labeling and purity standards. This step towards regulation reflects a growing recognition of the need to manage kratom use responsibly, ensuring consumer safety while acknowledging its role in the lives of many individuals seeking alternative treatments.

Rhode Island House Approves Kratom with Age Restriction

In a landmark decision, the Rhode Island House has voted to legalize kratom, the herbal supplement with opioid-like effects, while imposing an age limit of 21 for its purchase. This move signals a shift in the state’s regulatory approach towards substances that have been mired in controversy.

Supporters of the bill argue that kratom could serve as a less addictive alternative to conventional opioids, potentially offering pain relief with a lower risk of dependency. On the other hand, skeptics call attention to the need for more comprehensive research into the herb’s safety and efficacy.

The passage of this bill by the House represents a nuanced stance on drug policy, favoring regulated access over outright prohibition. It’s a development that could set a precedent for how similar substances are treated legislatively in the future.

For an in-depth look at the proceedings, read the full article on The Providence Journal.

Rick Perry Champions Medicinal Psilocybin in Utah

In an unexpected shift, former Texas Governor Rick Perry is championing the legalization of medicinal psilocybin mushrooms in Utah. Aligning with a cause that transcends traditional partisan lines, Perry’s advocacy signifies a broader recognition of psilocybin’s potential mental health benefits.

Perry, known for his conservative stance, is particularly focused on the substance’s promise for veterans suffering from PTSD. His involvement brings a high-profile presence to the debate over alternative mental health treatments and the reevaluation of psychedelics’ legal status.

As states nationwide grapple with these issues, Perry’s support could be a pivotal influence in the movement towards embracing therapeutic psychedelics. For more insights into Perry’s position and the implications for Utah’s legislation, visit the original article on Fox13.

States Reconsider Psilocybin Legalization Amid Mental Health Debate

As the wave of psilocybin legalization gains momentum across the United States, experts are urging a more nuanced conversation about the drug’s potential risks and benefits. A recent NBC News article delves into the growing body of research supporting psilocybin’s therapeutic uses for mental health conditions like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. However, the article also highlights concerns among psychedelic researchers that the dangers of psilocybin are being overlooked.

Clinics in Oregon have already started offering psilocybin therapy, and Colorado voters approved its legalization last year. Yet, experts like Dr. Joshua Siegel, a psychiatrist with the program in psychedelics research at Washington University in St. Louis, caution that the drug should be used under controlled circumstances. This includes screening for a history of psychosis or bipolar disorder, careful dosage monitoring, and close medical supervision. As states continue to consider legalizing or decriminalizing psilocybin, the call for a balanced discussion on its benefits and risks becomes increasingly crucial.

California’s Psychedelic Decriminalization Efforts Hit Turbulence After Pilot Incident

In a recent turn of events, California’s push to decriminalize magic mushrooms and other psychedelics has hit a snag. An off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot, who admitted to using magic mushrooms, attempted to cut the engines of a San Francisco-bound flight. This incident has cast a shadow over the state’s decriminalization efforts, especially since it occurred shortly after Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have legalized the possession of such substances. The pilot’s actions have intensified the debate around the use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes, a key argument for decriminalization. Critics argue that the incident underscores the risks and calls for more caution in legalizing these substances. Despite the setback, supporters vow to continue the fight for legalization, either through new legislation or a ballot measure. Read more on Politico.

Florida Regulators File Changes to Kratom Rules Amid Broader Drug Policy Reforms

In a sweeping move that reflects the changing landscape of drug policy in the United States, Florida regulators have filed changes to rules governing kratom. The news comes as part of a broader report that also highlights California Governor Gavin Newsom signing bills to update THC variance testing requirements for marijuana and to allow doctors to prescribe psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA in the event of federal rescheduling. While the specific details of Florida’s kratom rule changes were not elaborated upon, this development indicates a growing focus on regulatory frameworks for substances that have long existed in a legal gray area. Read more at Marijuana Moment.

Kratom Industry Seeks Legislative Support Amid Regulatory Uncertainty

In a proactive move to bypass potential FDA regulation, the American Kratom Association (AKA) is rallying for legislative support.

The AKA recently hosted an instructional webinar urging kratom users and vendors to contact their congressional representatives in favor of new legislation. The bill, co-sponsored by Republican Senator Mike Lee and Democratic Senator Cory Booker, aims to legalize kratom importation and establish a “Kratom Research Task Force.” This task force would be responsible for investigating the benefits and drawbacks of kratom within 90 days of the law’s enactment.

The AKA argues that the FDA’s current stance on kratom is based on “disinformation” and aims to correct this through legislative means.

For more details, read the full article on Courthouse News.

Congress Mulls Over Kratom Consumer Protection Act

In a move that has caught the attention of both advocates and skeptics, Congress is considering a bill aimed at regulating kratom, a controversial herbal substance. The proposed Kratom Consumer Protection Act has bipartisan support and was recently filed in both the House and Senate. The legislation aims to:

  • Prevent the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from treating kratom as an “adulterated dietary supplement.”
  • Establish a kratom task force to investigate the plant’s health claims.
  • Require the task force to hold a public hearing and deliver quarterly updates to Congress for two years.

Kratom, which is available in various forms including powder and extract, is often touted as a natural pain reliever. However, its efficacy and safety are still subjects of debate. While some see it as a tool for treating opioid use disorder, others point to injuries and deaths linked to its use as a reason for more stringent regulation.

U.S. Congress Takes Bipartisan Action to Regulate Kratom with New Legislation

In a noteworthy development, members of the U.S. Congress from both political parties have come together to propose a fresh piece of legislation focused on overseeing the use of kratom across the nation.

The newly introduced Kratom Consumer Protection Act is gaining traction and is expected to receive bipartisan backing. The bill is spearheaded by Republican Senator Mike Lee and is anticipated to be co-endorsed by Democratic Senator Cory Booker. The legislation aims to create a regulated market for kratom, ensuring that products are both safe and adequately labeled for consumer use. Mac Haddow, a leading policy expert for the American Kratom Association, highlighted the urgency of shielding consumers from a kratom market that currently lacks regulation and is prone to product adulteration. The proposed law also mandates the FDA to further scrutinize kratom’s health and safety profile, while preventing the agency from enforcing regulations that are more stringent than those applicable to food or dietary supplements.

For the original story, visit Marijuana Moment.

Indiana Takes Steps to Re-legalize Kratom Amidst National Debate

In a move that could change the landscape of herbal supplements, Indiana is on the verge of legalizing kratom, a natural painkiller and energy booster. House Bill 1500, led by Rep. Alan Morrison, aims to permit the sale of this herbal extract, which comes from a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. The bill recently advanced from the House with bipartisan support and is now headed to the Senate.

The legislation comes after kratom was banned in Indiana in 2014, in anticipation of federal action that never materialized. Currently, kratom is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic in the state, alongside substances like heroin and cocaine. Advocates argue that kratom can help with chronic pain and substance abuse withdrawal, while critics caution about its addictive properties.

For the full story, visit Indiana Capital Chronicle.

Mexico’s Landmark Supreme Court Ruling Sets Stage for Psilocybin Legalization

In a groundbreaking move, Mexico’s Supreme Court has set a legal precedent that could reshape the country’s drug policy, specifically concerning psilocybin. According to a recent article in Mexico News Daily, the court granted a writ of amparo in April 2021, allowing a select group to use psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. While the ruling is currently limited to the individuals involved in the case, it opens the door for broader legal protections and policy reform. Advocates are now rallying for more inclusive access to psilocybin, fostering dialogue with policymakers and promoting evidence-based discussions. This pivotal decision marks a significant shift in Mexico’s approach to psychedelic substances and could serve as a model for other nations.

Wisconsin Lawmakers Propose Bill to Legalize Kratom, Sparking Debate and Hope

A proposed bill in Wisconsin is aiming to legalize Kratom, a herbal supplement currently illegal in the state. The bill has been put on the agenda by Assembly Republicans and is sparking both debate and hope among various stakeholders. While the specifics of the bill are not available, it’s clear that the move could have significant implications for both consumers and regulators. The proposal is likely to stir conversations around the safety, efficacy, and regulation of Kratom, as lawmakers weigh the potential benefits against any risks.

For more details, you can read the full article here.

North Carolina Legislators Aim to Regulate Kratom with New Bill

In a significant legislative move, North Carolina lawmakers are pushing for the regulation of kratom, among other hemp-derived products like CBD and Delta-8. The bill, known as HB 539, has already passed the NC House with unanimous bipartisan support. It mandates that retailers, distributors, and manufacturers obtain a license to sell these products. Mike Sims, co-owner of Crowntown Cannabis, expressed support for the legislation, emphasizing its potential to weed out subpar products from the market. The bill also aims to restrict the sale of kratom to minors and ban it from school premises. If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, the law will allocate $2 million from the state budget to enforce these new regulations.


Pennsylvania Legislators Eye Psilocybin Legalization for Therapeutic Use

In a move that could reshape mental health treatment in the Keystone State, Pennsylvania legislators are pushing for the legalization of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes.

An article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlights that the state’s veterans, in particular, are advocating for the change, citing compelling evidence that psilocybin can effectively treat PTSD.

While the substance remains illegal under current state law, there is a growing consensus among lawmakers and healthcare experts that psilocybin could offer a groundbreaking approach to mental health treatment.

Pennsylvania is preparing “trigger laws” that would swiftly legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy upon federal approval. This legislative effort reflects a broader national trend towards reconsidering the legal status of certain psychedelics for medical use.

Renewed Push to Legalize Kratom in Wisconsin

In a recent development, a group of Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin is reigniting the debate over the legalization of kratom, a plant-based substance often used for pain relief and opioid withdrawal.

Spearheaded by Rep. Dave Murphy and backed by the American Kratom Association, the bill, known as AB 393, aims to legalize and regulate kratom in the state. This comes after a similar bill faced united opposition from law enforcement groups and was struck down in 2021.

Interestingly, at least one law enforcement group, the State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, has shifted its stance from opposition to neutrality. The group’s president, Ryan Windorff, stated that kratom-related crimes are rare and that the issue should be left to healthcare experts and lawmakers. Both Rep. Murphy and bill co-sponsor Sen. Rachael Cabral-Guevera expressed optimism about bipartisan support for the current bill, signaling a potential turning point in the kratom legalization debate in Wisconsin.

Zachary officials approve ordinance to ban kratom products

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Zachary is next on the list to ban kratom products in Louisiana.

Kratom, an herbal product from a tree in southeast Asia, has become quite prevalent in the United States. You can crush it, use it in tea, or take it as a supplement.

State Representative Gabe Firment and other lawmakers attempted to ban the product statewide but will now leave that up to city governments. Their fight against kratom is based on its opioid and stimulant-like effects.

“You know it’s becoming fairly widespread, and it’s also being abused and has proven to be quite dangerous,” Rep. Gabe Firment said.

Most recently, councilmembers in Zachary adopted an ordinance to ban the sale and possession of kratom products in that area.

“This doesn’t make any sense that they are going to criminalize people when this is a safe product when used responsibly,” Haddow said.

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Proposed Bill Would Legalize Kratom

A new bill introduced this week would legalize kratom, a stimulant made from the leaves of a tree native to Southeast Asia. A similar bill failed to pass in 2022, but the bill’s Republican authors are back at it. And if you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for Wisconsin lawmakers to legalize marijuana, you should also be paying attention to the story of this lesser-known medicinal plant.

Kratom most often takes the form of a powder, capsule, or tea that is derived from the leaves of a tree native to Southeast Asia where it is used in herbal medicine. People use kratom for its stimulant-like effects, mood enhancement, and pain relief. 

On Tuesday, a group of Republican lawmakers introduced Assembly Bill 393, which would legalize the manufacture, distribution, delivery, and possession of kratom. 

Read more at WortFM