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.

What if Seattle decriminalized magic mushrooms? City Council wants to explore that

The Seattle City Council is asking a drug overdose and recovery panel to explore the potential liberalization of local policies on psychedelics like magic mushrooms, citing their potential for treating addiction and mental health conditions.

Seven council members Monday signed a letter to the Overdose Emergency and Innovative Recovery Task Force, which will launch soon in King County.

The panel led by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County and VOCAL Washington plans to reconsider how governments and communities can reduce overdoses, racial inequities in drug-user health and criminal-legal system challenges, representatives say.

The task force will delve into questions related to psychedelic medicines, also known as entheogens, among many other topics, said Malika Lamont, program director for VOCAL-WA, an advocacy organization that focuses on the war on drugs, homelessness, mass incarceration and HIV/AIDS. Entheogens include substances like psilocybin, ayahuasca and ibogaine.

Read more at Seattle Times.

House GOP Leader Says Pot Bill Is ‘Tainted,’ Vote Must Wait

With the Connecticut House of Representatives poised to take up a long-awaited bill that would legalize recreational marijuana for adults, the Republican leader on Tuesday called for an investigation into how language was tucked into the legislation that could have intentionally benefitted at least one individual.

House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, said the closed-door process that led to the massive, nearly 300-page bill is “tainted,” and the House should not proceed with a vote during the remaining hours of the regular General Assembly session, which adjourns at midnight on Wednesday. The bill narrowly passed the Senate early Tuesday after the contentious provision was stripped.

“It is so tarnished that the House of Representatives should not be taking up this bill,” Candelora said. “And frankly, there should be an investigation in the governor’s office and in the Democrats offices on how this provision came to be.”

Read the full story at usnews.com.

Why Is Ottawa Stalling Proven Magic Mushroom Therapy for the Dying?

For many, COVID-19 has made one day blur into the next and each month merge with another in a sameness that’s different from the pre-pandemic feeling of time passing.

But there are some who are never untethered from clocks and calendars as they confront something far more personally profound than even COVID-19.

They cope with terminal illness, and the existential grief and anxiety that comes with an end-of-life diagnosis.

Last year I wrote about what seemed to be enlightenment and compassion from the federal health minister. Patty Hajdu used her authority under Section 56 of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to grant legal access to psilocybin for terminal patients. In at least one case Hajdu gave the exemption to a woman with a crippling life-long mental illness.

Read the full story at thetyee.ca

Ex-FDA Head Falsely Claims Kratom Is “Fueling” the Overdose Crisis

Drug warriors have long deployed disinformation to justify panics and crackdowns. Kratom, an unregulated plant-based product used by many to manage opioid consumption and withdrawals, has not been spared.

On May 21, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb spread a baseless claim on social media with a call to criminalize kratom consumers and obstruct access for people with opioid use disorder (OUD).

“I’m convinced [kratom is] fueling the opioid addiction crisis,” Gottlieb posted on Twitter, followed by a call for the Biden Administration to finish the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 2016 scheduling effort that failed in the face of consumer advocacy and public opposition. 

Dr. Gottlieb’s statement came in response to a series of tweets by both the official FDA account and that of the agency’s current acting commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock.

Read the full article at Filter Mag

Kratom no longer on drugs list

The Kratom plant has been removed from a list of narcotics listed under the amended Narcotics Act.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said the Act has been modified and the new version was published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday to annul the plant’s narcotics status.

The amendment will take effect on Aug 24, Mr Somsak said.

He thanked the organisations involved in pushing for the plant’s removal from the list, noting Kratom is a part of local people’s lifestyle.

However, cultivation of the plant will still be restricted until a new law to regulate kratom plantations is enacted, the justice minister said.

He said this legislation, also known as the Kratom Law, will detail how the plant is allowed to be used.

Keep reading at MSN

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

Ashdown police warning citizens that ‘Kratom’ is illegal in Arkansas

The Ashdown Police Department has seen an increase in the number of people in possession of an illegal substance known as Kratom.

According to APD, Kratom, which is also called Mitragyna Speciosa, is a schedule 1 controlled substance which makes it a felony offense to possess it in the state of Arkansas.

Mitragyna Speciosa, or Kratom, is a plant which grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Kratom affects the opioid brain receptors as morphine which exposes the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence. There are no FDA approved uses for Kratom.

Kratom is used in many ways, the most common are pills, capsules, crushed and smoked, brewed as tea, or by chewing the raw leaves.

Read more at arklatexhomepage.com

Republicans Push for Federal Legalization of Marijuana to Ensure ‘Individual Liberty’

Representative Dave Joyce, a Ohio Republican, introduced the proposed legislation to end the longstanding federal prohibition of marijuana along with Representative Don Young, an Alaska Republican.

The bill would remove cannabis from the Federal Controlled Substances list; instruct the government to create a regulatory framework for marijuana similar to the alcohol industry; allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe medical cannabis; and protect financial institutions dealing with marijuana distributors and growers.

“For too long, the federal government’s outdated cannabis policies have stood in the way of both individual liberty and a state’s 10th Amendment rights. It is long past time that these archaic laws are updated for the 21st Century,” Young said in a Wednesday statement.

The Republican congressman noted that he is “proud” to represent a state that has already legalized and regulated marijuana.

Continue at Newsweek

Dr. Markus Roggen: Quantifying the Medicinal Potential of Psilocybin

With legal access to psilocybin therapy growing, researchers are committed to understanding and quantifying its potential benefits. As the founder of Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures (CBDV) — a British Columbia-based research laboratory that focuses on extraction optimization, analytical testing, and chemical process development for the cannabis and psilocybin industries — Dr. Markus Roggen holds a unique perspective on the issue.

In this written Q&A, Dr. Roggen discusses the importance of understanding psilocybin’s chemistry, getting licensed to research psilocybin by Health Canada, and the similarities and differences of cannabis vs. psilocybin research. The interview also covers psilocybin’s growing prevalence and popularity, the unknowns that researchers hope to understand, and more!

Read more at ganjapreneur.com

Is Kratom Legal In Florida?

The legality of Kratom in the US is somewhat vague and controversial. Some states have the liberty to enjoy the varied benefits associated with Kratom, while others have to avoid crossing paths with the law. Do you live in Florida or have just paid vacation to the sunshine city? If so, is Kratom legal in Florida?

Generally speaking, the Floridians have had the liberty to buy, carry, and consume Kratom within the state of Florida apart from residents of Sarasota County.

The legality of Kratom in Florida

Florida is one of the several states that have remained steadfast in allowing citizens to exercise their liberties as far as Kratom is concerned. Today, possession of Mitragyna speciosa in whichever form you prefer is like having your Smartphone so long as you are not within the boundaries of the defiant Sarasota County.

Keep reading at thekatynews.com.

Turning weed into green: Could liberalizing marijuana laws help Texas’ economy recover?

Last year Go Green Botanicals co-owner Maurice Salazar and his business partners were forced to close two of their three local CBD shops due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The stores sold myriad cannabidiol products such as gummies, infused coffee beans, lollipops, caramels, and oils at locations in New Braunfels and in San Antonio at Alamo Ranch and North Star Mall.

While selling hemp-based products containing CBD – a compound found in cannabis that does not cause a high but has other relaxing properties – became legal the United States in 2015, Texas’ marijuana laws, including for medical use, are among the most restrictive in the nation. To a growing number of Texans, it was starting to look like a lost business opportunity.

Keep reading at San Antonio Report.

This Plant Is Changing Lives, and It’s Not Weed

It’s official: cannabis legalization has completely changed the wellness paradigm.

It’s become a tidal wave that is upending public perceptions regarding the responsible use of plant-based substances.

This evolving landscape has prompted new discussions about how to use all-natural supplements to enhance everyday life. One company that is leading the charge amidst the herbal revolution is Kats Botanicals, a US-based supplier of unique, plant-derived products that are quickly catching on as alternatives to traditional wellness enhancers.

Among these products is something called Kratom—the informal name of the plant species Mitragyna Speciosa. It is not a stretch to say that Kratom is positively changing the lives of millions of people throughout the world, and in this article, we’re going to explain why this is happening by tapping the expertise of Kats Botanicals Founder and CEO, Justin Kats.

Continue at Riverfront Times.

Kratom group says CBD regulatory experience offers some lessons

The history of the CBD trade in the US provides a peek into the strategy that kratom proponents may pursue with the goal of a legal trade in the botanical without regulatory impediments, an executive in an advocacy group says.

Mac Haddow, senior fellow on public policy for the American Kratom Association (AKA), said the state-by-state strategy followed by the proponents of medical marijuana and CBD is one that could work for his organization, too.

“FDA is stretching its regulatory authority in its effort to demonize kratom,”​ Haddow told NutraIngredients-USA.

Maintaining access through the states

Haddow said FDA’s campaign against the botanical, based on what AKA characterizes as ‘incomplete’ information, has had some success.  But when AKA brings the full suite of scientific information on the botanical to the table, the results are unequivocal.

“Six states banned the substance, but those were all based on inaccurate or incomplete information at best,”​ he said.

Continue at nutraingredients-usa.com

California Bill To Legalize Possession Of Psychedelics Clears Second Senate Committee

A second California Senate committee has approved a bill to legalize possession of a wide range of psychedelics and create a working group to study broader reform.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D), advanced through the Health Committee on a 6-2 vote on Wednesday. This comes one week after the Public Safety Committee approved the proposal.

If enacted into law, the bill would remove criminal penalties for possessing or sharing numerous psychedelics—including psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, ibogaine, LSD and MDMA—for adults 21 and older.

“The war on drugs has been an abject failure because it is based on the false belief, the false notion, that criminalizing people, arresting them, incarcerating them for possessing, for using drugs, will somehow deter use and improve public safety,” Wiener told colleagues before the vote. “It has done neither.”

Read more at Marijuana Moment

New York, I Love You but Are You Really Just Now Legalizing Weed?

Congratulations, you’ve legalized weed! Finally.

For all your East Coast elitism, you really are behind the times on this one. I mean, the 15th state to legalize recreational cannabis? Even Virginia did it before you. My home state of Oregon was the third to do it—seven years ago. Of course, Oregon has long been at the forefront of legalization. We were the first state to decriminalize pot, back in 1973, the same year New York enacted the Rockefeller Laws, some of the toughest drug laws in the country, which called for prison sentences of at least 15 years for those caught with even a small amount of weed. And while it’s cute that New Jersey legalized weed in the 2020 election, it was in this election that Oregon became the first state to legalize psychedelic mushroom therapy.

But hey, look at it this way—at least it’s better than being the 16th state to legalize, right?

Continue at wweek.com

Denver dabbles with magic mushrooms, but using them to treat mental health disorders remains underground

Nearly two years after Denver made history as the nation’s first city to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms for personal use, the nightmare of rampant abuse and public intoxication feared by opponents has failed to materialize.

“There has been no effect that has been apparent to law enforcement,” said Denver Police Division Chief Joseph Montoya, who oversees major crime investigations.

Mushroom proponents see the absence of backlash as a key selling point in their push to eventually legalize psilocybin — the active ingredient — as a mainstream treatment for various mental health disorders.

A growing body of medical research suggests that psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs could help treat anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. That promise has given rise to dozens of companies eventually hoping to cash in.

Continue reading at Yahoo!

New York is latest state to legalize recreational marijuana

New York adults over the age of 21 can now possess and use marijuana — even in public — under a legalization billsigned Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, though legal sales of recreational-use cannabis won’t start for an estimated 18 months until regulations are set.

Passed after several years of stalled efforts, the measure makes New York the 16th state to legalize adult use of the drug, though South Dakota’s measure is in legal limbo.

New York becomes the second-most populous state, after California, to legalize recreational marijuana. Legalization backers hope the Empire State will add momentum and set an example with its efforts to redress the inequities of a system that has locked up people of color for marijuana offenses at disproportionate rates.

“By placing community reinvestment, social equity, and justice front and center, this law is the new gold standard for reform efforts nationwide,” said Melissa Moore, New York state director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

More at WI Proud.

Making Waves: The great mushroom debate

Crazy alert! They want to legalize magic mushrooms in Hawaii. Timothy Leary is cheering from his grave.

Actually Tim is not in his grave, when he died he had his ashes put into the nose cone of a satellite, now he is orbiting around the Earth like some wacked out, giggling moon.

That’s what magic mushrooms and similar chemicals do for your mind.

Now they want to unleash psychedelics on the world again. Flower Power is back, Summer of Love all over again, almost.

It seems a state senator named Stanley Chang thinks magic mushrooms are good for therapy so he came up with Senate Bill 738, the Mushroom Bill, which was deferred in late February. His idea is to set up clinics using psilocybin for therapy to cure smoking, alcoholism and depression.

It could happen with close supervision. I mean, real close.

Read more at West Hawaii Today.