Probably, the DEA doesn’t really care about public safety


Don’t ban kratom, end the War on Drugs instead

For hundreds of years, people have used kratom leaves or powders for pain relief.

Currently legal in the United States, millions of Americans have safely used kratom for therapeutic and recreational purposes.

In recent years, federal agencies which have no regard for individual liberty like the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration have set their sights on kratom.

In 2016, the DEA announced plans to “place the active materials in the kratom plant into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in order to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety.”

Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act is the most restrictive category of the drug scheduling system and includes drugs like heroin and marijuana. Practically, this would prohibit kratom for any use under federal law.

The DEA later backed off of this decision, an odd move if the DEA seriously believed the American people faced “an imminent hazard to public safety” because of kratom. Probably, the DEA doesn’t really care about public safety, it’s more interested in expanding its own powers and keeping the money flowing.

But now, the prospect of kratom prohibition is back. The FDA recently reiterated its own “concerns about kratom’s potential for abuse, addiction, and serious health consequences; including death.”

As evidence, the FDA pointed to 44 deaths involving the use of kratom. But as Reason pointed out, most of those deaths involved the presence of multiple drugs and many involved other health problems, and are hardly evidence of anything other than that bad things have happened to some people who have ingested kratom at some point prior to their deaths.

And as a group of nine scientists argued in a letter to the White House, “the existing science on kratom does not justify its placement into Schedule I of the CSA, nor for kratom to be added to any local or state Controlled Substances list that would effectively remove it from consumer access.”

Proponents of safe access to kratom and individual liberty alike should make clear their opposition to any attempt by the federal government to prohibit or overly restrict access to kratom. People should absolutely be aware of any risks or dangers of kratom use, but prohibition will only punish those with legitimate needs and create a whole new black market with all the risks and downsides black markets have.

Rather than exert the force of government to punish people for ingesting substances unapproved by some government bureaucrats, the federal government should respect the freedom of people to make their own choices and do with their own bodies what they wish.

Sal Rodriguez is an editorial writer and columnist for the Southern California News Group. He may be reached at


2 Responses

  1. For a thousand times now, I have said, and will say again, kratom is NOT an opioid. It does not bind to opioid receptors and affect breathing, it is NOT addictive. It is NOT deadly. I’m 65, disabled and in constant pain, I have drank kratom tea for years, without I’ll effects. On days where I don’t drink it for varied reasons, there is no craving, no withdrawals. It has helped me wean down on prescription pain pills to the point where I use them very minimally and will soon thanks to kratom, not need them at all. For me it works, and very well, for both pain and anxiety.Millions of others, mostly older people, have found this to be the same. It has helped many vets deal with ptsd, due to its soothing effects. It is NOT a high. It works moreso like a Xanax or a muscle relaxant. It is not a substance of abuse because it is not a high, as people understand the term, Young people who might try it for the wrong reasons will quickly become bored with it because it is a substance of use,not abuse. To much at one time is not pleasant. Nausea & dizziness the main symptoms, making it unattractive to people looking for a thrill. It’s a helpful safe herb that when taken in moderation, as most do, has no ill effects at all.The small handful of deaths over many years, have been wrongly blamed on it and the stories have been debunked. Every single one of the 36 deaths were found to have other substances in their systems. They were found to have dangerous combinations of deadly drugs as well as kratom.This kratom death nonsense is a lie used only to fit an agenda of wanting to ban a substance that will take profits away from the pharma industry. Anyone that has experience with this issue, understands the corrupt motive. Depriving millions of this lifesaving herb, will result in suicides, drug addictions and misery. At a time when they are looking for something to help people in pain without dangerous effects, to ban it would be foolish and senseless. Counterproductive as hell. Credible research has been done under NIH grants at the university of Mississippi and Florida,and the researchers found exactly what I’m saying to be true.We are not children and the government is not our parents.Listen to the people for a change,and leave kratom alone. We know why you want to ban it,and it’s not for public safety.

  2. True,,,fact,,the dea has arrested innocent doctors,,heck,,even if u think their guilty.,,,the point of this comment is,,,the agents on our dime know,,,,u take away that doctor,,from 10,000 patients,,,,now how can their welfare be of any of the dea concern,,,,its not,,,,the dea could give a shit,,,they just left 10,000 human being w/out their medicines,,,,orrrr they wou;ld of done something to stop that scenario,,,instead of creating it,,,,maryw

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