by Brian Bahouth
On Friday, September 30, the US Drug Enforcement Administration will add the plant Kratom to the List of Controlled Substances. The folk remedy from Southeast Asia has traditionally been chewed or eaten to mitigate pain and wean addicts from opiate addiction. The substance has yet to gain widespread recreational use in the US, though many use it to treat a variety of symptoms, yet the DEA has decided to list Kratom in the most dangerous of categories, Schedule I. A Schedule I drug, by definition, has no medical value and a high potential for abuse.
After this Friday, not only will those who possess Kratom be subject to a jail term, the Schedule I listing will end research on a plant scientists believe could hold the key to the Holy Grail of pain medications: an effective compound that is neither addictive nor suited for abuse.
On September 26, a bi-partisan coalition of 51 representatives of congress sent a letter to acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg to delay the ban.
To find out more about Kratom and what the DEA ban means for researchers and those who use the plant to manage a variety of symptoms, The Drug Policy Alliance held a tele-press conference on September 29 in which a series of Kratom and drug policy experts spoke to the DEA’s impending ban … listen …
Jag Davies, Director of Communications Strategy, Drug Policy Alliance – introduction. (2:46)
Grant Smith, Deputy Director of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance. (4:33)
Susan Ash, Director, American Kratom Association. (7:13)
Andrew Turner, U.S. Navy Petty Officer, honorably discharged due to combat-related injuries. (3:14)
Susruta Majumdar, PhD, Assistant Attending, Department of Neurology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (3:24)
Andrew Kruegel, PhD, Associate Research Scientist, Department of Chemistry, Columbia University. (4:30)
Jag Davies, Director of Communications Strategy, Drug Policy Alliance -concluding remarks. (2:30)