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posted by martyb on Thursday September 01 2016, @12:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the deadly-embrace dept.

Kratom, an herbal drug made of ground-up tree leaves, is "temporarily" joining other natural substances such as cannabis, psilocybin, and peyote on the schedule I list of the Controlled Substances Act. The active ingredients in kratom, the indole alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, are both being added to the list for up to three years, after which they can be added permanently.

Prior to this move, the U.S. has already been seizing shipments of kratom:

In 2014, the FDA issued an import alert that allowed US Customs agents to detain kratom without a physical examination. "We have identified kratom as a botanical substance that could pose a risk to public health and have the potential for abuse," said Melinda Plaisier, the FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. According to the DEA, between February 2014 and July 2016, nearly 247,000 pounds of kratom were seized.

Advocates say that kratom is a natural treatment for opioid addiction, an application that the Drug Enforcement Agency dismisses. Meanwhile, the heroin/opioid epidemic continues with "unprecedented" events like the recent 174 heroin overdoses in just six days in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Check out the implosion of this kratom subreddit, which is attempting to get 100,000 signatures on the White House petition site:

APATHY WILL GET US NOWHERE. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME FOR US TO BAND TOGETHER, ITS NOW. stand with me brothers and sisters. hope is not lost.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kurenai.tsubasa on Thursday September 01 2016, @05:09PM

    by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Thursday September 01 2016, @05:09PM (#396263) Journal

    Same way they do everything else it seems: Because. They. Can.

    Doing some reading, the DEA seems to have linked deaths to the use of this one. As always, they'll give us the raw numbers to sound scary (deaths! [3 of them] hundreds needing medical care! [over a 5 year period]) but that's not epidemiology data.

    The evidence is beyond underwhelming. The only thing I've heard related to illegal, natural medicines that was more underwhelming was about the (two) deaths caused by cannabis edibles (and alcohol) in Colorado.

    As always, we're left to wonder about the legitimacy of the DEA when they still haven't put ethyl alcohol, tobacco, nutmeg, or datura (Jimsonweed) on schedule I and have refused to move cannabis to schedule II in light of evidence of legitimate medicinal uses. Preaching to the choir, but the DEA should be investigated for their failure to respond to the overwhelming evidence about at least ethyl alcohol and tobacco. I expect corruption charges against high ranking officials. Heads need to roll over the DEA's failure to act on alcohol and tobacco.

    I'd also like a pony.

    (I'm assuming if the 9th and 10th amendments don't fucking matter then the 21st amendment shouldn't fucking matter either. Ethyl alcohol used to have medicinal uses, but we have safer and more effective alternatives these days such as local anesthesia, etc.)

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  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday September 01 2016, @10:24PM

    by sjames (2882) on Thursday September 01 2016, @10:24PM (#396423) Journal

    Tobacco and ethanol do not belong on the list either. Both may be abused and there are certainly some people who should never touch ethanol, but both have long been used as part of the natural pharmacopoeia.

    It was recently discovered that nicotine is one of the very few substances that can treat the negative symptoms of schizophrenia (it was the only one at the time of 'discovery'). Tobacco macerated and applied topically to a sprain works wonders.

    The DEA needs to just go away, period. The FDA needs to be broken apart and re-built from scratch, preferably as a purely advisory organization.