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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday October 01 2016, @05:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the winning(?)-the-war-on-drugs dept.

The blowback against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's decision to ban kratom has caught the attention of a bipartisan group of legislators, but a DEA spokesman has said that "It's not a matter of if. It's simply a matter of when" the DEA bans kratom:

A bipartisan group of nine senators is calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration to delay its "unprecedented" decision to ban kratom, a plant that researchers say holds great potential for mitigating the effects of the opioid epidemic. [...] The Senate letter, spearheaded by Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) says: "Congress granted emergency scheduling authority to the DEA based on the need for law enforcement interdiction of new and previously unknown illegal synthetic street drugs that result in injuries and death. The use of this emergency authority for a natural substance is unprecedented, so it is important to determine whether the circumstances here necessitate a jump to Schedule I.

"Given the long reported history of Kratom use," the letter continues, "coupled with the public's sentiment that it is a safe alternative to prescription opioids, we believe using the regular review process would provide for a much-needed discussion among all stakeholders." [...] The DEA cites 600-plus poison-control center calls involving kratom between 2010 and 2015 in its justification for banning the plant, and notes that 15 deaths were linked to the use of the plant between 2014 and 2016. In an interview with The Washington Post, a DEA spokesman later clarified that all but one of those fatalities involved the use of other substances. Earlier this week 51 U.S. representatives similarly called on the DEA and the White House to reconsider or at least delay the ban, which was slated to go into effect as early as Friday. In an interview, DEA spokesman Russell Baer confirmed that the ban was not yet in place. "We have not yet determined a date when we will publish that final order" putting the ban into effect, he said.

There may be a public comment period before the ban takes effect, and the White House is now obligated to respond to the petition about kratom, which has reached over 140,000 signatures.

Text of the Senators' letter. Also at Ars Technica, CBS, and US News & World Report.

Previously: DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Alcohol Industry Bankrolls Fight Against Legal Pot in Battle of the Buzz [Updated]


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @06:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @06:20PM (#408851)

    You are way off base. Let this receive the safety and scientific scrutiny it should, but it is because of corporate influence that it can sail along making any claims it wants, and is not subject to ANY scrutiny for its safety, all because it is a "natural" supplement. It is you suckers who think "all natural" is not only superior, but actually means something. Given the supplement industry, statistically it means "placebo". Anything with beneficial efficacy is far in the minority here.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Saturday October 01 2016, @06:29PM

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday October 01 2016, @06:29PM (#408854) Journal

    Putting it on Schedule I prevents anyone from growing it in their own home for their own use.

    It clearly has a painkiller effect, and medical science does look at anecdotal reports when evaluating drugs (just as the DEA is as part of their justification for banning it).

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Nerdfest on Saturday October 01 2016, @07:29PM

    by Nerdfest (80) on Saturday October 01 2016, @07:29PM (#408857)

    How about they just have to actually prove harm before banning it? Is that too much to ask?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:03PM

      by edIII (791) on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:03PM (#408864)

      What? The harm is out there for everyone to see man! Will nobody think of the lost profits for the pharmaceutical industries?!

      We just can't have some natural plant take over opiate markets like an invasive species. Perhaps, when Kratom is studied more and can be monetized we will re-discover its medical properties. On another note, if we deregulate all the drugs how will the DEA continue to survive and provide jobs? How will local law enforcement be able to mass seize property to raise funds to continue to fight the scourge that is self-help medical?

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      • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @10:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @10:28PM (#408885)

        This has nothing to do with the "lost profits of the pharmaceutical industries" and everything to do with the "lost profits of the dietary supplement industry".

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by tathra on Sunday October 02 2016, @01:02AM

        by tathra (3367) on Sunday October 02 2016, @01:02AM (#408922)

        Perhaps, when Kratom is studied more and can be monetized we will re-discover its medical properties.

        schedule 1 bans all research, so this move is preventing pharmaceutical companies from monetizing it as well.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Sunday October 02 2016, @01:15AM

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Sunday October 02 2016, @01:15AM (#408927) Journal

          Not entirely true, but it does make it harder [soylentnews.org]:

          In the words of a 2015 Brookings Institution report, a move to Schedule II "would signal to the medical community that [the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health] are ready to take medical marijuana research seriously, and help overcome a government-sponsored chilling effect on research that manifests in direct and indirect ways."

          The DEA approves the cannabis studies and controls the supply, so you could easily see how they could pick and choose researchers more likely to conform to their backwards views or do scarier studies starting from a point of studying cannabis "abuse".

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @11:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @11:10PM (#408889)

      This stuff affects your mind, and it's not an upper like nicotine or caffeine. People using such substances tend to crash cars, causing death and other damage.

      Pointing at alcohol is no excuse; we partially legalized that one because everybody was ignoring the laws.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @11:29PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @11:29PM (#408897)

        Uh, citation?

        Unless you just said that we should ban all prescription painkillers.

        That I wouldn't have a problem with.

        But be fucking consistent, asshole.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @11:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @11:48PM (#408908)

          Unless you just said that we should ban all prescription painkillers.

          That I wouldn't have a problem with.

          I have felt intense, extended duration pain before. If a human were to be the direct cause of such pain for me, I would not hesitate to kill that human as quickly as possible, and precious few other humans would object to my doing so.

          In that same logical thread, should I be in great pain, and effective painkillers be available, but a third party insists I not be provided with the painkillers using the threat of lethal force to enforce their decision, I do not see how that third party is not directly culpable for my great pain in the same manner as if they were directly causing the pain themselves.

          I am a hair's breadth away from considering the mass killing of DEA agents (starting at/near the top and working on down) to be justifiable homicide.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02 2016, @01:05AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02 2016, @01:05AM (#408923)

        we partially legalized that one because everybody was ignoring the laws.

        And everyone ignores the drug prohibition laws too, so why aren't they being repealed? Oh right, they're intentionally not enforcing drug laws when it comes to whites [bennorton.com], but drug laws give them an excuse to throw the book at uppity niggers.

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02 2016, @01:15AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02 2016, @01:15AM (#408929)

          Oh right, they're intentionally not enforcing drug laws when it comes to whites, but drug laws give them an excuse to throw the book at uppity niggers.

          Drug "law"enforcement hits white-skinned folk, too, but you are quite correct that one of two primary targets for the illegal War on Drugs was and is black-skinned folk.

          Nixon Invented the Drug War to Decimate Hippies and Black People, Former Adviser Confesses [reason.com]
          Legalize It All - How to win the war on drugs (source) [harpers.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02 2016, @02:19AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02 2016, @02:19AM (#408953)

          when it comes to whites

          Rich whites.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Sunday October 02 2016, @02:22AM

    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Sunday October 02 2016, @02:22AM (#408956)

    Let this receive the safety and scientific scrutiny it should

    I don't mind scrutiny or education campaigns, but when you suggest that government thugs should arrest people for ingesting and/or possessing substances like this, you become an enemy of freedom.

  • (Score: 2) by art guerrilla on Sunday October 02 2016, @11:33AM

    by art guerrilla (3082) on Sunday October 02 2016, @11:33AM (#409043)

    you are way off base: do i own my own body or not ? ? ?
    IF i do (and i think we should), THEN it stands to reason i can put whatever i want in my body whenever i want for whatever reasons i want...
    otherwise, that is the very definition of a nanny-state...

    • (Score: 2) by TheReaperD on Sunday October 02 2016, @09:40PM

      by TheReaperD (5556) on Sunday October 02 2016, @09:40PM (#409152)

      Sadly, according to many legal standards, you do not own your body. This is the legal reasoning behind why it is a crime to commit suicide (yes, you can be arrested if you try to commit suicide and fail). The same justification can be used for laws against taking drugs while selling drugs can be considered a violation of the commerce clause. I highly disagree with this principle but, it is how laws are currently applied. Disclaimer: I took classes but, I am not a lawyer.

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