An Open Letter to the Government About Kratom

Dear American Government,

Hopefully you are now aware of this this issue — from the grassroots campaign of thousands of people, or the great advocacy work that the American Kratom Association has done, but the DEA is planning on classifying kratom as a Schedule I substance at the end of this month of September. This came out of nowhere and shocked the large community that uses this herbal supplement for medical reasons.

I urge you to do everything you can to stop the DEA’s plan to ban kratom from going forward.

There is so much good that kratom does for so many people: it is extremely medicinal and and an amazingly effective mental health supplement. It has been for sale for many decades, used for centuries, and shown to be safe with no recorded deaths caused by it ever (it is effectively impossible to overdose on it). Why does it need an “emergency” scheduling now? This is ridiculous. Any naturopath will tell you that kratom, when taken at a low dose, is very safe, and non-habit forming.

Personally, I have used kratom everyday now for over a year. I heard from an internet forum that it could help with depression and anxiety, as well as bipolar disorder — things I have suffered with for a very long time. I decided to try it out, buying a small amount of capsules. It works great! I take about 1–2 grams a day, far less than it would take to get someone “high” off of it and it has changed my life! I now have motivation, I have much less fear and anxiety in dealing with people and being in crowds. Since starting kratom I have gone back to school to get a Master’s degree, left an abusive relationship, and have had fewer & less severe mood swings.

Kratom is a godsend — no other psych med I’ve been put on (a very extensive list) has helped me as much as this simple tea leaf! It is NOT an opioid, but does work as an agonist to the same receptors that opiates/opioids do. An opiate agonist is NOT the same thing as an opiate/opioid — common opiate agonists are: chocolate, coffee, tea, sugar, and even meat protein!

To get a kratom “high” you need to take more kratom than most people looking for a cheap high can afford, and certainly not worth the price. The herb almost always induces nausea and frequently vomiting at the large, “recreational” dosages such as 5 grams or more, and the “high” does very little but make the user sleepy. It is not habit-forming.

At low, medicinal doses, it acts somewhat like a mild stimulant to very sensitive people (it is related to the coffee plant), but also has amazing anxiolytic and mood balancing properties. It is also, from what I have heard, very effective as an analgesic for chronic pain, but I can’t speak to that.

Irresponsible marketing makes kratom look like some scary new drug

I feel like the DEA did absolutely no real research into this wonderful herbal supplement. Likely they just saw the ridiculous over-priced packages of it that disreputable companies sell at headshops that are similar in look and brand to very dangerous drugs like spice and bath salts. Now that they can no longer sell those legally, they have tried to market kratom as a powerful legal “high.” Kratom is nothing like those drugs and is a mild, naturally grown tea leaf.

Most kratom users purchase it online through reputable vendors, usually as the full leaves to make a tea with or powdered in capsules. They do not take it to get high, they take it because it is effective in treating their medical conditions.

Banning kratom will create only negative effects: people will be more inclined to seek out stronger dangerous, and addictive painkillers; they’ll turn to alcohol and street drugs to dull their depression and mental illnesses; there will be a kratom black market where the quality of the product is questionable and possibly toxic and deadly. And, I hate to say it, but some people, unable to relieve their pain and depression, will commit suicide.

So, again, please: Help us to halt the ban on kratom. It doesn’t deserve to be banned, its very helpful and safe, and banning it will only hurt the effort to stop the real Opiate and Heroin epidemic currently destroying America.

JK Spaeth