BY ALICIA A. CALDWELL
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Drug Enforcement Administration has reversed a plan to temporarily ban a plant that some users suggest could be an alternative to powerful and addictive opioid painkillers.
In a notice set to be published Thursday in the Federal Register Thursday, the agency said it was withdrawing its plan to add two psychoactive components of the plant, known as kratom, to the list of the most dangerous drugs.
Advocates urging the DEA to leave kratom off its list of controlled substance have argued that it can be used as a nonaddictive painkiller or can help wean people off other, addictive pain medications. Some lawmakers also complained that the DEA wasn’t being transparent in its effort to ban the plant.
Adding kratom to the DEA’s list of schedule 1 drugs would define the plant as a drug with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
In a letter to the DEA last month, the American Kratom Association said the agency was being overly aggressive in categorizing kratom with other dangerous and highly addictive drugs, including a variety of synthetic drug compounds including synthetic marijuana and “bath salts.”
The association and the Botanical Education Alliance applauded the DEA’s reversal.
“Kratom is not an opiate. It is not addictive,” the groups said. “There is simply no basis whatsoever for the DEA to criminalize or regulate the responsible use by consumers of this product at a time when every federal effort targeting drugs should be focused on the ongoing scourge human of opioid addiction and death.”
Including kratom on the list of drugs that includes marijuana, heroin and LSD, would ban not only its use but likely strictly limit scientific studies for a possible medical use. Such a move would ban the plant for at least two years.
The drug agency said it will now wait for a recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration and take more comments from the public before deciding on kratom’s fate. The public has until Dec. 1 to comment.
For now that means that kratom, a little known plant native to Southeast Asia, remains legal under federal law. Six states, however, have opted to ban kratom or its components.
The IRS is Reportedly Overwhelmed by Cash Payments from Marijuana Businesses
Double Barrel and Verano Announce Exclusive Cannabis Business Partnership
Weed Scams are Trending on Instagram—and People are Falling for Them
Canadian Officials Report No Spike in Impaired Driving After Cannabis Legalization
News7 days ago
Dsuvia: The Opioid 10 Times Stronger Than Fentanyl the FDA Just Approved
News2 days ago
Federal Government Seeks Cultivators to Grow Thousands of Kilos of Cannabis
News4 days ago
Texas Representative Introduces Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana
Politics7 days ago
How Will The New Attorney General Impact The Cannabis Industry?
News4 days ago
Two People Shot and Killed in Los Angeles Cannabis Dispensary
Culture4 days ago
Michelle Obama Writes About Smoking Pot in Upcoming Book
News3 days ago
American Student Facing Death Penalty in China for Cannabis Distribution Released
CBD4 days ago
The United Kingdom Will Soon Have First Cannabis-Infused Restaurant