Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Nicholas Sarwark
Libertarian Party 

The Blood of Veterans Will Be On the DEA's Hands, if it Proceeds With Rescheduling Kratom

Many use Kratom for anxiety or depression, because it works better for them than other pharmaceuticals. Why mess with that?


September 16, 2016

Kratom has been used to treat veterans suffering from PTSD

While the American people are demanding drug peace and self-ownership, the DEA is headed in the wrong direction with kratom.

The DEA is losing the war on drugs with state after state softening stances on marijuana. 8 states will be voting on legalizing marijuana for recreational AND medicinal purposes in November. Americans are overwhelmingly seeing that prison and government violence are terrible ways to solve the problems of addiction and drug abuse, and they are demanding a different approach. They are demanding more liberty. They are demanding drug peace.

Instead, the DEA is seeking out new plants and herbs to wage war on, presumably to refill our prisons and keep the revenue from asset forfeiture going to the state.

Kratom is a simple herb. The medicinal form is derived from leaves of a plant, ground into powder or made into a tea. It has very low toxicity and no death has ever occurred because of kratom alone. In fact, many use it to negate the vicious withdrawal effects from heroin addiction. Many use it for anxiety and depression and claim it works far better for them than other pharmaceuticals and with no side effects. Many claim it saves lives. Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn't. That should be a decision grown adults make for themselves, and if they say it helps them, so be it.

At this point, it is sold as an unregulated herbal remedy and that is how it should stay. But, presumably because it DOES actually do something, the DEA is planning to schedule it the same as heroin and ban its use at the end of this month, even though no harm can be proven. According to the DEA, the American people are required to prove some medical benefit through the ridiculously arcane process of FDA approval.

So we are supposed to spend 10 or more years and millions of research dollars to get permission to ingest an herb that is currently not hurting anybody? The Libertarian Party and a majority of the American people reject this philosophy of governance and demand that the DEA stand down on kratom and marijuana.

It is especially critical to keep alternatives like these open to our nation's veterans, who are committing suicide at an appalling rate of 22 per day, many of them desperate for mental health services or pain management from overburdened and poorly managed VA health services. We have already failed our veterans in so many ways.

If kratom helps even one of them deal with the trauma of endless, pointless war, it is downright inhumane to put any kind of stumbling block between them and their recovery.

If the DEA moves forward with this scheduling and the veteran suicide rate goes up, blood will be on their hands. The American people are sick and tired of unelected bureaucrats making life more miserable for people already suffering.

Stop it.

Read this on our website:

Nicholas Sarwark is the Libertarian National Committee Chair

From Wikipedia: Mitragyna speciosa, also known as ketum or kratom, is a tropical deciduous and evergreen tree in the coffee family (Rubiaceae) native to Southeast Asia in the Indochina and Malaysia phytochoria (botanical regions). M. speciosa is indigenous to Thailand where it has been used in traditional medicine.

Little research has been done on the health effects of Mitragyna, and it has no approved medical uses

Little research has been done on the health effects and it has no approved medical uses. Some people use it for managing chronic pain, opioid withdrawal, or recreationally. Effects last for between two and five hours.

Kratom use is not detected by typical drug screening tests, but its metabolites can be detected by more specialized testing.

Minor side effects may include itchiness, vomiting, and constipation. More severe side effects may include a decreased effort to breathe, seizure, addiction, and psychosis.

Other side effects include high heart rate and blood pressure, liver toxicity, and trouble sleeping. Naloxone may be used to treat an overdose that results in a reduced effort to breathe. In the United States between 2014 and 2016, 15 deaths have been associated with kratom use. Though not an opiate itself, kratom is thought to behave similarly to an opiate like morphine.


Reader Comments

ZDom writes:

Take the right for us to treat & heal ourselves , take our liberty. We need to join hand to fight these control freaks.

TerriB writes:

This doesn't pass the smell test. Big Pharm is worried all the opiate addicts are getting clean so they have to put a stop to it. The DEA claims 15 deaths caused by kratom. Of those 15, all were found to have other dangerous drugs in their system. Several of those were unfortunately suicides with a history of severe depression. I have used kratom for 6 years. I don't have an issue. I switched to kratom to avoid the prescriptions the oncologist gave me for cervical cancer and severe endometriosis. As with anythin, whether it is coffee or fast food, there are always possibilities of becoming addicted if used too much. Porn anyone? Bottom line, this is not for the good of the American people. It is for the pharmaceutical companies, the addiction clinics, and the big time lobbyists benefiting on keeping Americans addicted, in pain, or mentally hurting.

Prudence1962 writes:

From Scientific American - 9-30-2013 Overdosing and drug mixing aside, is kratom dangerous? People are afraid of opioid analgesics because they can lead to respiratory depression [difficulty breathing]. When you overdose on these drugs, your respiratory rate drops to zero. In animal studies where rats were given mitragynine, those rats had no respiratory depression. This opens the possibility of someday developing a pain medication as effective as morphine but without the risk of accidentally overdosing and dying. Please stop the misinformation. This Plant is a life save to MILLIONS of people. It treats PTSD in our Veterans, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, and helps people kick opiate addiction, and alcohol addiction. Add up all that money and figure out for yourself why THEY want it banned. DO SOME CRITICAL THINKING AND INVESTIGATE FOR YOURSELVES!


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