WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Kratom Association (AKA) and Botanical Education Alliance (BEA) joined forces today to launch www.KratomComments.org to make it as easy as possible for the maximum number of consumers to submit to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) by December 1st comments opposing the classification of the coffee-like herb kratom as a schedule I drug.
The huge public backlash against the DEA's attempt to effectively ban kratom led to the federal agency withdrawing an emergency proceeding on October 12th and opening up a comment period running through December 1st. Prior to the first-ever reversal by the DEA, AKA and BEA were instrumental in:
- Launching a "We The People" petition targeting the White House that has accumulated more than 142,000 signatures to date.
- Promoting a successful and widely publicized March for Kratom in September at the White House.
- Facilitating letters to the DEA and Office of Management and Budget sent on September 26th by a bipartisan group of 51 US House Members urging a halt to the DEA's push to ban kratom.
- Encouraging a set of two letters sent on October 1st by a politically diverse group of 11 Senators, including Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), calling on the DEA to halt the proposed scheduling and allow for a regular rulemaking process permitting the public, scientific experts, and the Congress to provide input.
The new KratomComments.org web site simplifies the process of submitted comments to the DEA through the Federal Register and also provides kratom community members with an assurance that there will be an independent record of their submissions – one that is not subject to federal computer problems (as were experienced shortly after the comment period opened) or any concerns about "missing" or otherwise "lost" comment submission to the DEA.
American Kratom Association Director Susan Ash said: "As this step today shows, kratom consumers and the industry are working together to step up the pressure on the DEA to act responsibly. The victory last week for consumers was the first step to ending the DEA push to classify kratom as a schedule 1 drug. While we applaud the agency for opening up a public comment period running through December 1st, everyone needs to understand that this is just the beginning of the fight and much more work remains to be done. We cannot and will not rest until the cloud created by the DEA is completely removed over the heads of our legal industry and three-five million kratom consumers we represent."
Botanical Education Alliance Director Travis Lowin said: "The comment period is an opportunity to make it clear that kratom is an all-natural product. Kratom is not an opiate. It is not addictive. It has been used safely and without deaths for hundreds of years. 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 opioid epidemic. Our bottom line is clear: Kratom should not be scheduled by the DEA and our industry and the consumers who patronize it should be allowed to continue to do so unhindered by federal regulatory overreach."
ABOUT THE GROUPS
The America Kratom Association, a consumer-based non-profit, is here to set the record straight, giving voice to the suffering and our rights to possess and consume kratom. AKA represents tens of thousands of Americans; each with a unique story to tell about the virtues of kratom and its positive effects on our lives. www.americankratom.org
The Botanical Education Alliance is an organization dedicated to educating consumers, lawmakers, law enforcement, and the media about safe and therapeutic natural supplements including Mitragyna speciosa, also known as kratom. BEA's mission is to increase understanding in order to influence public policy and protect natural supplements. The vision of the Alliance is to create a society where every adult has the right to access safe and effective natural supplements. www.botanical-education.org/
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SOURCE American Kratom Association and Botanical Education Alliance, Washington, DC