WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Even though the case for banning or scheduling kratom has been debunked, there continue to be a number of unwarranted warnings about the coffee-like botanical coming from city, county and state agencies across the United States. In calling for a halt to these unscientific attacks on kratom, the American Kratom Association today issued a new fact-versus-fiction infographic at http://tinyurl.com/gvwbsk5.
The local and state warnings appear to be an outgrowth of the one or more briefings conducted last fall by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with police and health officials across the United States. The AKA has learned of the DEA briefing or briefings, which were held before the point in time when the federal agency put on hold its plan to schedule kratom as an illegal drug.
To date, AKA has uncovered unfounded anti-kratom warnings issued by the Floyd County Police Department in Georgia, the Winchester (VA) Police Department, the Oxford (AL) Police Department, the City of Denver, and the Utah Poison Control Center. Though the City of Denver backed off its initial kratom ban, it has not withdrawn its related public health warning. The Utah agency has gone so far as to label kratom incorrectly as a "toxin."
To address any remaining pockets of anti-kratom hysteria, the new AKA fact-versus-fiction infographic seeks to set the record straight by focusing on such key facts as the following:
- 1,175 doctors, veterans, scientists and law enforcement officers told the DEA they don't want a kratom ban.
- 0 percent of emergency health care professionals (including nurses and surgeons) responding to an online survey favored a ban on kratom.
- Zero deaths have been proven to be caused by kratom.
- One of the world's leading experts on drug abuse and addiction says kratom has no more potential for "substance use disorder" than caffeine. Chamomile, St John's Wort, and nutmeg are dietary supplements that are comparable to kratom in terms of their potential for addiction.
- Kratom consumers report that the botanical supplement is consumed for many things, including the management of minor pain and to promote a sense of health and well-being.
American Kratom Association Director Susan Ash said: "We are calling for state and local officials to recognize that the DEA backed away from its move to ban kratom after being faced with substantial public opposition and expert testimony that such a scheduling move is unjustified. As such, it is time to end the 'Reefer Madness'-style attacks on this coffee-like botanical that is used responsibly by myself and three-five million other Americans. It's not as though these officials don't have real problems to deal with today. We have a real opioid epidemic unfolding in this country. Federal, state, and local officials would be much better off focusing on that bona fide public health crisis, instead of trying to stoke unfounded fears about an imaginary 'kratom problem'."
The American Kratom Association is proud to be playing an instrumental role in helping to coordinate the broad-based national opposition to the DEA's attempt to effectively ban kratom:
- Submitted on March 1, 2017 a petition to U.S. President Donald J. Trump urging a halt to the DEA/Food and Drug Administration (FDA) push to criminalize kratom. Signed by 26,047 Americans, the online petition was launched by AKA on December 19, 2016.
- Coordinated with the American Coalition of Free Citizens to release a February 2, 2017 analysis showing that 99.1 percent of the 23,116 comments submitted to the DEA during a late 2016 public comment period (see below) opposed banning kratom. Of the 2416 commenters who listed a profession, nearly half (48 percent) were veterans, law enforcement officials, health care professionals, and scientists. This group of 1175 professionals came down strongly in favor of kratom and against a ban: 754 versus 9 … for a pro-kratom support level of 98.7 percent.
- Led the charge when the DEA opened a public comment period running through December 1, 2016. Of the more than 23,000 comments submitted before the deadline closed, the KratomComments.org Web site created by AKA was responsible for 16,379 comments – roughly 71 percent of total comments received at Regulations.gov. (The AKA campaign Web site is now inactive.)
- Issued on November 30, 2016 a long-awaited analysis by Dr. Jack Henningfield, Ph.D., vice president of Research, Health Policy, and Abuse Liability at PinneyAssociates, concluding that there is "insufficient evidence" for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to ban or otherwise restrict kratom under the Controlled Substances Act. According to the comprehensive Henningfield analysis, kratom's potential for abuse and dependence is no greater than such widely used and unscheduled substances as "nutmeg, hops, St. John's Wort, chamomile, guarana, and kola nut."
- Conducted in November 2016 an online survey of 105 emergency room (ER)/trauma health care professionals that found zero reported cases of deaths related to kratom. The new poll of America's front-line medical professionals also uncovered precisely zero percent support among those surveyed for a DEA ban on the coffee-like herb kratom.
- Encouraged a set of two letters sent on October 1, 2016 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 Congress to provide input.
- Facilitated letters to the DEA and the Office of Management and Budget sent on September 2, 2016 by a bipartisan group of 51 U.S. House Members urging a halt to the DEA's push to ban kratom.
- Worked with the Pain News Network on a September 2016 survey of 6150 kratom users about their experience with the herb.
- Promoted a successful and widely publicized September 13, 2016 "March for Kratom" in September at the White House.
- Circulated a "We The People" petition targeting the White House that accumulated more than 142,000 signatures.
The America Kratom Association, a consumer-based non-profit organization, is here to set the record straight, giving a voice to those suffering and protecting our rights to possess and consume kratom. AKA represents tens of thousands of Americans, each of whom has a unique story to tell about the virtues of kratom and its positive effects on their lives. www.americankratom.org
SOURCE American Kratom Association, Washington, DC