WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following the mid-October reversal by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of its plans to ban the natural herb kratom and the subsequent opening of an official public comment period, www.KratomComments.org, a new web-based project by the American Kratom Association (AKA) and the Botanical Education Alliance (BEA), generated 1280 comments in its first 10 days – roughly 60 percent of the 2186 comments logged by the DEA as of midnight ET October 29th.
Both AKA and BEA are working to reach before the December 1st comment cut-off date as many people as possible who have benefited from kratom so that they can share their opposition to the classification of the coffee-like herb kratom as a Schedule I drug.
The new KratomComments.org website simplifies the process of submitting comments to the DEA through Regulations.gov 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 submissions to the DEA.
American Kratom Association Director Susan Ash said: "Our role is to make sure the voice of kratom consumers is heard loud and clear and that is what KratomComments.org is doing. This is just another in a series of major initiatives we are undertaking to make sure that kratom remains legal and freely available to responsible adults."
Botanical Education Alliance Director Travis Lowin said: "While we applaud the DEA for their step in dropping the emergency ban effort and opening up the comment period, we have to proceed cautiously and make sure that the kratom community is not silenced. That is why having this easy-to-use and independent resource is so important. We are seeing more people comment as a result and we must make sure their input is not being stifled."
AKA and BEA have been instrumental in helping to coordinate the broad-based national opposition to the DEA's attempt to effectively ban kratom. Prior to the reversal by the DEA in October of the emergency scheduling process, the two groups were responsible for:
- 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 the 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.
Those who opt to submit comments via Regulations.gov may do so.
ABOUT THE GROUPS
The America Kratom Association, a consumer-based non-profit organization, is here to set the record straight, giving voice to those suffering and protecting our rights to possess and consume kratom. AKA represents tens of thousands of Americans, each of whom have a unique story to tell about the virtues of kratom and its positive effects on their 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 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