Friday, July 19, 2019

Kratom: The New Demon Weed

Image result for kratom tree
The new "Assassin of Youth"?

..in the government's eyes, that is.

Now that cannabis laws have been softened across the country, the pharmaceutical companies have begrudgingly accepted the loss to their bottom line that the incredibly benign, multi-use (but un-patentable) plant has caused.  It only took 80+ years (and weed is still Schedule I federally).  Sure, they still have Marinol & Epidiolex, but they're ungodly expensive and--in the case of Marinol--nowhere near as safe as the real thing. 

While the turning tide regarding cannabis is an incredibly positive thing, we're now seeing the propaganda shift toward other healing plants--namely kratom.  As more Americans are turning to kratom for pain relief, mood brightening, addiction treatment & recreation, the government now has its sights set on this plant as their next demon drug.  Like cannabis, kratom can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments & is being taken as a substitute for everything from prescription antidepressants & pain medications to addiction drugs like Suboxone, benzodiazepines & even alcohol.  The real magic is that, unlike prescription opioids, kratom doesn't cause respiratory depression even in large doses.  Pharma has never been able to concoct a drug that has these benefits without the attending risks.  That's significant. 

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Kratom tea fiend getting his "fix"

And just how much are they losing to kratom?  As of 2017, the annual revenue for OxyContin® was $3 billion.  With a "B".  And that's only one of many prescription drugs kratom is being used in place of.  The real problem is that there's a revolving door between our regulatory agencies & pharmaceutical companies.  The FDA is not a neutral agency out to protect the public from dangerous food & drugs but a board comprised of past pharmaceutical employees & current stockholders who directly profit from pharmaceutical drugs.  Scott Gottlieb is but one example--there are many more.  The ultimate plan is to place whole kratom in Schedule I (i.e. totally illegal, no medicinal value, same class as heroin & DMT) while making one alkaloid of the plant a prescription medication.  That alkaloid would most likely be mitragynine or 7-hydroxymitraginine which are responsible largely for the plant's pain relieving & mood-boosting properties.  A patent already exists for the kratom alkaloid speciofoline although it has expired.

One problem with that plan is, we already know what happens when we isolate a single compound & throw the rest away:  You end up with a less effective & often less safe substance.  Such is the case with pharmaceutical morphine, which is much easier to overdose on as a single drug than the morphine found in opium poppies, which comes with hundreds of other natural alkaloids like thebaine that discourage excessive dosing by causing vomiting or other side effects.  If you take one kratom alkaloid out of the whole plant, will it remain as safe & effective?  Not likely.

Kratom contains a treasure trove of substances that all perform important functions, some we don't fully understand yet.  What we do know is the whole leaf has been used for millennia with relatively few health problems which, while anecdotal, is better evidence than a lot of the new medications on the market that will inevitably cause deadly effects due to a lack of long-term studies in humans.  As we learned during the AIDS crisis, sometimes the FDA's lengthy approval process takes too long to reach the people who need help now.  Kratom is already allowing people to live pain-free, addiction-free lives.  Taking it away without offering an alternative will lead to tragedy.

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Pharma vs. kratom?
Another problem with making the plant illegal is not everyone has access to a doctor who will prescribe the alkaloid they need to treat their condition.  (Or access to a doctor period).  People use kratom because it's cheap & available without a prescription.  I don't need to tell you how broken our healthcare system is in America; if they remove every option we have to keep ourselves pain-free & leading productive lives, there will be hell to pay in the form of suicides, overdoses, increased reliance on social welfare programs & much more.  We shouldn't have to indulge in their "pay to play" system for every little bump, bruise & sniffle.  People should have the right to treat their own symptoms at home using herbs & other supplements like we have since the beginning of time.  Plants are natural resources that belong to all of us.  Banning them goes against the very principles this country was founded on.


Dirty Tricks

Since 2016, the DEA & FDA have taken turns attempting to ban kratom using every trick in the book.  After emergency scheduling failed due to massive public push back, they resorted to a flood of media scare stories & a trickle of state-by-state bans, followed by a trumped-up salmonella scare.  There have also been a number of import alerts at customs every few months that make it hard for Indonesian kratom to make it to U.S. vendors.  At every step of the way, kratom users have made their voices heard & refused to take their attacks quietly.

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The late Gene Haislip of the DEA
Now they're going directly to the source & trying to twist Indonesia's arm to get kratom growing shut down completely.  If you think this is impossible, you haven't been paying attention.  In 2015 we got communist China to ban 116 research chemicals, effectively ending the U.S. market for drugs ranging from stimulants to psychedelics to cannabinoids & dissociatives.  Going back even further, Gene Haislip of the DEA managed to make methaqualone (Quaaludes) obsolete using a tactic he called "chemical control".  This involved pressuring overseas governments to change their laws & ban the drug's ingredients illegal to make the DEA's job easier.  To this day you won't find genuine Quaaludes for sale from even the most specialized dealer.  Here's a snippet of the article from The Fix:

"Haislip followed the paper trail through Hungary, to Austria and Germany. Each time he found a legal source (of precursor chemicals) he shut it down with local government cooperation and pressure from the U.S. Gradually, the DEA hacked at the heads of the Hydra until Colombians had no drug powder to make their counterfeit [Quaaludes], and they simply gave up." 

They used a similar tactic to get ephedrine tablets off the market when meth labs started popping up in the late '80s & early '90s, though pseudoephedrine was still available for many years over-the-counter.  This is the same backdoor trick they're now using with kratom, and it's never failed them before. 

Indonesia produces 95% of the world's kratom supply.  It's not realistic to think another country could simply pick up where they left off...not this late in the game.  The kratom market in America alone is enormous & growing every year.  There's no way domestic growers or farmers in Thailand or Malaysia or Vietnam (can you say 'Agent Orange'?) could step in & supply the demand.  If Indonesia bans kratom, it will become scarce, expensive & unsafe just like every other illicit drug on the black market.  This cannot be allowed to happen.  It puts kratom users in grave danger & threatens the livelihood of peaceful Indonesian farmers who rely on kratom for their livelihood.  (A livelihood which doesn't destroy the environment like palm oil or rubber production, incidentally).


Get Involved

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Kratom rally :)
What can kratom users do to protect their rights?  You don't have to be "political" or an activist to help with this fight.  Instead of worrying aimlessly about kratom's legal status, put that energy toward something productive by doing one or more of the following:

- Donate to the American Kratom Association (AKA) whenever you can.  Even a small $5 donation helps.  This lobbying organization is the only reason kratom is still legal federally today.  Many safe & promising substances have been banned in the time that kratom's been on the market--the only difference is they didn't have a lobbying presence to protect them in Washington.

- Reach out to sympathetic news outlets like Vice, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, ForbesPain News Network & media personalities like Joe Rogan & Trae Crowder about what's going on with the FDA & kratom.  Highlight their motivations ($$$), shady methods & the danger they're causing by trying to ban this plant.  Point out the conflict of interest between pharma & regulatory agencies and don't be afraid to name names.

- Only order from vendors who donate to the AKA or Botanical Education Alliance (BEA).  If they don't advertise it on their website or in their store, don't be shy about asking.  Vendors make a killing importing cheap kratom & selling it at inflated prices, so it's only right that they do their part to keep it legal.  Vote with your dollars.  This is our most vital source of power as customers. 

- Sign up for the American Kratom Association's newsletter.  Sign petitions or complete surveys when they hit your inbox.  Wait for their cue to call your representative or participate in other organized efforts to flood our government with personal testimonies about kratom.  These calls & letters work best when sent in large numbers, so follow their directions on how & when to make contact.  The AKA has saved us with these coordinated efforts before.  They may not be perfect but they know how to get things done. 

- Post about kratom on social media using the hashtags #keepkratomlegal, #kratomsaveslives & #iamkratom.  If you don't feel comfortable posting as yourself, create a separate account for kratom & related posts.  Blogging, videos other methods of getting your voice & story out to the world are all helpful too.

- Be aware of astroturfing & other attempts to cause false dissent in kratom groups.  The government has unlimited time & resources to influence online opinions about kratom.  They would be silly NOT to.  If someone starts making false claims about kratom, the AKA or kratom users without any evidence to back it up, check their post history & see how long they've been registered on the site.  In general, older users with a more varied post history tend to be more trustworthy.


#WeAreKratom!

This plant has saved & improved many lives.  The only way it can continue to do so is if every kratom user does their part to keep it legal.  It gets tiring fighting these battles against big corporations & shady government officials every few months, but the opposition is counting on us giving up or turning on each other. 

Even if you aren't a kratom user, I implore you to stand up for this cause with the same fervor you'd support the right to use cannabis or engage in any other consensual adult activity.  It's not about whether you personally enjoy it--it's a matter of individual liberties & saving lives.  What kind of world do you want to live in?  If they ban kratom today, it may be something you enjoy tomorrow.  In a free society, apathy is the most dangerous opiate of all. 


6 comments:

  1. Great article! Sharing it on our social media. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. https://www.paintreatmentdirectory.com/inspiring-stories/kami-davis-i-got-my-life-back-after-20-years-by-taking-kratom

    ReplyDelete
  3. Pure Leaf Kratom is safe and is Low risk for addiction. ~ Kami Davis

    In the words of Dr. Jack Henningfield, Ph. D. ,, one of the world’s leading addiction specialists (Chief of Biology/Dependence and Abuse Potential Assessment) for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a member of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine faculty, since 1978 and is presently Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Biology at the Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences ~ concludes that it is not an opioid by definition.

    Mitragynine is the alkaloid in Kratom. Kratom leaves contain 25 identifiable alkaloids. Mitragynine (MG) and 7-Hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG) are the main psychoactive alkaloids in Kratom. MG and 7-HMG are PARTIAL agonists.

    The big difference between Kratom and Morphine/opiates/opioids is this: NATURE GOT IT RIGHT. It has such low traces of 7-HMG and MG, that it cannot hurt you; but just enough to help you. Dependence is so low, to be harmful.

    Opioids such as morphine, have negative side-effects on the central nervous system, including impairment/ drowsiness, brain fog, respiratory depression, and severe addiction with deadly withdrawals. Kratom does none of those things. Instead, Kratom’s alkaloids produce effects such as alertness and focus ~ the opposite of what morphine and high risk opioids do.

    Lastly, Kratom doesn’t encourage a person to want to drink, along with it. It is the opposite. It makes you want to establish healthy habits, unlike opioids. ~ Kami Davis


    https://wiseye.org/2019/10/30/senate-committee-on-health-and-human-services-23/

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  4. In 2008. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease(L4-L5) and epilepsy. That began a whole slew of different kinds of pain pills, injections, doctors’ appointments and pharmacies. I noticed I started becoming addicted to pain pills after I lost my house and my job in 2009 due to my health issues. That and issues going on in my home life slammed me into a deep depression. From then on I couldn’t function without a pill. I’d be so out of it for 2 weeks out of the month because my 30 day supply would only last me a couple of weeks. When I wasn’t pilled up, I stayed in bed and only did the bare minimum in life until my next doctor’s appointment. My pill cocktail was Oxycontin, MS Contin, Soma, Klonopin and fioricet.

    I was fired from my pain management clinic in April 2019 because I didn’t show up for a per contract pill count. I knew I was 11 pills short so I just didn’t show up! From May to June my kid’s father came out here for my second daughter’s graduation. I had already gone through detox and I think he helped occupy my mind. My plan was once we dropped him off at the airport, I was going to start looking for another doctor. Instead I watched Leaf of Faith, a movie about kratom, on Netflix on June 25th 2019. I learned that kratom is a Southeast Asian herb that many are using for pain relief and to treat addiction.

    The very next day I went to the local smoke shop and bought some Urban Ice Kratom. And here I am today, 8 months later, sober and staying sober because of kratom and weed! Kratom not only brings my pain level from a 10 to a 3, it also stops the opioid cravings and elevates my mood along with the marijuana. I am a brand-new version of the old me. I am a thriving and functioning mother and member of society again. Kratom and marijuana are the tools I need for sobriety. In all honesty, I am still amazed that I’m alive today. If you think Kratom doesn’t work, then by all means ask me how I am sober, sitting here typing this out. I and millions of others are living, breathing proof that kratom works! Kratom is FREEDOM, kratom is LIFE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, thank you for sharing your story! So glad you've found that much relief (releaf?) from kratom. I hope you'll copy/paste this somewhere safe & share it next time the government opens their website up for public comment on kratom, opiates or pain management. Very powerful.

      (Red-vein) kratom is great for my endometriosis pain & migraines. And the white/green strains pull me through my Springtime fatigue like nothing else. The number of prescription drugs it could potentially replace or eclipse makes kratom a real threat to the pharma industry. We gotta stay vigilant to keep it legal.

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  5. We are a pure Authentic kratom distributor who has been serving the kratom community in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world since 2013. We started this company with one thing in mind, you, the customer. We are one of the most customer centric kratom distributor since the beginning. Are you looking for Authentic Kratom? We are located in California United States. Our warehouse is located in the San Fernando Valley. Our local areas includes Los Angeles, Orange county, Woodland Hills, Canoga Park, Simi Valley, Ventura County, Glendale, Burbank, and many more local cities in Southern California. Authentic Kratom is an online-based business. https://www.authentickratom.com

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