Target: Chuck Rosenberg, Head of the DEA
Goal: Applaud decision to grant reprieve to people who rely on the plant kratom for medicine.
The plant kratom was slated to be made illegal by the Drug Enforcement Administration, despite hundreds of years of medicinal use, but has been granted a reprieve thanks in part to petitions like this. The announcement to classify the herb as a Schedule I substance, alongside drugs like LSD and heroin, received significant backlash. The DEA has responded to this opposition by suspending its decision, and instead opening up an official public comment period lasting until December. The experiences people have had using this medicine will be fully taken into account, along with FDA research, so that an informed decision can be made.
Kratom comes from the leaves of a Southeast Asian tree, and is a relative of the coffee plant. In the U.S. it is mostly used as a remedy for chronic pain, and to assist those recovering from opioid or alcohol addictions. Many people rely on it to make life livable, and it saves lives in the literal sense as well, since tens of thousands die due to opioid abuse every year. The main active ingredients in kratom bind to the same receptors that opioids do, which was part of the misguided reasoning behind the proposed ban. But kratom does not produce the high or the deadly side effects that opioids do, and of the 15 deaths attributed to kratom in the past 2 years, 14 of the victims had other drugs or illegal substances in their systems. The ban kratom was harmful to many, as well as unreasonable and hasty. Sign below to commend the DEA’s reprieve for kratom.
Dear Mr. Rosenberg,
Thank you for reconsidering the decision to label kratom a Schedule I substance. Many people have come to rely on the plant for its medicinal uses, and those people deserve to have their experiences taken into consideration before such drastic measures can reasonably be taken.
Kratom’s main active ingredients may bind to the same receptors as opioids, but pharmacolgist and medical writer David Kroll says kratom does not produce the same high, and is not known to produce the same sometimes deadly side effects. It is extremely useful in pain relief and recovery from opioid and alcohol addictions. It is not justifiable to deprive people of the medicine they depend on without input from all of the necessary sources. The decision to withdraw notice of the ban and consider all of the information and all of the science will bring a lot of relief to a lot of people. I commend this choice to remedy the situation and ensure that an informed decision can be made.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: ThorPorre