Louisiana Lawmaker wants to ban kratom, Don’t do it!

Posted on February 16, 2012 by

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louisiana wants to ban kratom

There is some serious unrest in the kratom community. A Louisiana Senator,  A.G. Crowe of   R-Pearl River, is calling for a kratom ban.
In a broadcast of WWLTV  http://www.wwltv.com/news/northshore/Northshore-Lawmakers-Seeks-To-Ban-Herbal-Remedy-139325763.html  , the senator explains his motives.  “Abuse”, “harmful and dangerous” and a comparison to some street drug alternatives like bathsalts, seem to be the main motives. Again it seems that kratom is pushed in a corner where it doesnt belong.

Poor knowledge of the herb and misunderstandings about the users, and the function kratom has for them, are once more at the base of another crusade against a perfectly normal herb. Time for some public answers. Below you will find an open letter from the Kratom Association in reply to the the senators proposal.  It is time for the kratom users to speak out, before things get out of hand.

Shocked we have learned of the proposal of Senator A.G. Crowe to add Kratom to the list of controlled dangerous substances. We are afraid the proposal is based on some common misunderstandings, which we like to draw your attention to, before this gets out of hand.

Kratom is, just as many other herbs, not a dangerous substance or narcotic, the effects can be described as analgesic, relaxing and energizing or uplifting, just like a good cup of tea or coffee.  It has been traditionally used for thousands of years and there are hardly any accidents have been reported. User often suggest that it is a very safe alternative for the often harmful and addictive painkillers, not surprisingly, it is indeed often used as such. In case kratom is used in an irresponsible manner, the associated health risks are still much less severe compared to abuse of other substances, such as alcohol.

The fact that kratom is being abused on a large scale is based on a misconception, the leaf material is hardly popular with teenagers and the users, often middle aged and well educated folks, tend to use it to deal with depression, anxieties, pain, addiction or other ailments, similar to its traditional usage.

A selection of personal experiences of the users can be found here, http://kratomassociation.org/publications/kratom-testimonials. If you would take a bit of time to browse through these experiences you will notice that the users of kratom are all but thrill seeking teenagers.  The natural kratom leaf powder is really not something that is regarded as “cool”, like the “bath salts” and the other street drug alternatives mentioned by the senator.

We do however understand the senators concern, sellers should indeed never target youngsters and proper information about the effects and side effects of kratom should be provided. We regret this as much as the senator, but do not believe that a total ban is the right solution. A possible ban would even be counterproductive, since it might attract additional attention from youngsters and could even criminalize this perfectly normal herb, as we have seen happening with other substances in the past.

On the other hand the senator should also consider that many folks are really helped with this herb, from former-addicts of alcohol and opiates to people suffering from chronic pain, who are afraid to use the potentially harmful and addictive pain relievers. It can not be the senator’s intention to take away the remedy from these people, especially for those that need it the most.

Besides this, despite of the thousands of years traditional usage in Asia, research of the herb and the beneficial properties has only recently started in the western world. A possible ban would close the door for further research, of what is likely to be a very good natural alternative for pain management and overcoming addiction.

The senator should consider alternative measures, which probably would be more realistic and efficient than banning this herb. Some form of regulation among sellers and targeted action to eliminate the small chance of possible abuse. Sellers, represented by the Kratom Association for example, are already committed to strict self-regulating rules.

We seriously hope that the Senator will consider these or other options, rather than banning the herb, which will affect those who need it this herb the most and which would criminalizing the use of kratom.

For the users and sellers that want to join or get active, some suggestions.  First make sure to sign the online petition here. http://www.change.org/petitions/senator-ag-crowe-of-r-pearl-river-louisiana-do-not-add-kratom-to-the-banned-substances-list#

You can leave your comments below , You can also join the Kratom Association (KA) http://kratomassociation.org/ and let yourself be heard. The KA is active on facebook as well http://www.facebook.com/groups/221883767845886/  .

It is time we tell what kratom is really about, thousands of folks depend on kratom’s availability to overcome addiction, deal with chronic pain, depressions , anxiety and many other ailments. We are not some abusive group of teenagers looking for a street drug alternative to get stoned or high. But lawmakers and media are stigmatizing us as such, so please join and help to tell our side of the story !

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