Iowa planning a kratom ban?

Posted on April 9, 2012 by

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Representative Baudler, a 71 year old ex-state trooper from Iowa, learned about kratom 2 weeks ago. Only 2 hours later he decided that kratom should be banned. Why? No one knows for sure. From his appearance in the press one can clearly conclude that he has no idea what kratom is. According to this Baudler, kratom is “a hallucinogen” and “can be life threatening”. Full story can be found on the KA website http://kratomassociation.org/news/legal-news-and-developments/139-iowa-lawmaker-planning-make-kratom-a-controlled-substance

When his proposal passed the house it was accepted with 93 “yah” and 0 “no”. It is a shame that people, pretending to represent the folks of Iowa, have not taken a single second to learn what kratom really is. In Iowa there are probably thousands of people who use kratom daily to deal with their depression, pain, anxiety and additions. Has this been considered? Probably not, 2 hours is short, especially when you are having lunch as well.

The Kratom Association and their members, both users and sellers, have been working for 2 weeks to stop this nonsense. They have informed, emailed Iowa lawmakers, senators and housemembers but little attention have been paid.

If this law is being accepted one can also start worrying about the future of Chamomile, Kava, Valerian, or any number of other not so well known herbs in Iowa. Something needs to be done.

On the forum on the KA website, the members are planing and taking action. Join them in their struggle, do not let Iowa become the first state to ban kratom. For details see http://kratomassociation.org/forum/4-kratom-in-the-media/1357-iowa-lawmaker-wants-to-ban-kratom?limit=20&start=20

The following press release was made by KA members and is now being spread:

Iowa Lawmakers Plan to Ban Helpful Natural Herb

State Representative Clel Baudler plans to amend a bill that would add Kratom, Mitragyna Speciosa, to the list of controlled substances. This herb is however used by thousands of people as a useful alternative to deal with pain, addiction, depression and anxiety. A legal ban of this herb would directly criminalize the herb and users, often educated and middle aged people who simply want an alternative for their ailments, one that is less harmful and of natural origin.

We are shocked to have learned of the proposal of State Representative Clel Baudler to amend a bill that would add Kratom, Mitragyna Speciosa, to the list of controlled substances. This proposal seems to be based on some common misunderstandings. We would like to draw your attention to these misunderstandings before this gets out of hand.

Kratom, just as with many other herbs, is neither a dangerous nor a narcotic substance. The mild effects it can offer can be described as analgesic, relaxing and energizing or uplifting, just like a good cup of tea or coffee. There have been no real reports of any adverse effects from this herb at all.
Users often suggest that it is a very mild and safe alternative to painkillers which are often harmful and addictive, and not surprisingly, it has indeed often been used traditionally in Asia as such for thousands of years. Kratom has a long track record of trouble-free success.

The assertion that Kratom is being somehow abused is entirely erroneous and is based on a misconception. Kratom is not at all popular with minors (who prefer already illegal and much less subtle substances) and the users are in fact, mainly middle-aged and well-educated folks. These adults tend to use it as a gentle but beneficial assist to deal with depression, anxiety, pain, addiction or other ailments.

A selection of personal experiences of the users can be found on the following website: http://kratomassociation.org/publications/kratom-testimonials

And a general petition has been opened online which contains the objectives of those who are depending upon Kratom’s availability: http://keepkratomlegal.org/

In Massachusetts and Louisiana plans have been proposed to ban kratom as well, but these have been cancelled upon learning the facts about this herb. According to Rep. Vinny DeMacedo, R-Plymouth MA, “There was not a lot of support for it, [Kratom] was removed so we could move the Salvia piece forward.” Notably, several doctors and other educated people specifically protested the wrongful attempted inclusion of Kratom into the bill.

In Louisiana Senator Crowe learned about the beneficial aspects of Kratom, subsequently changing his mind and proposing an age limit instead. This was done to ensure responsible usage and was welcomed by the Kratom users who were relieved to learn that the herb itself would stay available for those that needed it. It is fortunate that the various Representatives proposing the bill decided it wasn’t worth criminalizing it. Kratom is widely recognized as a legitimate herbal remedy and was not causing any problems, as evidenced by law enforcement and/or poison control center reports, so it would be pointless to outlaw it. It would have been like trying to criminalize Chamomile, Kava, Valerian, or any number of other benign herbs.

Based on all of the available evidence, we feel very strongly that a ban of this plant is not the correct solution. A ban can quickly become counterproductive, since it would surely attract additional attention to the plant as people seek what they “can’t have”. Kratom would become the “forbidden fruit” and an enormous amount of awareness and interest in obtaining this currently relatively obscure herb would quickly develop.

In addition, the fact that many folks (the minority who are aware of the herb) are truly helped by use of this herb cannot be ignored, from former alcoholics and opiate addicts to people suffering from chronic pain who are rightfully afraid to use the potentially harmful and addictive pain medications which cause such obvious problems in modern society. It surely cannot be the lawmaker’s intention to purposely take away a useful remedy from these people.

Aside the thousands of years of traditional usage in Asia, research on this herb and its beneficial properties has only recently started in the Western world. We already know, due to its traditional use, that this herb is not harmful. A possible ban would close the door for further important research on an herb which all existing evidence shows to be not only not problematic, but further shows to be a very good natural alternative for pain management and overcoming addiction to other substances that are well documented to be harmful.

It is hoped that the Senators and representatives of the Iowa chambers will reconsider and withdraw their initial notion to try to be the first and only state to ban and criminalize the use of Kratom. We implore the Iowa Senate to collect the actual facts about Kratom and to take it off the list of dangerous substances.

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