The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced August 31 that they plan to ban kratom in the United States as of September 30, causing panic and outrage to the thousands who use the leaves, which are closely related in makeup to the coffee plant. They’re specifically looking to outlaw the compounds mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine found in in the herb.
Advocates of kratom say the plant offers a great alternative to traditional and addicting pharmaceutical pain relief. It has also been used to treat psychological disorders and those coming off of opiates, taking the edge off from the excruciating withdrawal process.
Many have argued that the only reason kratom is being banned by the DEA is because pharmaceutical companies cannot benefit from an inexpensive and readily available plant.
Supporters of the herb marched to the White House on September 13 to protest the ban. The march’s official website reads:
2016 INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE – ROBBY WELLS and The Botanical Education Alliance will be in WASHINGTON, DC TO SPEAK ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 AT A RALLY IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE.
The rally, to keep Kratom Legal, will run from 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm. Over 100,000 people have signed the White House petition within the past eight days to get President Obama to keep the FDA from taking Kratom, a dietary supplement, off the market.
The event is said to have attracted hundreds of people looking to keep kratom legal while desperately trying to educate the government about the herb.
In the video below a speaker stated:
Who likes kratom? Who uses kratom? Are we Americans? Do we have a right to use kratom? Why is it being taken away. Let’s be clear. Our voices are going to be heard today. We have taken action, we’re taking more action,we’re not letting up. This is only the next step.
“I am kratom. Kratom saves lives,” the crowd chanted.
“It was a great experience to come together and meet so many people who use kratom,” Ricky Bell, a kratom supporter, told Heavy about the march. “Hopefully our community continues to come together. This fight isn’t over.”
A petition has been set up to help stop the ban, and you can sign here.
You can watch more coverage of the event below.
Click the following link for more information on the DEA’s plan to ban kratom: