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  • ShereeKrider 12:16 am on June 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Analogues, , , , HR 2851, Kratom, , , S. 1327, Schedule A, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, SITSA ACT   

    SITSA creates a new “Schedule A” that gives the Attorney General of the United States the power to ban any “analogue” of an opioid that controls pain or provides an increase of energy. 


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    Kratom Advocates:

    If you’ve had one of those days that starts with friends calling you with bad news, and the news just gets worse and worse as the day goes on – then that describes my day perfectly.

    On Friday of last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, dropped a bill in the U.S. Senate that our lobbyists believe will give the FDA and DEA a backdoor way of banning kratom completely in the United States.

    S. 1327 is euphemistically called the SITSA Act.  And a companion bill in the US House of Representatives has already been filed, H.R. 2851, by Representative John Katco of New York.

    The SITSA Act stands for the “Stop Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017.”
    SITSA creates a new “Schedule A” that gives the Attorney General of the United States the power to ban any “analogue” of an opioid that controls pain or provides an increase of energy.

    That is kratom. Because kratom’s 2 primary alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, though not opioids, act similarly in some ways.
    They could of just called this bill the “Schedule Kratom” Act.

    This legislation will allow the Attorney General, and his supporters at the DEA, to add kratom to Schedule A on a “temporary basis” that will last for 5 years.
    And once added to Schedule A, the Attorney General can convert it to a permanent schedule.
    After everything that we’ve fought successfully against and endured together as a movement, our lobbyists are concerned that this is now the perfect storm for banning kratom.

    Under the current Controlled Substances Act, the FDA and DEA have to prove conclusively that kratom is dangerously addictive and unsafe for consumer use. That’s why we were able to stop them in their tracks when they tried to ram through an “emergency scheduling” ban on kratom.

    And it is why the FDA is having such a tough time in finding some justification to schedule kratom under regular rulemaking.

    So now the anti-kratom bureaucrats in Washington want to ban kratom simply by claiming it has the same effects as an opioid – calling it an “analogue” of the opioid.

    And the SITSA Act can enforce a ban on kratom by criminalizing any manufacturer or distributor of kratom. Ten years imprisonment just for manufacturing or selling a kratom product, and a fine of $500,000 if you are an individual, $2,500,000 if the defendant is a company.

    If you import or export kratom, it is a 20-year sentence.

    And then there are harsh penalties for what they call “false labeling” of a Schedule A substance.
    That’s why am writing – because I need your help again.

    We have to convince Sen. Grassley, Sen. Feinstein, and Representative Katko that they have to exempt natural botanical plants from the SITSA Act.
    We have to act quickly, because I learned today that the House Judiciary Committee is looking to schedule a Hearing before they leave for recess next month.

    So I hope you will help by doing three specific things:

    1.    Click on the link below and sign our petition that the AKA will have delivered to every member of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees. 

    PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION URGING LAWMAKERS TO REMOVE KRATOM FROM THE SITSA ACT.

    2.    I need you to pick up the phone and call Sen. Grassley’s office, Sen. Feinstein’s office, and Representative Katco’s office. When the staff member answers the phone, tell them that their boss should exclude natural botanicals like kratom products from the SITSA Act.

    Here are the phone numbers you should call:

    Senator Grassley:    (202) 224-3744
    Senator Feinstein:    (202) 224-3841
    Congressman Katco:    (202) 225-3701

    When you call, be polite, but firm.  Kratom should be exempted from SITSA.

    3.    Please click on the donation link below and help us once again to take on this fight with a team of lawyers, lobbyists, and public relations professionals.  Please consider making a monthly contribution to the AKA.

    DONATION LINK TO HELP THE AKA FIGHT THIS LEGISLATION.

    I know I am asking a lot.

    But we need to fight back hard, or they will steal our freedoms from us to make our own decisions about our health and well-being.

    So please, sign the petition, call the the sponsors of SITSA, and please, please, give as generous a contribution as you can to help us put our team on the ground in Washington, D.C.

    With your help, we have established ourselves as a real force in Washington.

    With your continued help – help that I am so grateful for – we can win this battle against the enemies of kratom.

    Your contribution will help us hire the lawyers we need for a brief on why this legislation violates due process and current law; our lobbyists to knock on doors on Capitol Hill; and our public relations team to rally the press to tell our story.

    We will stand up for freedom.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    Sincerely,

    Susan Ash
    Founder and Spokesperson
    American Kratom Association
    http://www.americankratom.org

    http://mailchi.mp/americankratom/new-legislative-attack-on-kratom?e=2709219685

    https://www.facebook.com/kratom.us/photos/rpp.260289027341069/873568049346494/?type=3&theater

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  • ShereeKrider 6:04 pm on May 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Kratom, , LegitScript   

    AKA Responds to Kratom Businesses Being Targeted 


    aaa432d3-79ff-40e4-935e-acd01c48d905

    May 27, 2017

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    AKA Responds to Kratom Businesses Being Targeted

    The American Kratom Association (AKA) strongly condemns the recent actions taken by LegitScript and hosting providers to shut down the Internet domains of legitimate businesses who are selling safe kratom products to consumers in the United States.

    We have received reports that a trusted Internet vendor had their domain completely shut down by GoDaddy, the web hosting company, based on the LegitScript report.

    Based on our review of the “Red Flag” alerts by LegitScript relating to kratom, it is clear they relied upon outdated and inaccurate information (a 2014 FDA Press Release, and a 2015 DEA publication) from the FDA and DEA that materially misrepresents the pharmacological properties of kratom and kratom’s addiction and safety profile.

    The DEA published a Notice of Intent for emergency scheduling of kratom as a Schedule I controlled substance on August 31, 2016. On October 13, 2016, the DEA, in an unprecedented regulatory move, withdrew its Notice of Intent, and requested the FDA provide a statutorily-mandated Eight-Factor Analysis on the addiction and safety profile of kratom justifying whether any legal basis exists to schedule kratom at all. The DEA requested the FDA response by December 1, 2016. As of this date, the FDA has not made any subsequent recommendation for the scheduling of kratom, or provided the requested Eight-Factor Analysis.

    On November 28, 2016, the AKA submitted an Eight-Factor Analysis on kratom that was conducted by one of the preeminent scientists in the field of addiction profiles and safety of dietary supplements, Dr. Jack Henningfield of Pinney Associates. This Analysis mirrors the statutorily-mandated criteria for an Eight-Factor Analysis that would be used to support a scheduling recommendation by the FDA for any product they believe should be scheduled as a controlled substance.

    Dr. Henningfield’s analysis concluded: (1) scheduling kratom as a controlled substance is not warranted from a public health perspective; (2) kratom has very low toxicity, and thus a favorable safety profile; and (3) there have been no confirmed reports of death that can be causatively due to kratom overdose.  This Analysis was submitted to the FDA and the DEA and there has been no attempt to schedule kratom in the following six months, despite the initial view that kratom required “emergency scheduling.”

    This updated research is conclusive, and we believe LegitScript should immediately rescind their action, just as the DEA did in October 2016.

    The AKA fully supports appropriate regulatory actions against any adulterated substance that poses a danger to the public health. The demonization of kratom, which appears to have originated in unjustified accusations that kratom is an “opioid” that has led to deaths of consumers. has proven to be completely false.  This outdated and inaccurate information should not be the basis for any regulatory or business decision by any organization.

    The actions taken by LegitScript directly interferes with the freedoms of consumers to make individual choices about their health and well-being, and raises significant concerns about a nongovernmental agency intervening in commerce causing significant economic harm to American businesses.  It also unjustifiably erects barriers to access to the millions of Americans who choose to use kratom as a part of their personal plan for their own health and well-being.

    The AKA will work closely with LegitScript, and appropriate regulatory agencies, to correct this egregious decision.  We will also seek the assistance of the appropriate regulatory agencies to correct the outdated and inaccurate information they have published that has served as the basis for the unwarranted decisions by LegitScript related to kratom.

    Sincerely,

    The AKA Board of Directors

    http://www.americankratom.org

     
  • ShereeKrider 4:39 am on November 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Kratom, ,   

    Petitioning to keep Kratom OUT of the Controlled Substance Act and Schedule I – We only have until December 1st! 


    kratom-plant

    Recently I published an article with information pertaining to the rescheduling of Kratom by the U.S. Government via the DEA into Schedule I Status.

    Fortunately the change was at least held off long enough for people to be able to make their comments on the subject.

    The link to REGULATIONS.GOV where the DEA/Federal Government is accepting comments is only going to be active until December 1st so don’t forget to make your comment soon!

    Additionally there is another petition to keep Kratom off the Controlled Substance list.  The link to that petition is here:

    Do not place Kratom on the Controlled Substance List

    Please sign this petition as well!

    We are anti-prohibitionist’s!

    sk

     
  • ShereeKrider 6:48 pm on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Kratom, ,   

    The DEA is withdrawing a proposal to ban another plant after the Internet got really mad 


    By Christopher Ingraham October 12 at 10:42 AM

    The Drug Enforcement Administration is reversing a widely criticized decision that would have banned the use of kratom, a plant that researchers say could help mitigate the effects of the opioid epidemic.

    Citing the public outcry and a need to obtain more research, the DEA is withdrawing its notice of intent to ban the drug, according to a preliminary document that will be posted to the Federal Register Thursday.

    The move is “shocking,” according to John Hudak, who studies drug policy at the Brookings Institution. “The DEA is not one to second-guess itself, no matter what the facts are.”

    The DEA had announced in August that it planned to place kratom in schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, the most restrictive regulatory category, as soon as Sept. 30. But since announcing their intent to ban kratom, the “DEA has received numerous comments from members of the public challenging the scheduling action,” acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg wrote in the notice, “and requesting that the agency consider those comments and accompanying information before taking further action.”

    A spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    [What it’s like to be high on kratom, according to the people who use it]

    Kratom is a plant from southeast Asia that’s related to coffee. It contains a number of chemical compounds that produce effects similar to opiates when ingested.

    People who take it have have said kratom helped them overcome addiction to opiates or alcohol and treat otherwise intractable pain. Researchers say that their work with kratom could eventually lead to the development of nonaddictive alternatives to powerful opiate painkillers. Placing kratom in schedule 1 would cripple researchers ability to study the drug, they say.

    U.S. lawmakers were among the groups expressing their displeasure with the DEA’s intent to ban kratom. A group of 51 U.S. representatives wrote to the DEA saying that the DEA’s move “threatens the transparency of the scheduling process and its responsiveness to the input of both citizens and the scientific community.”

    Another group of nine senators said the DEA’s “use of this emergency authority for a natural substance is unprecedented,” and urged the administration to reconsider.

    The DEA will now open up a period for public comment until Dec. 1 of this year. It is also asking the FDA to expedite a “scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation” for the active chemical compounds in kratom.

    At the close of the comment period, a number of things could happen. The DEA could decide to permanently place the plant in a schedule of the Controlled Substances Act, which would require an additional period for lawmakers and the public to weigh in. It could also decide to temporarily schedule kratom, which would not require any additional comment.

    It could also decide to leave kratom unregulated.

    [Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes — combined]

    Advocates for kratom use, who say the plant has helped them treat pain and stop taking more powerful and deadly opiate painkillers said they are elated.

    “I am in tears,” Susan Ash of the American Kratom Association said in an email. “Our voices are being heard, but we still have a long road ahead of us.

    Lawmakers who criticized the initial announcement to ban kratom are also pleased. “Concerned citizens across the country have made it clear, they want the DEA to listen to the science when it comes to the potentially life-saving properties of kratom,” said Mark Pocan (D.-Wis.) in an email.

    Researchers are welcoming the move, but they point out that the future of their work with the plant is an uncertain one.

    “It’s certainly a positive development,” said Andrew Kruegel of Columbia University in an email. Kruegel is one of the researchers working to develop next-generation painkillers based on compounds contained in kratom.

    Kruegel says that the FDA’s evaluation of the drug will carry a lot of weight in the DEA’s decision. But the kind of rigorous, controlled trials that the FDA typically refers to in situations like this simply don’t exist for kratom.

    “Unfortunately, in the United States I don’t think we have a good regulatory framework for handling this situation or taking perhaps more reasonable middle paths” between banning the drug outright or keeping it unregulated, Kruegel says.

    Still, he says, “the FDA is a scientific agency rather than a law enforcement agency, so I am encouraged that they will now be having more serious input on this important policy decision.”

    Marc Swogger, a clinical psychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who has published research on kratom use and earlier called the decision to ban the plant “insane,” said in an email that “I’m happy to see this. It is a step in the right direction and a credit to people who have spoken out against scheduling this plant.”

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 9:54 am on September 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Kratom, , protesters,   

    Kratom Advocates Sip Tea and Seethe at White House Rally Against DEA Ban 


    One user plans to move to Canada. Another plans to quit. Many more don’t know what to do.

    By Steven Nelson | Staff Writer Sept. 13, 2016, at 6:20 p.m.

    Several protest attendees brought their own bottle of kratom tea Tuesday to the White House. Those who did not were offered a Solo cup.

    Several protest attendees brought their own bottle of kratom tea Tuesday to the White House. Those who did not were offered a Solo cup. Steven Nelson for USN&WR

    Hundreds of passionate protesters gathered Tuesday near the White House to demand that the popular plant product kratom remain legal. It was jointly a business industry conference, a tea party and a desperate consumer lobbying effort — but the clear-eyed crowd appears to have little chance of near-term victory.

    A comprehensive U.S. ban likely will take effect on Sept. 30, just a month after the Drug Enforcement Administration surprised users by saying it would invoke emergency powers to make leaves from the tree grown in Southeast Asia illegal by labeling two main constituents Schedule I substances.

    In the face of long odds and silence from Capitol Hill, the event called by the American Kratom Association sought to pressure officials to reconsider while laying the groundwork for what may become a protracted re-legalization campaign.

    A large jug of brewed kratom sat in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue, with red Solo cups offered to anyone who wanted some. At least one reporter sipped the brew, which tasted like astringent green tea. Another journalist took a pill offered as a free sample by a businessman.

    Kratom users who attended the rally said it’s wrong for them to lose legal access to what they say is an effective treatment for pain, addiction, depression and other conditions.

    Though many said they were angry, chant-leaders asked the crowd of a couple hundred to stay on message and favored reason over rage, which often is a leading emotion at White House protests staged by marijuana reform advocates who say decades in Schedule I has stalled medical cannabis research amid millions of arrests.

    “I’m usually very quiet but felt the need to come out and speak,” says Veronika Bamford-Conners, a kratom-selling store owner from Sullivan, Maine, where, she says, most of her customers are older than 55.

    “If they don’t have insurance and can’t afford medications, they find a cheaper alternative in kratom,” she says, though some seem to prefer relief from the leaf to painkillers, such as a 73-year-old man who she says called her weeping “because pharmaceuticals were killing him” before.

    Chants at the rally advertised the death toll from accidental overdoses of opioids – more than 28,000 in 2014 alone, including legal painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin – with the low or nonexistent U.S. toll from kratom.

    The DEA says it believes 15 deaths were caused by kratom, though American Kratom Association founder Susan Ash says the group hired a toxicologist who concluded each case could be attributed to other drugs.

    Many kratom users say the plant has helped them abstain from substances they formerly were addicted to, often heroin or prescription painkillers.

    “Kratom saved me, I was a bad heroin addict,” says David Allen, who traveled from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “It keeps cravings away and helped me not drink. I came because I don’t want to lose my medicine.”

    Allen says that although the DEA – and even some former kratom users – say the drug can lead to dependence, it’s nothing like the grasp of opioids. He says he believe it’s about as abusable as coffee, which comes from a related plant, and that like coffee withdrawal, ending kratom can cause minor headaches.

    Brad Miller, a physics teacher at Spotsylvania High School in Virginia, says he drinks small amounts of kratom tea between three and five times a day to treat arthritis in his knees. He says the effects are “very mild” and “just enough to take the edge off so I can get through my day standing.”

    Miller says prescribed painkillers from his rheumatologist were too strong and that unlike opioids he hasn’t developed an addiction to kratom. He says he went on a weeklong camping trip and – unlike the experiences of some users – felt no withdrawal symptoms.

    “I didn’t have withdrawal symptoms, but I did have arthritis pain,” he says. “I’d be surprised if anyone has experienced strong withdrawal symptoms.”

    Though Miller and others at the event said they aren’t sure what they will do at the end of the month, Heather Hawkins says she’s made up her mind to move to Canada, where kratom remains legal.

    Hawkins, a journalist with northern Florida’s Pensacola News-Journal and owner of the Kratom Literacy Project, says she has an incurable bladder disease and is eyeing Vancouver after already moved to the Sunshine State from Alabama in reaction to a local kratom ban.

    Talk about moving abroad often is spouted unseriously by political partisans around election time, but Hawkins says she’s completely serious after living in a painkiller-induced haze that left her depressed and unable to get out of bed.

    “I’m not going to stay here [if the ban takes effect] because I’m not going back to that life,” she says.

    Hawkins says she’s in addiction recovery from cocaine, which she says she used as self-medication to give her the energy to power through her pain and despair, and that if she regarded kratom as a drug she would not take it.

    Though kratom is widely known for claims that it can help keep opioid addicts clean, it’s also credited with sapping desire for other substances.

    Jeremy Haley, owner of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Kratom, says he began using kratom in 2012 after a drunk driving arrest, and that it has helped veer him away from his alcoholism, which runs in the family.

    Although the ban hasn’t yet taken effect, Haley says local officials have shut down his shop for what he views as dubious reasons, making him unable to sell the remaining inventory – the latest in what he says has been a constant regulatory headache that featured him asking Yelp reviewers to delete positive reviews to placate federal officials who wanted proof he was not marketing kratom for human consumption.

    Haley plans to open a totally legal apothecary shop if the ban takes effect.

    CONTINUE READING…


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  • ShereeKrider 11:08 pm on February 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: controlled substance, , Kratom, SB 136   

    OPPOSE SB 136: BANNING THE KRATOM HERB 


    Published on 21 February 2016 by Bill in State Legislative Alerts

    FROM TAKE BACK KENTUCKY!

     

     

    Take Back Kentucky Legislative Action Alert

    Oppose: Senate Bill 136: Banning of the Kratom Herb

    2/22/2016

    Call 1-800-372-7181

    Sponsor(s):                 W. Westerfield

    Status:                       

    • Jan 28, 2016 – introduced in Senate
    • Feb 01, 2016 – to Judiciary (S)
    • Feb 11, 2016 – reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar with Committee Substitute (1)
    • Feb 12, 2016 – 2nd reading, to Rules
    • Feb 17, 2016 – posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Thursday, February 18, 2016
    • Feb 18, 2016 – 3rd reading, passed 35-1-1 with Committee Substitute (1)
    • Feb 19, 2016 – received in House

    Committee:                N/A – Most likely will go to the House Judiciary Committee

    Timeframe:                 NOW

    Message is for:           All House Leadership, YOUR Representative, and the Members of the House Judiciary Committee.

    Message:                     “Oppose SB 136. Stop banning natural herbs that help people. Stop lining the pockets of big pharmaceutical companies, stop interfering in the free market. Remove the language regarding the herb Kratom”

    Optional:                    E-mail the legislators on the committee. Example e-mail address: Firstname.Lastname@lrc.ky.gov . If that doesn’t work they have a contact page on their informational page.

    Information:               The original bill was fine as it related to prescription authority for hydrocodone. However, a committee sub added to the bill a ban on Kratom. Kratom is a natural herb that is not dangerous and is used as a natural pain killer in place of stronger prescription pain killers. Some states have attempted to ban this drug such as Florida and Louisiana, but are now reversing their decisions and putting age restrictions on it instead. Doesn’t matter if it is something good or bad, Kentucky is always behind other states. If this legislation passes is will hurt many small businesses in this state, while helping big pharma eliminating another safe natural alternative.

    CONTINUE READING…

     

    EXCERPT of SB 136

    A  person  is  guilty  of  trafficking  in  a  controlled  substance  in  the  second  degree
    when:
    (a)
    He or she knowingly and unlawfully traffics in:
    1.
    Ten  (10)  or  more  dosage  units  of  a  controlled  substance  classified  in
    Schedules  I  and  II  that  is  not  a  narcotic  drug;  or  specified  in  KRS
    218A.1412,  and  which  is  not  a  synthetic  drug,  salvia,
    kratom, or marijuana…LINK to PDF

     
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