DEA’s plan withdraws plan to Ban kratom

Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) plant in thailand

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has hit the brakes on banning what only a few months ago the agency was calling an “imminent hazard to public health.”

The choice to further explore mitragynine species, or kratom, before outright banning the substance has led to the discovery of potential medical benefits to the substance that critics have threatened produce “opioid-like effects.”

The DEA said at the time that kratom is being abused by the public due to its ability to produce opioid-like effects.

“Kratom has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S. and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision,” a DEA release stated.

In addition to the ban, the emergency classification as a Schedule 1 would also throw up roadblocks in the research and exploration of kratom, which is largely unexplored within the scientific and medical community.

On Jan. 18, PinneyAssociates put out a press release that included input from Dr. Jack Henningfield, vice president of Research, Health Policy, and Abuse Liability at the consulting company, and adjunct professor of Behavioral Biology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The substance has been banned in states such as Vermont and Wisconsin. Meanwhile, leadership in Florida and New York are currently drawing up legislation in an attempt to ban the botanical.

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