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Educating the public about Kratom

It's a new week, and we have new fires to fight, new problems to solve -- and new friends to win to our cause -- to keep Kratom legal and affordable in all 50 states of the USA.

Just last night we had a new incident pop up on the TV news, this time from Georgia. A young college junior took his life with a .45 automatic in a gas station. His parents are blaming Kratom, but we are finding evidence that other substances are involved. (More on this as the story develops.)

Ultimately, we are fighting for our freedom to use an herb. That's all. This is something I think the Founding Fathers of our country would find ludicrous, but this is what we're doing. If we don't speak up for our rights, we will lose them.

We are in a situation where, if we don't patiently and professionally explain the benefits that Kratom provides for the growing number of Americans who have discovered it, it will be taken away from us. If we don't speak up loudly and effectively, our opponents -- who mistakenly see only the extreme worst-case scenarios that are described in the DEA's literature about Kratom -- will ban this simple, safe, and effective improvement in the treatment of pain, depression, and anxiety.

We're trying to avoid the terrible pitfalls that the movement to allow the medical and recreational use of another herb went through. That struggle has been going on for 85 years and many people were imprisoned -- and many are still waiting for their freedom and an apology -- all for nonviolent use, possession, or sale of an herb. We are working to learn from that struggle and avoid a similar fate for Kratom.

There are some powerful large and small corporations and non-profits that are working quietly behind the scenes to maintain the current legal status of Kratom. Together, we have formed a nucleus that attracts others who seek more openness in the way we, individually, can treat our own aches and pains.

I am meeting medical doctors who have found that Kratom solves their medical issues better than anything they have access to in conventional medical care. Unfortunately, they are forced to remain silent, anonymous friends of our cause. They could lose their jobs and even their license to practice medicine, if they openly said how they feel -- based on their research and experience. Eventually, we will find some with the autonomy to speak up and make a stand with us.

We who love Kratom need to be careful how we describe it. Now, with ubiquitous social media broadcasting our innermost thoughts and feelings, places we go and things we do, it is important that we talk about Kratom in a constructive way.

There is so much misinformation being spread by businesses that can't compete fairly against Kratom, so they ask lawmakers to ban their competition.These businesses -- like the drug rehab industry -- are threatened by Kratom's superior success at doing what they are paid lavishly to do (despite the demonstrated failures of their methods).

Even the DEA and FDA are still being quoted making incorrect assertions about Kratom, based on outdated statements still on their Web sites. The DEA, having done the necessary review of Kratom, has removed it from their list of "Drugs and Chemicals of Concern", but they haven't gotten around to removing or correcting all mentions of Kratom in the talking points they have used in the past.

Let's be clear on one thing: Any substance can be abused. If the same harsh scrutiny was applied to alcohol and tobacco use which is applied to Kratom, they, too, would be banned from the U.S. Our country tried to ban alcohol and that was a costly failure that created a foothold for organized crime. The more recent War on Drugs was also a giant trillion dollar failure. Are those proposing new bans aware of the failures in our recent U.S. history?

Kratom is not an "escape from reality", it is simply a very effective naturally-occurring painkiller, mood-enhancer, and source of gentle energy -- without the side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

We're not forcing Kratom on anyone, we're just saying it needs to be an option because it works for many who have no other good options. If people in pain prefer pharmaceuticals -- and their doctor is willing to supply them -- they are welcome to them.

Turning Kratom into a one-alkaloid pharmaceutical, which is the usual way that foreign herbs are handled when applying for permission to be sold on the U.S. market is not a good option. For one thing, the natural synergy of the 40 separate alkaloids and other compounds gives the whole herb many advantages that a synthesized pharmaceutical would not have. For another thing, the up-front investment this would take would make the final product too expensive, unless medical insurance decided to cover it.

A more practical approach would be to recognize Kratom as a valuable naturally-occurring herb and educate ourselves how to use it for best effect. Let's urge our elected representatives to see the unique value that this well-studied imported herb is providing those who use it wisely.

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