The folks running the show in Alabama had a very successful technique for ignoring any science we brought to the table. We should call it, "Don't confuse us with the facts!" Kratom advocates were treated like liars, called "druggies", and were assumed to be lying to preserve access to their "fix".
Promoters of the ban in Alabama SB226 said nothing about the well-researched Florida Department of Law Enforcement report on the actual impact of Kratom on Florida in terms of law enforcement and public health. The impact was essentially zero.
Those pushing this bad bill just kept hammering away at their fear-mongering points: It hits the opioid receptors; children are abusing "Kratom"(but they meant Vivazen) and staggering around, acting crazy; they claimed there was someone in the hospital dying from Kratom -- all anecdotal evidence and hearsay, which would not be given any credence in a court of law.
This must have been a welcome break from being an attorney, as many of the Alabama ban's supporters are. No need to gather evidence to prove their point in this "court of public opinion". Those backing the Alabama Kratom ban have, however, hurt many good people who found freedom from opioid drugs -- whether it was Oxycontin or Suboxone -- and the hurtin' is only beginnin'.
Isn't freedom from opioid synthetic drugs a good thing?
The funny thing is that most who hate Kratom have never tried it; they don't believe our testimonials (and have accused us of making them up for our AKA Web site); and they don't even understand the science that they do read, if they read it at all. They believe the DEA's wrongheaded claims that Kratom causes hallucinations, psychoses, and respiratory depression. They surely don't read (or comprehend) my articles which debunk the DEA claims.
This brings up a side-issue: The DEA's unsupported claims of hallucinations and respiratory depression could be leading a lot of the drug-seeking, abuse-prone public to use Kratom in just the ways the DEA claims they are trying to prevent. TV news reports of Kratom being "just like heroin" perform the same function of promoting abuse by those with addictive tendencies.
There was a kind of emotional blindness going around in the Alabama statehouse. Our opposition seems to believe that anyone who disagrees with what they want to do must be lying in defense of Kratom, lying about how we use it, lying about there being no withdrawals for moderate consumers.
The Thing Is, We Aren't Lying
This cynicism on the part of some Alabama lawmakers allowed them to ignore the heart-warming stories of recovery from Lyme Disease, PTSD, chronic neck and back pain, and other conditions -- even when they were spoken by Alabama natives they had known all their lives. This kind of blindness to the truth is very disturbing -- it makes many observers wonder if some deeper motive was driving this campaign to ban Kratom.
For once, those who purposely and relentlessly abuse substances are put on a pedestal, while hardworking voters (whose only crime is being sick and in pain from diseases our medical establishment has no way of curing) are demonized. Our crime is that we have seen behind the curtain of pharmaceutical hocus-pocus -- and we have found an herb that works for us far better than 5-15 expensive prescription drugs. Why should our discovery be criminalized?
Why shouldn't the majority of responsible consumers who know how to use this herb have access to its benefits? And, rather than prohibiting Kratom's sale and consumption, why not try to educate the public on the sensible way to use it (or avoid it)?
Prohibiting the use of the herb Kratom is like banning wine for everyone, just to protect the few that can't or won't control themselves around it. Haven't we, as a nation, gone through prohibition before and found it didn't work? Why are we being asked to repeat a strategy that we have seen doesn't work in state after state?
Ah, but I am preaching to the choir! The legislators, unfortunately, do not read what I have to say about Kratom.
One of the strongest points we might use in this campaign to keep Kratom legal is the fact that many of America's veterans are now using Kratom to help them control their PTSD. With the help of Kratom, they are regaining their pleasure in life -- as many of us in the civilian world are -- and putting aside the impulse to commit suicide.
Aren't our legislators willing to look "outside the box" to help our wounded warriors find peace and relief from emotional trauma? The conventional drugs prescribed by VA doctors obviously aren't doing a good job, with 22 suicides a day as proof.
Legislators need to listen to our side of this. There is a reason why we found this herb. It's because the prescription meds our doctors were giving us were making us sicker, lethargic, drugged-up, and miserable. Many of the testimonies I have read tell of people on Rx antidepressants that made them want to kill themselves. This is not some innate weakness of these individuals, but it is a side-effect written on the Black Box warnings accompanying many of these drugs!
Let's hope that lawmakers in North Carolina consider both sides of this important issue objectively. Let's hope they research this issue thoroughly, so they can make a wise decision. It is what they have sworn to do for us, their employers, isn't it?
The real issue here is, "Are we free to choose the type of medicine that works best for us -- or not?"
Now that Alabama's Governor has signed this destructive bill into law, it seems clear that the state is under the control of a small group of lawmakers and demagogues who have a secret agenda that has nothing to do with the will or good health of its people. My guess is that the agenda driving this bill was the protection of Alabama's powerful drug rehab industry from the user-friendly, money-saving competition of legal Kratom.
So far, North Carolina's legislators are showing signs of being resistant to letting the agenda of a single Senator there dictate their state's response to Kratom. We need to let them hear from us all, residents of the state or not. Your donations to support the American Kratom Association's lobbying, coordination, and educational work in North Carolina will be most helpful.
See our new Video and please donate today to keep Kratom legal!