At the end of August the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that it will be adding kratom as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, placing it alongside substances such as heroin and cannabis. The move will be made official starting Friday, September 30th.
Kratom, for those who don’t know, is a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia that has been consumed for hundreds of years in numerous countries for its supposed medical and theruptic properties. Up to this point it’s been legal throughout the United States in all but a few states. However, its use has gained popularity in recent years, and clearly the DEA sees making it illegal as another reason for their continued existence (as we mention in a recent article, kratom will continued to be sold, just through black-market means rather than through tax-paying businesses).
The DEA’s announcement on why they’re making kratom illegal can be found by clicking here.
A petition calling on the White House to stop this move has received the necessary amount of signatures required to get a response from President Obama; it needed at least 100,000 in 30 days, and has thus far received over 137,000 in 27 days. His response can be expected in the coming weeks.
[Update, September 30th, 2016: The ban on kratom has been delayed as the DEA has yet to complete the proper paperwork, though the move is still imminent.]