The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced today that it will be adding kratom to the federal list of controlled substance (Federal Controlled Substances Act). Not only that, they’ll will be making it a schedule 1 drug, indicating that it’s one of the most dangerous substances on the planet.
The move to schedule 1 puts kratom alongside hard drugs such as heroin, though it also puts it in the same category as cannabis. Like cannabis, kratom is a natural substance; it’s a tree that’s indigenous to Southeast Asia. In many countries it’s been used for hundreds of years as a therapeutic substance to relieve stress and other ailments. In the U.S., it’s been legal up until this point, found in many headshops across the country (and easily found on the internet). According to many consumers of the plant, it produces an opioid-like effect.