At the end of August the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that it would soon be making kratom illegal. Not only that, they planned to place it as a Schedule 1 drug alongside hard drugs such as heroin, indicating that it’s one of the most dangerous substances known to man.
The backlash from the public was immediate, with many crying foul about the administration making a substance illegal that has been used medically and therapeutically for thousands of years. Kratom is a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia and at most produces a mild opioid-like effect; many use it to relieve stress and anxiety. This resulted in a White House petition garnering over 130,000 signatures in less than a month. This played a part in the DEA announcing a delay on the ban last month; they subsequently opened up a public comment period.