Press Release

Tuesday Press Teleconference: What You Need to Know About Kratom and Its Imminent Prohibition

Tomorrow: Learn About Kratom’s Science and History, Why the DEA’s Ban Will Contribute to the Opioid Crisis, How We Might Stop the DEA, and What It All Means for the Future of Drug Policy

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<p>Tony Newman, 646-335-5384, [email protected]<br />
Grant Smith, 202-683-2984, [email protected]</p>

On August 30, the DEA announced that it intends to temporarily place kratom, a medicinal plant used for millennia in Southeast Asia, on the list of Schedule I drugs – effective this Friday, September 30.

Without a serious scientific investigation the DEA intends to subject anyone caught with any quantity of kratom to long prison sentences, while effectively halting scientific investigation into kratom’s medicinal benefits, and making it impossible to enact sensible legal regulations. Many people struggling with opioid addiction have turned to kratom as a safer alternative, but now all promising scientific studies on its role in opioid treatment could be immediately shut down.

If the DEA gets its way, more people who struggle with addiction could be criminalized, which is exactly the opposite direction drug policy should be going -- especially given the scientific and political consensus that drug use and addiction are most effectively treated as health issues.  A bipartisan effort is currently underway in the U.S. House of Representatives encouraging more research and asking the DEA to postpone this decision.

The Drug Policy Alliance is fighting to put the brakes on kratom prohibition and will hold a national teleconference this Tuesday, September 27 at 2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT
(Contact Tony Newman for call-in information: 646-335-5384)

Speakers include:

  • Susan Ash, Director, American Kratom Association
  • Jag Davies, Director of Communications Strategy, Drug Policy Alliance (moderator)
  • Dr. Andrew Kruegel, Associate Research Scientist, Department of Chemistry, Columbia University
  • Congressman Mark Pocan or aide (tentative)
  • Grant Smith, Deputy Director of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Andrew Turner, Retired U.S. Navy Officer