DEA reverses decision on kratom; drug stays legal for now


Enlarge (credit: Getty | Joe Raedle ) The Drug Enforcement Administration is withdrawing its plan to ban the opioid-like herbal drug kratom—at least for now— according to a preliminary withdrawal notice posted today . The notice, which will appear in the Federal Registry Thursday, nixes the agency’s emergency decision in late August to list kratom as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, the most restrictive category that also includes heroin and LSD. The DEA deemed the plant’s use an urgent threat to public health—based on concern that it could be abused and addictive—and set the date for a ban as early as September 30. But the abrupt plan drew intense backlash from public health experts, lawmakers, and thousands of devoted users , who argue that the currently unregulated herbal supplement treats chronic pain and prevents deadly opioid addictions . After the initial notice, kratom advocates swiftly organized protests, collected more than 140,000 petition signatures, and convinced more than 50 Congress members to sign letters urging the DEA to reverse course. One of the letters highlighted the ongoing, federally funded research looking at using kratom for opioid withdrawal. That research would likely be shut down by a Schedule I listing. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

DEA reverses decision on kratom; drug stays legal for now


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