JOINT STATEMENT BY THE AMERICAN KRATOM ASSOCIATION (AKA)
AND THE BOTANTICAL EDUCATION ALLIANCE (BEA)
The War on Kratom that is being waged by the FDA, including the FDA’s public acknowledgement a scheduling recommendation has been transmitted to the DEA that would criminalize kratom users, requires the kratom community to carefully allocate our resources to deliver the most powerful message possible to public policy decision-makers in the Congress and the Executive Branch. Significant resources are also being required to fight the battle in a number of states that are considering bans on consumer access to kratom
The AKA and the BEA are united in our belief that the kratom community is best served right now by focusing our resources on educating policymakers on the science that clearly demonstrates kratom is safe. The time for grass-roots advocacy will come when, and if, a scheduling recommendation is made by the DEA.
We have learned that some advocates in our community are actively promoting the idea of holding a rally in Washington DC in the near future. Such efforts require an enormous commitment of time and resources, and the AKA and BEA believe the kratom community will be better served to schedule such a public event when it will have the maximum impact on any proposed scheduling recommendation that may be published by the DEA in the future.
While we respect the right of other advocacy organizations to raise their voices in opposition to the current War on Kratom, it is our strongly held belief that our community is best served if we join in a UNITED voice at the right time and in the right place. The AKA and BEA recommend the kratom community remain laser focused on sending a credible and disciplined message on the science supporting the fact that kratom is safe, kratom is not dangerously addictive, and kratom does not kill people.
We understand that some of those who are working to promote the idea of holding a rally in Washington DC point to the success achieved in September 2016 when that rally helped to draw public attention to the unfairness of the proposed scheduling of kratom at that time. However, it is important to understand that the DEA’s Emergency Scheduling Notice allowed for no formal public comment at that time, and a rally was an appropriate way to draw attention the fundamental unfairness of making such an important public policy decision without listening to the kratom community.
Our current battleground is to use credible science to clearly demonstrate the inability of the FDA to meet statutorily mandated criteria for scheduling of kratom as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. That should be our focus at the present time, and it is a path that will be aggressively pursued by the AKA and BEA.
The AKA and BEA strongly urge stakeholders committed to protecting the legality of kratom to work collaboratively on all efforts to defend consumer access to kratom.