The folks running the show in Alabama had a very successful technique for ignoring any science we brought to the table. We should call it, “Don’t confuse us with the facts!” Kratom advocates were treated like liars, called “druggies”, and were assumed to be lying to preserve access to their “fix”.
Promoters of the ban in Alabama said nothing about the well-researched Florida Department of Law Enforcement report on the actual impact of kratom on Florida in terms of law enforcement and public health. The impact was essentially zero.
Those pushing this bad bill just kept hammering away at their far-mongering points: It hits the opioid receptors; children are abusing kratom and staggering around, acting crazy; they claimed there was someone in the hospital dying from kratom — all anecdotal evidence and hearsay, which would not be given any credence in a court of law.
This must have been a welcome break from being an attorney, as many of the Alabama ban’s supporters are. No need to gather evidence to prove his point in this “court of public opinion”. Those backing the Alabama kratom ban have, however, hurt many good people who found freedom from opioid drugs — whether it was Oxycontin or Suboxone — and the hurtin’ is only beginnin’.
Isn’t freedom from opioid synthetic drugs a good thing?
The funny thing is that most who hate kratom have never tried it; they don’t believe our testimonials (and have accused us of making them up for our AKA Web site); and they don’t even understand the science that they do read, if they read it at all. They believe the DEA’s wrongheaded claims that kratom causes hallucinations, psychoses, and respiratory depression. They surely don’t read (or comprehend) my articles which debunk the DEA claims.
This brings up a side-issue: The DEA’s unsupported claims of hallucinations and respiratory depression could be leading a lot of the drug-seeking, abuse-prone public to use kratom in just the ways the DEA claims they are trying to prevent. TV news reports of kratom being “just like heroin” perform the same function of promoting abuse by those with addictive tendencies.
There was a kind of emotional blindness going around in the Alabama statehouse. Our opposition seems to believe that anyone who disagrees with what they want to do must be lying in defense of kratom, lying about how we use it, lying about there being no withdrawals for moderate consumers.
The Thing Is, We Aren’t Lying
This cynicism on the part of some Alabama lawmakers allowed them to ignore the heart-warming stories of recovery from Lyme Disease, PTSD, chronic neck and back pain, and other conditions — even when they were spoken by Alabama natives they had known all their lives. This kind of blindness to the truth is very disturbing — it makes many observers wonder if some deeper motive was driving this campaign to ban kratom.
For once, those who purposely and relentlessly abuse substances are put on a pedestal, while hardworking voters (whose only crime is being sick and in pain from diseases our medical establishment has no way of curing) are demonized. Our crime is that we have seen behind the curtain of pharmaceutical hocus-pocus — and we have found an herb that works for us far better than 5-15 expensive prescription drugs. Why should our discovery be criminalized?
Why shouldn’t the majority of responsible consumers who know how to use this herb have access to its benefits? And, rather than prohibiting kratom’s sale and consumption, why not try to educate the public on the sensible way to use it (or avoid it)?
Prohibiting the use of the herb kratom is like banning wine for everyone, just to protect the few that can’t or won’t control themselves around it. Haven’t we, as a nation, gone through prohibition before and found it didn’t work?