Study; Board of Pharmacy; kratom; report. (HJ39)

Introduced By

Del. John McGuire (R-Glen Allen)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate

Description

Study; Board of Pharmacy; kratom; report. Directs the Board of Pharmacy to study whether Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom, should be classified as a controlled substance in the Commonwealth. Read the Bill »

Status

01/03/2020: In Committee

History

Date Action
01/03/2020 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20103467D
01/03/2020 Committee

Comments

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Kratom should remain available. It provides many with a natural ability aid in the relief of minor pain. I have been opioid free for ten years due to kratom and it has been very helpful for me to manage the pain I have due to being born with an extra vertebrae that is in constant pain. Many states have adopted the kratom consumer protection act such as Utah, Georgia, Colorado and others. This ensures that kratom is tested and labeled properly with no adulterants. If Virginia is looking at options the kratom consumer protection act should be implemented. Kratom saves lives and we need to look into natural alternatives to treat pain.

Thomas Power writes:
As a pioneer in this industry I have been the guest of many a law maker , colleges , homes etc . I have witnessed transformation of lives to such an extent that it barely surprises me anymore to see or hear how kratom has saved someone else’s life , increased the quality of someone’s life , increased the good health and mental well being of someone or simply increased someone’s enjoyment by consuming it in a tea , tincture , capsule or powder form . I am former partners with some of the biggest names in the industry and the people behind the scenes are wonderful , caring , knowledgeable human beings on a righteous path towards ending a National Opiate epidemic that has killed millions . We save millions and we can absolutely prove it .

Nathan Couch writes:
I have seen the transformation of so many lives with the use of Kratom; not only for the use pain management but also from the cessation of drugs and alcohol. I am one of these. Without Kratom it would put me in a terrible predicament of living in fear of self medicating with deadly substances and put pain patients back on opioids which they were desperately trying to get off of; and in the the midst of an opioid epidemic you would think the government would be trying to adopt this leaf instead of demonizing it. Many states have adopted the Kratom Consumer Protection act which makes sure it is properly tested for purity and against harmful bacteria and heavy metals, labeled and have had no added adulterants. Kratom saves lives, gives lives back, and puts hope and meaning into people’s’ lives. Thanks for reading.

Lucinda writes:
I suffer with tremors and akathisia. The medications available to me are extremely dangerous for me to take and do not help. This is one of the only things I have found that keeps the tremors away. I only wish the pain was also helped but sadly nothing touches this pain. Central nervous system damage….. brain damage…. the kratom has helped me stay alive literally. The tremors look like Parkinson’s. It stops them !
It also helped me sleep. This is a blessing. When doctors fail. Nature is our healer. I was poisoned by a medication !!! Taken as prescribed.
Disabled in a most inhuman way. It’s torcher.
This plant is amazing. From what I read it helps many with pain as well. Our options are hard chemicals that harm us or a plant that causes no harm. Big pharma is not gonna want this on the market. We need to stay on top of these thugs. Make sure they don’t take our help away.

Betty Ostrander writes:
I have osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia and suffer acute chronic pain. I am so thankful for Kratom!! It helps alleviate my pain and enables me to continue working a full time job. I believe that Kratom is a natural gift from God! I pray that it will remain legal and easily accessible to adults without any prescription necessary.
Thank you
Betty Ostrander

Lori Cain writes:
According to our own government, Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers (>100,000/year) and accounts for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure each year. So far not one death can be attributed to be caused by Kratom alone. Reports of death in persons who had kratom in their system also had numerous other pharmaceuticals or street drugs onboard, at lethal amounts by themselves. With estimates of 16 million people using kratom in the United States alone, if it were something needing to be scheduled due to health risks, the deaths, hospitalizations and emergency room visits would number in the hundred of thousands. We are not seeing that. The opioid epidemic, fueled by street drugs has taken thousands of lives, many in people waiting for a treatment center bed to become available. Kratom has proven to help them and needs to stay legal and easy to access. It has been the choice to accomplish sobriety for hundreds of thousands who are still alive to talk about it. They do tell others about it as well as help others to stop taking illegal, deadly, tainted opiates. With the new laws of reducing the manufacturing and dispensing of legal prescription opiates taking place and the push to find alternatives for pain patients we would hope that you would help keep kratom legal and easily accessible. Please seek out the actual science on kratom, by those doctors and scientist who have spent millions of dollars and countless hours studying it. Please notice they are not recommending scheduling it. Also, Please disregard the Factor 8 Analysis that was proven to not be reliable due to the computer modelling. Correct, verifiable information is necessary. Kratom is saving lives, not taking them.

Waldo Jaquith writes:
Y’all are suspiciously worried about a bill that simply calls for the Board of Pharmacy to study kratom. You say things like “Kratom saves lives” and “seek out the actual science on kratom, by those doctors and scientist who have spent millions of dollars and countless hours studying it” — that’s the purpose of this bills. They’re doing what you say to do!

It’s super sketchy that y’all oppose a bill that proposes to do the thing that you want to happen.

Zander Moehling writes:
I think it would be a shame to ban Kratom in Virginia. I have personally watch it help save many of my friends lives who without it may be dead or in jail. We need alternatives to opiates that are natural and safe and I think Kratom can be that option. Kratom saves lives

Adam Hull writes:
I have been using kratom daily for about 7 years now to manage my neck and back issues that I developed from a terrible car accident when I was 16 years old. I was immediately put onto 24/7 pain management at the age of 16 after the wreck while my body and mind were still finishing development. My body and mind finished development thinking that it was normal to have copious amounts of doctor prescribed narcotics in it at all times. It became my normal. As time went on and i moved into full development my body became extremely physically dependent and my mind became physiologically addicted…my doctors continued to up my dosage every couple of months and move me to stronger and stronger pain medicine.

I woke up in the ICU at the age of 22 or so(my memory is foggy from all of the medicine I was given for so long) from an accidental overdose. On top of all of the pain medicine they also eventually gave my ambien to help me sleep. I couldn’t sleep because of all of the other medications, funny how that works. Apparently I slept walked and took a lot more medicine without knowing. My wife found me on the bathroom floor barely breathing, thinking I was dead she panicked as anyone in that situation would and called 911. The doctors told me that if my metabolism wasn’t as fast as it was that I would have died for sure. Remember, this was all doctor prescribed medicine, I never bought off the streets and I had multiple doctors who had all refereed me to each other in one way or another.

At that point it was clear to me that something had to change. My wife and me were newly married and there was no way our love or marriage would last if I continued to see doctors to manage my pain. When I got out of the hospital I still mentally battled myself over wanting and needing more pain medicine but managed to build up the courage to go to a detox facility and get through what I thought was going to be the worst of the withdrawals. I got through them all after a very long 7 days and made it back home but naturally I was still in constant pain from my neck and back issues. The other issue I came to realize was I was also suffering from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or PAWS for short. Because my body finished developing while being dependent on narcotics my body did not know how to live or cope without those narcotics. This lasted for around 6 months. 6 months of misery from PAWS on top of having nothing to control my very really neck and back pain. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t sleep, I was super depressed, I didn’t want to do anything or leave the house, I would just sit in one spot all day from dusk till dawn because I was so miserable. 6 months of this. 6 months of my amazing wife having to deal with this terrible situation. In hindsight I would not have blamed her if she left me. We had to live on her daycare hourly pay with some help from family and even then barely made it.

After 6 months I finally started getting back to the mind set of feeling good enough, wanting and needing to find a new job. So I found something! But man, the neck and back pain were still so very bad even though the PAWS had started going away slowly. There was no way I could keep up the pace of working full time and supporting us with that pain. This is when I came across a random article on Yahoo and ‘kratom’. I had never heard of it before and became intrigued. I did more research, real research. The more I looked into it the more it seemed to good to be true, but I was desperate. I had to figure something out. I had to be a better husband, friend, son, brother and employee.

The next week I found a local place that sold kratom. This was about 7 years ago when kratom was very unknown here and even still today most people have never heard of it. I purchased it in powder form, took it home and made a drink out of it and it tasted terrible! I will never forget how bitter and sandy it tasted! In my head I thought ‘there is no way something this nasty can be what I’m looking for’. About 30 minutes later my pain was virtually gone and I was in a great mood! It felt like I had the best cup of coffee in the world and woke up on the best side of the bed. I was not impaired and I was not high. I could function, think and speak 100% normal. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt that way and then I thought again to myself ‘maybe this isn’t too good to be true’. I was a 22 year old young man and had not felt anywhere close to ‘normal’ since before my car wreck at 16. My wife noticed the change immediately and was shocked, she wanted to know what happened and why I was acting so..normal..out of no where! For the first time my wife got to meet the REAL me without even knowing it and it was glorious. Just to be safe and certain after a few months of using kratom I went to see a doctor for a general checkup and labs. I was amazed at how healthy I was.

Misty Brown writes:
KRATOM SAVES LIVES ITS SAVED AND IS STILL SAVING MY LIFE AND I MATTER!!! Please DONT ban Kratom! Adopt the Kratom Consumer Protection Act(KCPA)! So that responsible adults can buy UNADULTERATED KRATOM! I AM 6 months sober now BECAUSE of Kratom! I was able to break a 11 year pain pill addiction that I ONCE had!!! Please don’t take away peoples right to SOBRIETY!!!

Nigel Johnson writes:
Kratom has helped me tremendously. I was on painkillers for almost a decade because of a severe back injury while I was in the Army. I had 3 back surgeries in 5 years. Kratom not only helped me get off of opioids, it actually worked better for the pain than the Norco that I had to use. I understand that pharmaceutical companies absolutely hate this wonderful plant because it will hurt them financially, but isn’t the health of people worth more than money?

Melinda writes:
I have seen lives changed and saved by kratom. It’s helpful and so many different ways. It’s a lifesaver when it comes to both pain and addiction. I used to take up to 60 lortabs a day. I took them for pain, but at some point I lost control. And I lost everything my kids, my home , my freedom…
Today, all of that has changed. I have custody of all my kids again. I’ve got us a house to rent that I paid for on my own from my job in a factory. A dog I wouldn’t be able to work with my back problems if kratom was not available. Ibuprofen and such help, but they do not cut it. With kratom I’m able to work and take care of my children and have a real life.
People are dying and drove from the opiate crisis. Kratom is an alternative so that. It’s safe. It does not cause respiratory depression, so you’re not going to overdose. At most, you’ll vomit the excess up. It’s literally saving lives. People will end up dying from an opiate overdose if they don’t have kratom available. Please do look into it and don’t just buy the propaganda from big pharma. Of course they’re angry they’re losing money ! but Americans should be angry!there’s a safe alternative available, and big pharma is trying to demonize it and take it out of the hands of the people. Look into the Kratom consumer protection act. It keeps it available, but has it regulated for safety. Several states have successfully implemented the Kratom consumer protection act. Please don’t take our precious plant it saves lives.

Melinda writes:
I just want to apologize for my post above. I was using voice text and apparently that was a fail

Dale waldron writes:
Kratom has definitely helped me out for the better.

Rob Waters writes:
Moving to study kratom while the federal government continues to threaten kratom users is a good step forward, considering how many people have seen their life changed by having it accessible instead of being forced to rely on opioids and other big pharma drugs that provide little relief and come with significant addiction risks. I hope this is the first step towards ensuring access to those who need it.

Lynda King writes:
I have a rare abdominal disease and chronic pancreatitis. The mesenteric panniculitis is actually more painful than the pancreatitis when flaring. I did not have access to pain medication nor pain management. The pain was literally killing me. I had heard about kratom and was scared to try it at first because of all the negative things that are posted about it. I finally reached the point that I had nothing to loose. Now I’m thankful for it!
I started researching and found a reputable vendor online. I started using very small amounts and keeping a journal. When I found the right dosage for my pain I realized I no longer needed any medication for depression nor anxiety. My husband started using it for pain and completely quit drinking alcohol.
I have used responsibly for several years. On the rare days that I don’t need it, I have no problem in not taking it. Caffeine, I will notice the day of, but never the kratom. I have never experienced any kind of high from it. I only take the amount that works for me. Just like medication, people need to be responsible with any supplements.
A kratom protection act would bless all that use it. Keeping us safe and keeping regulations for vendors. Kratom works for me and my family. It should be my choice to not take narcotics to control my health issues.
Again, regulations would protect everyone, but a ban would destroy many lives.

Kami Davis writes:
Please do not believe the lies, surrounding this healing plant. Due to greed, so many misconceptions are being stated. I am a nurse who suffered a bad accident that nearly killed me. It left me with several injuries and permanent debilitation. Although, when I found Kratom, I got my life back. It gave me quality in my family’s life as well. I was at the mercy of Western Medicine and taking their medications for over 20 years. I wasn’t able to enjoy life as a mother or caregiver for all that time, due to negative side effects, such as increased brain fog, lethargy, and drowsiness (caused by these fda approved drugs). I had to stay home most of the time and could not participate in many functions. However, that all changed ….after I found Kratom. Now, I can sleep better. I am not weighed down with fatigue anymore. My pain is well controlled. I have mental clarity, with zero change to my personality. I have my life back now. I am a better mother, daughter, friend, and caregiver..and productive member of society, all because of this wondrous plant, named Kratom. We MUST keep this plant safe and protected. Therefore, the absolute truth and real science MUST be exposed. NOT LIES, in which I am seeing. We NEED to keep this beloved PLANT, PROTECTED and ACCESSIBLE to all those in need.

This plant is not killing people. It is SAVING people’s lives. In no way shape or form should this plant be banned from people, ANYWHERE. It is helping with numerous ailments such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, diabetes, weight management and imo it cures addiction.

Michael Mayes writes:
This plant saved me from a life of alcohol abuse, and I was able to stop using both.I believe if you take the availability of KRATOM away from the fine folks in your community you yourself becomes a killer.Perhaps if not definitely for 18 and up and regulations are acceptable but not illegal.Im from Michigan and I support your community.Thank you we need something mother nature made something God made not man made government issued addictive Narcotics!! Thank you.

Leslie Scott writes:
I now live a life where I can play with my daughter, grocery shop, work, cook, clean and be independent all because of Kratom. I have been diagnosed with EDS, POTS and Fibromyalgia and I am now off all pharmaceuticals using a VERY small dose of Kratom three times a day and I have zero side effects. Last year reports showed almost 190,000 people died from FDA approved drugs. Medical provider errors are the third leading cause of death in our nation. Please put your energy into fixing fraudulent science that leads to unsafe FDA approved drugs and unsafe medical practices instead of going after a safe plant that has provided many miracles. Thank you!

Indee writes:
I have Lyme disease as well as steel rods and screws in my back so I had been on very strong medications since I was fifteen yrs old. Kratom came into my life when opiod laws changed forcing my doctor to reduce and then very shortly discontinue my painkillers. I planned to kill myself the day I found kratom and would have followed through if I hadn’t found this plant . It took away my pain and it’s made me a better person . As long as kratom is legal I can continue to be a productive citizen. This isn’t dangerous and isn’t something ppl use to get high. Pls keep it legal for those who need it.

Wade Harman writes:
I have drank Kratom tea responsibly for 18 years. I have seen the effects of this plant on many people’s lives. Kratom has changed people, transformed them into socially productive people and that’s a good thing. The fact of the matter is, the opioid epidemic is raging in Virginia and there are many who turn to herbal remedies for help. Virginia needs to work with the American Kratom Association to ensure the citizens of Virginia continue to be responsible Kratom tea drinkers with the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.

Thanks to Kratom I am a business owner, I am an assistant pastor, and I am a productive member of our community. Kratom has changed my life. Please do not take this away because if you do, I will leave the state. Kratom is that important to me and this is ridiculous to demonize a plant that is changing millions of lives. Let’s keep Kratom safe by working with the AKA.

Ken Lovett writes:
Kratom is a very important botanical for public health. It is a safe alternative to painkillers such as opiates, yet scientifically it is not an opiate. If anyone cares to aleviate the opiate epidemic, keep Kratom available to the public.

Stephanie Husers writes:
I’ve responsibly consumed kratom tea for 3 years now. I was on the verge of quitting work and apply for disability. I discovered kratom tea as a supplement and found myself able to continue to work. I am a caregiver for the elderly with dementia, a very challenging career.

Demonizing kratom is wrong. I’ve seen so many people change their lives with kratom. It has saved so many! Banning or criminalizing kratom will only make the opiate crisis rise and that’s a scary thought considering its wiping out an entire generation. Please listen to these folks who have successfully supplemented with kratom tea! Hear their stories because its amazing.

Donna Stout writes:
Kratom is not a substance which had to be “refined” or chemically altered like cocaine or methamphetamine or MDMA or any other “drug. It is a NATURAL LEAF grown on a tree. It’s natural properties in its natural form help so many, myself included, with pain relief, and many other things. I don’t see regulations on green tea, or moringa, or, turmeric, vitamin c, it so many other natural occurring, naturally growing, God given, healing, helping herbs and spices. This is ridiculous. Much like going after the marijuana in the 60s, and now realizing the medicinal wonders it holds.

Kim writes:
This plant should remain a legal alternative to narcotics many are trying to get off of.

Erica writes:
Clearly, this bill is already in a biased condition. The bill states there was a 5,000% increase in poison calls. That’s false. Also, the bill states that 42 people have died “related to Kratom”. The language here is deceiving because 42 people who have drank Kratom tea by itself have not died. What they don’t tell you is the deceased people also had other harmful substances in their system like other opioids, however, Kratom gets the blame for the death.

I have seen the goodness that Kratom brings to people. This is a mistake and the Board of Pharmacy and this representative is probably being led by the FDA to do this. Millions of Americans drink Kratom tea safely. Sure, if you drink Kratom and take opioids something bad is going to happen to you. However, delegates need to be smart here because there are law-abiding citizens in Virginia who are drinking Kratom tea responsibly without mixing this with other substances.

This is the dumbest bill to ever come across the table. Kill this bill because if you pass this, you will be killing a lot of Kratom enthusiasts who are choosing Kratom over other addictions, you are taking away solutions for people’s pain and mentality if you pass this bill. I am against this tremendously and would hope that there is someone in crooked government who will man up and share the real reports. Virginia needs to pass the Kratom Consumer Protection Act which will ensure that there are only pure forms of Kratom being consumed. That’s all you can do.

The NIDA concluded that uncontaminated Kratom is safe and caused 0 deaths. That’s the real truths. This is FDA propaganda and they are using this sad gentleman to do their bidding. Kill this bill NOW!

Terri Mcneil Lumpkin writes:
Many states have adopted the Kratom protection act. Reason being so many of us have health issues. I myself was on chemo, and a host of meds. It’s a cycle that never ends. I made a choice to stop taking it all. I use kratom tea occasionally. For 2 years now I have had so much progress in my health. I also don’t drink the tea everyday. Maybe 3 days a week I have a teaspoon. It’s a coffee plant. For Gods sakes we are tired of fighting to simply take natural stuff instead of medications. Please do the research. It’s helping so many. I’m a 49 yr old grandmother. I don’t do drugs. Let’s us have a say in our health please.

Merilee Barnes writes:
I was addicted to pain pills, H and barbiturates for 25 plus yrs. I stopped it all one day went through hell then developed severe anxiety, refusing to go back on anxiety meds (that my dr. wanted to put me back on) I stumbled upon Kratom.. tried it and it helped SO much with the pain and anxiety, i sought out groups about this plant.. since being in these groups i have heard copious amounts of testimonies from people that have overcome the addictions of opioids and or alcoholism! I suggest getting joining some of these Kratom groups sit back and watch the magic of living life again! Please don’t believe articles claiming bad outcomes about this wonderful plant..
big pharma up to no good because it’s a plant that’s readily available in most states… (it is banned in some states) I wish you all only the best…

Jacqueline Anderson writes:
I think it’s great to study kratom. It’s awful to put it in a schedule that hampers the legal use of it.

I used opiates for chronic pain for over 10 years. When the DEA started cutting production back, I often went through withdrawals because my pharmacy was unable to fill my prescription. I don’t wish that on anyone. My family was so scared .

I eventually got brave enough to try kratom. I used it to taper off my last prescription slowly. I had no withdrawals.
I also stopped drinking alcohol and stopped a Xanax prescription.
I drink the kratom tea twice a day. It’s a miracle how it helps my pain. I never go through withdrawals. I never go to my bed for days Anymore.
I feel like myself again. That’s a great side affect.

While the country is in the grips of a opiate death epidemic, the last thing you should do is make it harder for people to stop. I would have bought heroin if I knew how. I was that desperate for reliefs. My kids could be orphans right now.
Kratom has saved lives.

Jessica Geary writes:
Kratom is saving lives! I have multiple chronic health conditions that cause severe pain .Kratom helps me to function and be a productive member of society ,without the many side effects and fogginess that pharmaceuticals cause. It is simply a dried ground leaf .It’s is consumed by many people of all walks of life ,including medical professionals ,law enforcement officials, people who have addiction issues ,chronic pain patients, veterans with ptsd, and the list goes on. Trying to schedule or take away access to this leaf would hurt all of these people .Please look at the science and listen to your people

Andrea goblet writes:
More people die from roosters that I’ve died from kratom.this plant has been a godsend to me ,it has help me with my depression my pain my anxiety my headaches . Do not make this product on available to the public I do not want to go to the doctor to take the pharmaceutical drugs this natural plant has helped me more than any other product in the market.You’ve already band pharmaceutical pain medications to the point where doctors do not want to prescribe them the amount of deaths that come from those pharmaceutical drugs far outweigh the side effects that you have noted for crate them which in most times people have taken other drugs which really is the contribution of the death not kratom itself!!!

Ann writes:
I was on antidepressants, I was antisocial and didn’t like to go anywhere. I’m Now a different person…happy, I enjoy life now thanks to Kratom.

Merilee Barnes writes:
Kratom shouldn’t be used as a substitute for any drug… Unadulterated , untouched, pure Kratom is safe..
it’s like “Reefer Madness” all over again !

Cory Johnson writes:
This is a copy of the letter I wrote to the DEA and FDA back in 2016 when they gave those of us who are fighting for our right to preserve our health and quality of life without the use of prescribed medications, a chance to comment…

I am a 51 year old single father of my 14 year old son. I have been an electrician for over 25 years. Eleven years ago I started having back and neck pain as well as leg and hand weakness. I went to a doctor and found out I was having severe nerve compression in my cervical and lumbar spinal cord areas.
I was too busy trying to build a business and couldn’t afford to take time off to heal from the surgeries and I was always taught you just have keep going and no whining, everyone has problems.

By 2012 my symptoms were so bad I couldn’t go on like this anymore. I went back to the doctor and found out the problem had worsened to the point where I could die if I fell. I was having accidents from falling and my arms and legs were getting so weak that I could hardly make it through the day anymore without a lot of issues.

I have had several spinal surgeries that have left me partially disabled as a result of severe and permanent spinal cord damage and in addition to six laminectomies, a cord tumor was excised as well.

After the surgeries I was left with even more severe back pain that makes it very difficult to walk. In addition I have been losing function in both hands making it impossible to use tools or do basic simple daily tasks we all take for granted.

My neurologist and neurosurgeon had been treating my symptoms with narcotic medications for five years to help with the pain and spasticity. I was having to deal with awful side effects and in addition was developing symptoms of situational depression. I was not dealing well with what was happening to me. The drugs were making me sick and I was really having a difficult time with where my life was heading.

A friend told me about a dietary supplement called kratom. This is a natural herbal tea like leaf that helps me live my life without having to rely on chemicals prescribed by a doctor. I have gone from using a handful of pills everyday to a minimal amount. My 30 day oxycodone prescription now lasts me more than ten weeks. I no longer take fentanyl, buprenorphine, gabapentin, diazepam and antidepressants. I no longer have to take pills to help relieve the symptoms caused by the other pills.

I have been taking kratom daily for the past three years,(now 5 years) and have been able to manage my pain, depression and anxiety symptoms without pills. There are no side effects, I am not addicted to it, I have zero withdrawal symptoms if I don’t take it every day. I can function as a productive member of society without putting synthesized chemicals into my body.

I am able to feel better without drugs and the horrible side effects they were causing me. If there was truly any kind of risk to my health or well being, believe me I would not be taking kratom. I do not use alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs. I live a healthy lifestyle and pay close attention to my diet and I exercise every day.

I should be able to feel better without the government telling me I have to use a pharmaceutical drug instead of a natural herbal supplement. I should have the right to make my own decisions as a citizen of the USA. This is a free country and I feel the FDA and DEA are not taking my freedoms into consideration. This ban is unconstitutional and an infringement of my rights. I feel like I deserve to be heard and I strongly oppose this ban.

The government is supposed to work for me and not against me. This decision would adversely affect the lives of millions of people just like me. There is far more proof that suggests kratom is safe. I have done a lot of research over the past couple months regarding kratom and I see that the opponents of kratom have provided false and baseless comments that do not tell the truth. It is obvious there are people more concerned with money,(BigPharma for instance and those folks whose pockets they line with lots and lots of money to protect their investments and future endeavors) than health. This is absolute abuse of power and should not be allowed to continue.

Please consider the results of a full and fair investigation from experts who will prove there is no imminent risk to responsible citizens and their health.

Ragina Winkle writes:
Sad really. I switched to kratom because big pharma is killing people. They have customers not patients. I have a spine injury and nerve damage. I have been using kratom for over a year and a half. I switched by my choosing. I was shackled to pharma, that’s not a life to live. I used as prescribed for 17 years. I really didnt have much of a life. See I’m a grandma and have guardianship of 2 grandsons. I was not involved at all. I was in pain all the time. I switched to kratom and I got my life back. I got involved in all my grandkids live. I am active now. Thank NO ONE TO PHARMA, but to a harmless leaf. Kratom.

Kristie Bonar writes:
I no longer take pain medication or other medications for my illness because of Kratom. It has made my quality of life so much better.

Nola Maiorino writes:
This whole Kratom controversy is just like marijuana back in the day! I grew up hearing how dangerous marijuana is. Now finally we realize its amazing potential and health benefits! But of course they figured out how to make a financial gain on it! Now they will go after Kratom for financial reasons.I never had a substance abuse issue only took what was prescribed for years due to chronic pain yet was treated like an addict going through pain management. I have never been “high” due to Kratom use! It relieves my pain better than any pharmaceutical I have been on. I am so tired of being told what I can and cannot do with my own body and health! Why would you try to take away peoples solutions to their own health! You are asking to up the amount of drug overdoses and deaths by making people go back on pharmaceuticals only to be denied what they need anyway. I think studying Kratom is a wonderful thing but why take it out of the hands of the people who need it! Alcohol and cigarettes which we know kills people is left on the table. but oh that’s right, that’s where we make the most money!!!

Austin Rowland writes:
Kratom should absolutely remain legal and available. I suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction which is extremely painful and make it hard to sit comfortably. Although wary at first, kratom has helped me overcome this condition and I would now consider it a secondary issue in my life, whereas my pain used to be the main focus of every second of my day. This is important because I am in recovery for over 4 years now. I cannot take classic opioids as they have ruined my life in the past. People need a less addictive option to treat their pain. Kratom is that option.

Susan Kissell writes:
I have widespread osteoarthritis (especially in my spine, hips and knees) due to an auto accident 30 years ago. I can no longer take NSAIDs due to Gastric Ulcers and the “cocktails” of medications offered by the medical profession are woefully inadequate in controlling my pain. It wasn’t until I found Kratom that I was able to do my housework without frequent rest periods during the day and then being bedridden the next day. Kratom controls my pain without causing any mental or sensory changes. In fact other than some mild constipation, I notice no problems with using the tea. I have used it for 3 years now. The research I have done has shown that it is safe if taken properly and does not cause kidney failure ( like NSAIDs), liver failure (like acetaminophen) or dementia ( like the antidepression medications they use for pain). Other states regulate it to make sure only unadulterated Kratom is sold, but they do not prevent it from being available. Kratom has certainly helped me get off the couch and live my life. Without it, I do not know what I’d do.

Dustin Henson writes:
Don’t believe the lies. Kratom is a natural herb in the coffee family. Banning kratom would be like banning caffeine. It is really a miracle herb. It helped me to completely stop drinking alcohol. It is great for energy, anxiety, and mood lift. #Iamkratom

Jennifer Gillis writes:
I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis 14 years ago, and I’ve suffered with chronic pain since then. I’ve been on alot of narcotics prescribed to me by my doctors over the years. Unfortunately they just weren’t working anymore and I became very depressed because I was in pain all the time. I couldn’t enjoy my life and have fun with my kids. A friend of mine told me to try Kratom about 7 months ago. I wasn’t convinced that it would help because it’s a plant but it has helped me tremendously! I can do things with my kids and actually have fun because I’m not in constant pain. Before Kratom I had even started drinking alcohol to deal with my pain on top of taking my opiods and it was truly taking a toll on me. I feel clean,happy, and most of all healthier than I have been in a very long time! Kratom saves lives, and helps so many people!

Cathy Amerling writes:
I suspect that greed may be the demonizing force behind the witchhunt on Kratom. Kratom helps, it’s a GOOD thing, it should not be even considered to be scheduled. I am a 59 year old responsible adult that has used Kratom for chronic pain, depression and anxiety for the last four years. I was able to stop taking antidepressants thanks to Kratom. The antidepressants that I had taken had horrible side effects and caused me to have to take several more medications to try and counteract the medical problems they were causing with my heart and blood pressure. Thanks to Kratom I was able to get off of all those prescription meds and now have zero side effects. It has been a real Godsend for me and many many other people. I work a very physical job and have seven more years to go till retirement. Kratom enables me to do my job and to do it well without pain. Kratom has given me my life back.

Joe Danilla writes:
I suffer from a bad back and neuropathy in legs n hands im in pain all the time chronic pain for over 15 years n doctors telling me i would be on pain pills the rest of my life but being on

Brian writes:
I was addicted to pain pills and someone introduced me to Kratom and it saved my life. To take this away from people who are trying to make their lives better, that’s pretty ridiculous. We all know these “studies” are already going to be biased because those lies in the bill aren’t even 70% correct.

We the people of Virginia have a right to consume this safe natural plant called Kratom. Please talk with the American Kratom Association about the Kratom Consumer Protection Act for Virginia. Many states have passed this and it would be a great thing for this state.

Dont ever think chemical pills are better than plant based Kratom leaves. I have personally introduced Kratom to three addicts in my friends circle and these guys have also stopped their addiction with this plant. Better than the failure rate of methadone. We have a voice. You represent us, the American people, make sure you make the right decision here. Actually, you could just talk with the American Kratom Association about this. Please think about all of the people who are relying on Kratom tea to help make their lives better. There are no other alternatives.

Meagan writes:
i take kratom every single day to manage my chronic back and hip pain. I have 4 beautiful babies and kratom is a lot safer and to me more effective than opioids. Kratom lets me be the mother I want to be whereas opioids make me sick to my stomach and make me super super sleepy. I really think kratom could be the answer to this whole opioid crisis. It really does safe lives and families.

Peter Rizzo writes:
Kratom has changed the lives of myself and my wife. My wife has suffered for several years with severe arthritic hip pain. Doctors have prescribed many painkillers to my wife (Vicodin, Tramadol) that have provided little to no relief. Not to mention numerous side effects (depression, mood swings). Kratom has helped to relieve most of the pain she suffers from to provide her with a normal functioning life…and its non addicting.
It has helped me with bouts of anxiety. Doctors have wanted to prescribe many different medications to me (including Lexapro and Prozac) that have more bad than good reactions with me. By taking Kratom, I have experienced none of that. Kratom has been a savior in our lives. And it would be a drastic mistake to restrict people from purchasing it to help them.

Michael writes:
I stand as a firm believer that Kratom will help save those that want to be saved! It helped save me! At one time I became so addicted to alcohol that it threatened my very existence,but by the saving grace of Jesus Christ,and the help of Kratom,I am a happy SOBER man once again. Kratom helps me deal with the pain of bad shoulders and very bad knees. They can say that people that have overdosed tested positive for Kratom,but they leave out the other substances that were present,the real cause of overdosing,just to cast a bad light on Kratom. I am an avid Kratom user,and it helps me keep getting up every day,going to work, making a living for my family,by helping me with energy and mood…..same as coffee does for so many. There will always be some that make anything look bad because they don’t want to move on from other substances and addictions, but don’t let those few stories overshadow the thousands of successes that have used Kratom to get clean, remain clean, beat depression and pain and anxiety, so they can have a normal,happy life. #kratomclean #hollistichealing

Matt Beaty writes:
I was an addict for many years, and I, like so many others, have gotten a new lease on life thanks to kratom. I now have great relationships with my family and friends, and am healthy and happy. Sure, we should study kratom more closely, but to do anything that would make this plant less accessible would be a huge mistake.

Ryan Potter writes:
I was a career firefighter for 17 years, and sustained a severe back injury in 2014. Years and years of physical therapy, spinal injections, spinal decompression, acupuncture, cupping, pain management, and opiods could never relieve my constant pain. The meds like gabapentin made me moody, recluse and cloudy every day. It destroyed me mood and almost my 12 year marriage. The day I took my first dose of Kratom, I knew I had found what would help me. I quit taking tramadol right then and there, and havent had one since. My mood has improved, and I feel like I have fallen in love with my wife all over again. For the first time in 6 years I can actually get relief with Kratom! I have experienced ZERO negative effects, except maybe one. It makes me very talkative!! Lol.

Even after using for almost a year now, I still use the same dose, and have never taken, or felt the need to take more than 5g daily.

Please, I beg all of you, keep kratom legal. I’m all my years working EMS even in inner cities I’ve never seen a negative impact from Kratom. But ive seen countless lives destroyed or ended because of opioids. Ifnkratom is banned there will be a rise in opioid deaths across the country!
I am kratom, and Kratom saved me!

Original story by https://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2020/hj39/

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