I know you all here on GDC expect nothing less from me than to be the trendy motherfucker who vapes and drinks exotic tea. I also know I have a problem with wanting to talk about shit that most of you don't care about. But I would kindly ask you to give me a few minutes of your time, because the US government is about to literally kill people and I hope that concerns some of you.
Kratom is a leaf very closely related to coffee which has psychoactive effects, including stimulation, mood boosting and pain relief. I have used it often for more than two years. For me, it helps me focus and diminishes my anxiety significantly. For others, kratom is so much more. Many heroin addicts have been able to permanently kick their habit thanks to kratom, I know some of them personally - they're my friends and I know their story. Kratom also has provided significant pain relief to people with fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, chronic muscle pain and other conditions. And the DEA is about to ban it. On September 30th it will be Schedule I in the US - the same category as heroin.
The DEA has stated that all use of kratom is abuse. They allege kratom has caused 15 deaths, despite the fact that toxicology reports have shown all people involved were on multiple drugs at the time including dangerous research chemicals from China. The fact is that kratom has not directly killed anyone and it is scientifically doubtful it is even possible for that to happen. It's very hard to even overdose on it because taking too much causes you to vomit. I have taken a lot of kratom quite a few times, and I was still perfectly able to drive, read, talk or do whatever I need to do because kratom doesn't impair you. It doesn't cause you to hallucinate and it doesn't make you think anything you wouldn't think while sober. If kratom is comparable to anything, it's probably how you would feel after having a very strong coffee - minus the racing heart. It's a very subtle feeling of well-being.
So what is going to happen when kratom is scheduled? Many people who quit heroin and opioids will relapse. We know this because it happened in Alabama. That state banned kratom and the year after, the number of heroin overdose deaths doubled. Chronic pain sufferers who have been able to take their kids to the park, have a job, go the gym, travel... they'll be left without their only effective medicine and have their lives ripped away from them. And anyone who is caught with kratom after this ban could face a felony charge and years in prison. Kratom saves lives, but it's a threat to the pharmaceutical companies who own the government. If you're not hooked on opioids then you aren't buying them, and that's bad for their bottom line. The DEA wants this ban in place because they can no longer justify their own existence. More Americans are recognizing that drug use should be seen as a health issue rather than a crime.
If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures, then the White House will be made aware and have to respond. It's a start. Please sign if you value liberty and think recovering drug addicts, chronic pain sufferers, and depressed and anxious people who have been helped by kratom have a right to life.