A couple of years ago, several news outlets were constantly barraging online media with articles that described the kratom plant as a dangerous opioid, which is the furthest thing from the truth. Since then, other news sources have continued that nonsense with more published pieces depicting kratom as a boogeyman lurking in the shadows.
But that’s untruthful. Kratom is an herbal supplement found in stores, online, and you can even grow it at home, as long as you can mimic the right environmental conditions it needs to flourish: Mitragyna speciosa is a tropical tree that thrives in the rainforests. And tens of millions of Americans consume kratom regularly. It’s related to the coffee plant. So, most people take their kratom tea first thing in the morning to help them get the day started with a focused mind.
Sometimes you can find a publication that’s willing to give a little insight into both sides of the story, like an article Kratom Geek recently covered. The story looked at a media publication company, Mountain Xpress, located in Asheville, NC, that published a letter to the editor from a nonprofit that badmouthed the use of kratom within the addict population. But before printing the letter on its website, Mountain Xpress contacted another nonprofit that helps addicts in the area to provide the readers with their take.
Giving the audience the entire story allows them to make up their own opinions on the matter, using the facts. But that’s not always the case.
A recent news story was run online in The Lawton Constitution, a news outlet publication for the residents of Lawton, Missouri. The article provides details surrounding a case about a 22-year-old black man who was arrested and charged for selling fentanyl—one of the deadliest opioids on the streets today. And the drug has been linked to a large number of overdoses across the nation. According to scientific journals, fentanyl can be up to 100 times stronger than morphine, which is why the drug is regularly used by drug dealers to spike their heroin. That way, the drug is more addictive and brings more clients.
Jakie Moorer, the guy charged with the crime, had been convicted in court with unlawful possession of a controlled substance back on August 12th. And he had been given a ten-year suspended sentence to carry out his probation. But less than two weeks after Moorer’s sentence imposition was handed down from the judge, on August 24th, his home was raided by local law enforcement agents and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Shortly after Moorer went on probation, he was identified by investigators when an undercover informant made two controlled drug buys from his residence. Three controlled drug buys were also conducted at a different location, according to the affidavit on file. Afterward, the Lawton Police Department’s Special Operation’s Unit and Tactical Team joined forces with the DEA Task Force to serve the search warrant that a judge issued to conduct a search of Moorer’s home.
When the cops and DEA served the search warrant to Moorer and his girlfriend, they found a long dirty laundry list of items in his home. According to the publication, the detectives found some marijuana, paraphernalia like digital scales (which had fentanyl drug residue on it), multiple containers with drug residue, empty capsules, an unknown purple pill, a 9mm pistol, bullets, and a gun holster in the home. Since Moorer was already a convicted felon, he’s not legally allowed to be in possession of any firearms.
However, since the cops were unable to find a stash of fentanyl on the premises, they listed a few other items in the affidavit, which were not illegal substances. The cops wrote, alongside the unlawful objects, that they found three one-ounce packages of kratom in that residence and a bundle of kratom capsules labeled as Thai Kratom: a type of kratom variety sold by numerous kratom companies.
Now, kratom is a legal supplement on the federal level in the United States. And there are no laws in Missouri that make kratom illegal, either. So the only reason for the cops to place the plant product on the list of items found in the home is to mingle kratom with illicit drugs in the eyes of the court.
And the cops’ sway over the courts wasn’t the only thing utilized. The paper that published the story was quick to put the information about kratom in their article for their entire audience to read, too.
The paper didn’t omit those irrelevant items because there is something larger at stake in Missouri. Recently, the Missouri Legislature had a bill introduced by Republican Senator Bob Onder Jr. The Missouri Senate Bill 765, if passed, would make kratom a Schedule I Substance to all citizens in the border of Missouri. Now, this bill is far from getting the green light from the state senate; however, the more the citizens of that state can be influenced into thinking kratom is a dangerous product, then the better for those in the state government that want it banned.
One of the easiest ways to make the citizens in Missouri prejudiced against kratom is by providing them misinformation about the plant. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been doing this for years. That government agency has a few media outlets constantly repeating the misleading information to their viewers.
But there are other ways to mislead people than by providing false information. Another way is to use deceptive tactics like the one in The Lawton Constitution’s article. By placing kratom amid a list of items found in a known fentanyl dealer’s home, the readers subconscious—especially those that don’t know anything about kratom—will automatically associate kratom products with dangerous opioids. The structure of that article wasn’t by accident. It even stated that kratom was “a natural substance that has psychotropic effects that act as both an opioid and a stimulant,” making it sound like two drugs in one.
In any free society, it’s extremely important to have a free press. That stops the government from producing a state-sponsored program and calling it news. Otherwise, Americans would be stuck with something similar to Russia’s news network Russia Today (RT), which does nothing but spread propaganda across the airwaves.
When America was established, we find that freedom of the press was embedded in the Constitution. And it’s such an important aspect of the freedoms granted to us by our Founding Fathers that they listed it right inside the First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
However, throughout our country’s history, the news networks have slowly become dominated by a few media moguls, controlling most of the news that the majority of Americans absorb today. And giving that amount of power to a select few individuals is just as dangerous (if not more) than allowing the government to manufacture the news themselves. Now, all the government has to do is strike a bargain with those media tycoons.
Plus, there are other methods. The American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducted a large-scale clandestine program called Operation Mockingbird in the Cold War to infiltrate the networks with pro-American government agents.
Years later, the “fake news” manipulation remains evident to the majority of Americans.