The kratom community needs to stay on guard against the federal agencies’ disinformation campaign that it pursues against kratom. To do it, they must learn about the lengths our government is willing to go to persuade the public into blindly following its program. Most people believe the US looks out for their safety when it creates laws against the substances it claims to be illegal drugs. But American history tells another story.
The United States established the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) on June 14th, 1930. After its creation, the agency began to lobby for harsher penalties against criminals that participated in using or manufacturing drugs that our nation outlawed.
There was money to be made from convicting those citizens: the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution allows our government to lease out convicts to companies as free or cheap labor.
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Before the United States could justify reclassifying plants as dangerous narcotics, it had to persuade the public. So in the past, the federal government waged multiple disinformation campaigns against specific botanical substances. Cannabis was one of them. Marijuana was legal until the beginning of the 20th Century. Then political forces swayed the opinions of American voters to allow a ban on weed.
Now, we’re witnessing government and media outlets mimicking that same strategy with kratom.
Before our government pushed any mandate against specific plants on the federal level, state governments had begun creating laws that banned or regulated those substances. To give you an example, we need to look no further than cannabis. By the time the federal government made weed illegal in 1937, marijuana bans already existed in the majority of the states. The state governments managed it by coordinating disinformation campaigns with local media outlets, scaring citizens to believe cannabis was deadly and toxic. Organizations put out flyers around communities that lied to the populace. These posters made claims that marijuana was addictive. And the notices warned that children were at risk from the dangers. With the help of the politicians, anti-marijuana groups managed to dupe the masses into its support for the prohibition of a legal plant.
We can see the same thing happening right now with kratom. In the past decade, six separate states managed to make it illegal. And those states did it almost effortlessly. Hardly anyone batted an eye when it happened. Most of the people in those states were not knowledgeable about any of the scientific facts surrounding kratom. Those citizens didn’t know the plant was non-dangerous. They only understood that the media reported the plant was toxic. Then they heard politicians inform them that they’d be safer with legislation passed to classify kratom as a narcotic. So they trusted the opinion of their government. Now, those citizens lost access to a miraculous plant that produced therapeutic effects.
The strategy for making Mother Nature illegal in the US has not changed in the past century. Our government still utilizes an identical approach. It starts with its federal agencies publishing disinformation on the subject. Then the local media channels report that misleading information as facts. Finally, to seal the deal, news outlets implement fearmongering tactics by presenting false narratives as ground-breaking news.
As soon as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made baseless assertions to compare kratom consumers to victims of the opioid epidemic, the media jumped at the opportunity to sell the story. But a large group of Americans pushed back against the agency’s lies and deceit. Now, we see police agencies prepping messages in the news from multiple angles.
In New York, a news story broke about a US Customs officer caught stealing cash from the luggage of travelers to fund his addiction. But instead of reading the article to find out the man had an opioid or meth addiction, the report indicates the officer was robbing money from the luggage of international travelers to fuel his kratom addiction. But scientific evidence suggests kratom is not addictive. So the story doesn’t hold weight under scrutiny.
Several stories lately have tried to portray kratom as a dangerous, addictive substance by using individuals charged with crimes. One news story that happened in Missouri reported on kratom found in the home of a known fentanyl dealer. Another report in Pennsylvania tried to say kratom was capable of causing blackouts.
Once the media regularly attacks kratom, it means an anti-kratom movement is occurring behind the scenes. But another step remains before they make kratom illegal. After they manage creating a bad image of the plant, they still need politicians to act quickly to pass a bill banning kratom. So until that happens, there’s still hope for the citizens of those states. Not all politicians sell their souls to the highest bidders. Some try to do what’s best for their constituents.
One representative in the New York Senate embodies that spirit. Democratic Senator David Carlucci sponsored Senate Bill 6104, also known as the New York State Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), last year in 2019. But in January 2020, the NY Senate Agriculture Committee received the bill through a referral. And now it’s up for consideration. So far, the NY Senate hasn’t voted on the measure. We’ll have to keep a watchful eye on the proceedings in the following months.
Should the NY State KCPA pass, it would amend the Agricultural and Markets law by adding a new article. The amendment puts legislation on the books that protect both consumers and vendors from any pending legislation that seeks to ban kratom.
Kratom consumers that live in states where kratom is legal should apply pressure on their representatives to sponsor and pass a version of the KCPA in those governments. It gives them legal protection. But those citizens should also work to combat the misinformation that’s prevalent in the news these days.
Kratom consumers have to maintain the high ground in this fight to keep kratom legal. So we all have to go the extra distance to educate the masses about the benefits of this spectacular plant. And I understand we all have time constraints that hinder us from going full throttle in the political movement. But luckily, there are other avenues one can take to do their part. One way is to donate to the American Kratom Association (AKA). It’s a non-profit organization that works as an advocacy group on behalf of kratom consumers. And any amount of donation that you can spare would go a long way.
Unfortunately, we’ve all felt financial crunches in a household before. That makes it problematic to give to a worthy cause. We’ve all been there. In that situation, there are other ways to make an impact on kratom advocacy that doesn’t cost any money. And it’ll only take a little bit of your time. Whenever you see stories that depict kratom in an untruthful manner on social media or any publication, take a moment to leave a comment on the post and bring attention to the misinformation. Expose the lies. Engage some of the other commenters in a conversation and share reliable links to research papers that show the science behind kratom studies.
Anything that you can do to keep kratom legal works in your favor. We’re all in this fight together. We all need each other to stand up to those in power.