By now, most of us are aware that the United States government has increasingly become a nanny state throughout our history. And one of the chief contenders of that phenomenon was implementing legislation that made specific plants illegal to grow or possess. The act of making parts of Mother Nature an illicit substance defies all rationale. However, Congress never lets anything impede their ability to repel the inalienable rights of others. So common sense never stood a chance in that situation.
The argument of the government, in this case, is that it wants to protect you and other citizens from these (so-called) dangerous plants. Our representatives believe that we are incapable of protecting ourselves from the risks associated with ingesting some vegetation. However, they do give access to these plants to the pharmaceutical industry. That way, those bioscience companies can create products from those plants to sell to you. Somehow, the government argues, that scenario removes the previous dangers from the equation. Perhaps, it’s because the government turns a blind eye to pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of the situation and getting people hooked on their synthetic drugs, as was the case that recently happened with Purdue Pharma. It got sued for its involvement in the opioid epidemic in America.
However, nature should be available for everyone to possess. And no government should become powerful enough to make it illegal. So legislation is needed to protect our rights. Luckily, kratom advocates are pushing for the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA).
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (also called the KCPA) is a bill designed to look out for the consumers in the kratom market. It creates a marketplace where kratom businesses are regulated and must adhere to safety standards. Since the FDA refuses to do its job, the KCPA steps into the void and creates a haven in the market for those looking for kratom products sold from businesses that follow safety guidelines set in place by the government.
Traditionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be the government agency responsible for overseeing the industry. However, the FDA declines to perform its duties. Instead, the federal agency spends that time pushing a false narrative about the plant. For the past few years, the FDA has waged a relentless war against kratom. And it hasn’t let up off the gas yet. So we can expect them to continue their efforts for at least the next few years until elected officials can rule on the needed legal matters. Political commentators expect Congress to push for marijuana legalization sometime during this session. And that may give kratom advocates a window of opportunity.
Until the FDA chooses to perform its primary function, the KCPA remains a necessary piece of legislation for the kratom industry. Not only does the bill provide the industry with a form of legitimacy against the hostile federal agencies, but it also gives the same reassurance to the consumer that they get when purchasing all other natural supplements.
Without legislation to cement rules in the kratom industry, kratom consumers are left with an unregulated market where no consistency exists. Kratom businesses would be left to regulate themselves, choosing to determine how best to provide for the customer with no outside guidance. Also, an industry that’s devoid of the KCPA has no consumer protections in place to make sure the products are uncontaminated or authentic kratom.
Some states don’t have a KCPA passed by their representatives. The majority of states within the US operate without one. And that can cause complications for the consumer. Local governments that are devoid of the KCPA create an environment where consumers are at the mercy of the kratom company they’re purchasing from to do the right thing and develop safety measures to protect their clients. Now, that doesn’t mean that kratom companies in those states are untrustworthy. Most businesses shoot for superior customer satisfaction. That rule produces more customers—hence producing a winning business strategy. However, bad actors do infiltrate all industries. So a KCPA can help to deter them away.
The KCPA also helps to dispel the myths perpetuated by the FDA and kratom opponents. One of the prime complaints that the FDA touts is that the industry is unregulated. It states kratom is too risky for people to consume. However, the FDA glosses over the fact that the kratom industry is only unregulated because the agency refuses to regulate it.
Currently, the AKA has worked with stated legislators in four states to pass a version of the KCPA for the citizens under those governments. Georgia, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona now have a Kratom Consumer Protection Act on the books that safeguard kratom consumers in the market. Those bills provide the customers with extra security and additional comfort, knowing they have the safest available kratom products from any company in those states.
We should applaud those government officials for performing their elected duties. Those representatives fulfilled their obligations to their constituency and looked out for the interests of their voters. But for every single body of elected officials that get something right, there are always those that use their power to circumvent liberty. And we see that with the states that have gone in the opposite direction. Some have made kratom illegal to possess or purchase by its citizens.
Right now, a total of six different states have legislated a kratom ban, making kratom illegal to use by the citizens of those states. There are plenty of people living in those states that are now suffering from chronic pain. Yet, those citizens had their rights to possess a natural plant supplement stripped away from them. Their legislators chose to ignore the science surrounding the plant. Instead, they prefer to push anti-science rhetoric to appease the pharmaceutical industry’s desires.
And that dreaded reality could plague the entire nation if Congress ever enacted similar legislation. So the fight on the federal level continues.
Elected officials in all four states that passed the KCPA worked alongside the American Kratom Association (AKA) to bring it to fruition. The AKA is one of the most valuable allies kratom consumers have in the fight against future kratom bans. It’s a non-profit consumer advocacy group that seeks to work on behalf of kratom customers to procure kratom legislation from governments that produce a safe, legitimate, and thriving kratom industry. And with the help from local volunteers, the AKA has managed to progress the fight in multiple more states for 2021. According to the latest legislation session calendars, quite a few additional states have introduced KCPA bills this year. And with the marijuana legalization campaigns continuing to knock down hurdles across the states, kratom bills have a better chance of gaining support than ever before.
The AKA fights for kratom consumer rights on the federal level, too. It stepped up to the frontlines and helped push for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to back down from an emergency scheduling of kratom back in 2016. Plus, the AKA has continued to lobby on Capitol Hill for the past few years to get the KCPA passed in Congress. There are a few congressional members that support the bill. And should that law ever get passed, it would create an additional barrier against federal agencies to continue attacking the industry.
That outcome would furnish millions of chronic pain victims with a bit of well-needed solace to help ease their troubled spirits.