For the past decade, a plant called kratom has faced insurmountable odds to remain a legal product that’s available for purchase in the United States. Yet, kratom advocates have managed to maintain that reality by taking on the federal and state governments, giving millions of kratom consumers the access to a plant that carries plenty of therapeutic benefits.
Luckily, the movement was able to stop the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from hatching its plan to ban kratom in the US. Had the kratom community not have been so vigilant in its undertaking, the American populace might have witnessed another miraculous plant stolen from its grasp. Our country has been in a heated battle with the federal government over our rights to possess cannabis for a few decades: that’s how long it takes to battle our government over such matters, and we’re still a long way off from winning that fight. So it’s best to attack from the onset.
But managing a campaign to take on the powers that be from scheduling kratom was never meant to be an easy task. It took every kratom advocate banning together to keep kratom legal. And even then, the industry went one step further and developed a lobbying group that’s purpose was to represent kratom users in conversations that take place in the political sphere behind closed doors, giving us a glimpse at the clandestine war being waged for our liberties through the eyes of the initiated.
The AKA Strives to Bring the KPCA Nationwide
The American Kratom Association (AKA) has been fighting diligently for the rights of kratom consumers across this nation. The consumer protection agency has been constantly trying to get the Kratom Protection Consumer Act (KPCA) passed by our federal government, which would curtail the federal agencies’ plans to make kratom illegal in our country. But so far, the initiative has been met with resistance on Capitol Hill. So there’s still much work to do with managing to acquire our federal government’s approval on the matter.
But even so, it hasn’t stopped the AKA from moving forward with its plan to get the government to listen. The organization has also taken the time to meet with state representatives and officials in an effort to get individual states to adhere to responsible legislation for kratom products. And some of those meetings were met with enthusiasm and commitment to the cause. At this moment, there are four separate states that have passed its version of the KPCA for the citizens of those states.
The four states that have signed into law the KPCA are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Utah. And that legislation has helped numerous constituents to have access to safe and reliable sources of kratom, which should be a primary concern for every state in our nation. However, one state out of those four surprised the kratom community recently with the announcement it was thinking about creating other legislation that would renege on its prior commitment to the kratom community in the state.
Nevada Passed the KPCA in 2019
Nevada joined the three other states that had already passed kratom legislation protecting the consumers whenever it enacted Assembly Bill 303 on June 5th, 2019, requiring the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy (BOP) to adopt the regulations set forth by the state’s legislature. With the passing of Nevada’s KPCA, it performed many necessary functions that help protect the populace and consumers. For one, it prohibited kratom companies from selling products to anyone under the age of 18. Secondly, it made it illegal for vendors to adulterate any of the kratom products sold on the market, keeping the material safe for the user to take for a supplement.
And allowing that legislation to become a law in the state proved Nevada representatives were working in the best interests of the citizens. However, recently, the Nevada BOP put out an announcement on July 9th, 2020. It stated a meeting would be held on July 16th, 2020, to discuss the state’s move to begin procedures to place two of the primary alkaloids found in kratom on Nevada’s Schedule I list of controlled substances in the state. If that happens, then kratom will become an illegal substance in the state of Nevada. It would fail those citizens it helped with its prior legislation. Thereby, the move would make every citizen in the state a criminal for possessing any kratom plant material, even though kratom is recognized as a legal substance on the federal level. That’s not a decision that’s beneficial to its citizens.
Nevada Might Schedule Kratom
Now, just because the BOP of Nevada put out a notification to the public that an inquiry into the scheduling of kratom would begin at the government level does not necessarily mean that Nevada State Legislature would make kratom illegal. The outcome could easily go the other direction and solidify the plant’s legal status inside the state. We’ll have to wait and see.
But it could be a long wait ahead of us. The process could take a year or two before it is ever finalized. It takes a long time for the government to do its job properly. And since they were unable to manage to sneak it through the backdoor, the state has a lot of eyes on the scenario now.
However, there’s still a chance that the result goes haywire, resulting in kratom becoming an illegal drug in the state of Nevada, which brings me to another point. I’ve spoken with several kratom advocates and vendors throughout the years that believe it’s going to be smooth selling for the kratom industry now that a few states have started passing KPCAs in our country. They’ve also argued that since more people are using kratom now, our leaders will never be able to place it on the chopping block ever again.
Unfortunately, that mentality is absurd. The state of Nevada already has a KPCA on the books, yet it’s simultaneously contemplating scheduling kratom as a narcotic in the state, proving we’re always one possible vote from losing kratom forever.
Kratom Advocates Need to Ban Together
The concept that our government will do what is right for the American people is ludicrous. Our politicians sold themselves out to the highest bidder a long time ago. And unless we step up to the plate, our liberties will continue to be eroded until it’s unrecognizable in the future.
The kratom community has already started to formulate a political plan to keep kratom out of the clutches of the DEA and FDA by establishing the AKA. The ability to use a kratom consumer lobbyist group to fight fire with fire was a well-orchestrated venture. But kratom advocates can always do more.
America is a Representative Republic. That means your elected representatives are supposed to stand for your principles while in office. Now, knowing the United States is a diverse bunch of constituents, it can be difficult for politicians to accomplish that feat on such a grand scale. Yet, there are certain aspects that should go without saying: maintaining the sense of liberty that our Founding Fathers had incorporated into the drafting of our country’s Constitution.
And in that same vein, each of us has the capability in the digital age to apply pressure on our elected officials to abide by their oaths to this nation. Taking a bit of time out of your busy schedules to email, tweet, or post remarks to those in power allows us to keep the conversation moving in the direction we’d like, controlling the narrative from being derailed: we all must play our part.
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