In March 15, 2011, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels officially banned Kratom along with Salvia, and synthetic cannabinoids. The offense can be punishable as either misdemeanor or felony based on the amount of substance that is in question. Besides this, the Indiana legislature has also formally banned mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine; these are the active alkaloids found naturally in Kratom leaves.
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Kratom Enthusiasts Were Shocked
The grouping of Kratom along with these kinds of drugs was not only surprising but also confusing for Kratom enthusiasts within the State. An anti-depressant and painkiller that they had been using as a coping mechanism for opioid addiction, or simply as a kick-start to keep themselves awake during overtime hours surely didn’t seem dangerous enough to be banned. To make matters worse for them, several States in the US are considering to follow Indiana's Governor Mitch Daniel’s steps.
A Deeper Reason Behind the Sudden Laws Against Kratom?
In the 1940s, Kratom was formally banned in Thailand, the land where the plant originated. Supposedly, it threatened the business of its more expensive rival, Opium. Kratom grows freely in the area of Thailand and therefore was a free alternative to expensive opium products. Along with Kratom, the 1930s to 1940s was also the time where opium trading was at its peak. Drug addiction and deaths were raising, and since Kratom contains a high amount of 7-hydroxymitragynine, the plant serves as a replacement to opium as it mimics its effects. Aside from this, kratom was becoming a great tool to help the addicts ween off kratom.
Kratom also became the farmers, workers and the local’s version of opium as they could not easily afford the opium that was being widely distributed. But because Kratom grows freely and abundantly in Thailand, the drug business was placed in danger. Since then, Thailand has banned the possession, planting, consuming and selling of the Kratom plant.
Is The Government Trying to Protect Big Pharmaceutical Businesses?
Advocates believe that not only are these lawmakers trying to shut Kratom down due to its “possible dangers” but it is also possible that they are protecting the pharmaceutical businesses that Kratom could easily replace. After all, these Kratom advocates believe that Kratom can easily cater to people who are looking for a more natural solutions.
The pharmaceutical business is very large so the theory makes sense. Perhaps there is another agenda in mind, and the government and large corporations want to protect their profits? While this is possible, there is no way to confirm. The people will always fight back to help protect their right to natural remedies. Such is he case with illegal plants with medical benefits like cannabis. The cannabis fight may help with the in the long run.
The Petitions Begin
These incidents are what pushed these advocates, including the hundreds of Kratom users, to spread petitions around the internet. A coalition of many diverse groups are banding together to fight the governments trying to shut kratom down. Certain Politian's may be using kratom as a way to gain support however, if the kratom petition movement gets big enough, it may sway the direction the law chooses to go.
Indiana was the first State in the US that has banned Kratom. Tennessee has followed suit and Florida is considering the same. States like Iowa, Arizona, Hawaii, Vermont and Louisiana are now considering to follow Indiana’s steps as well. Whether or not they decide to do so depends largely on the position of the media and the amount of support kratom petitioners garner in the community.