“I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.”—Hunter S. Thompson
“Conventional medicine is a collection of unproven prescriptions the results which, taken collectively are more fatal than useful to mankind.”—Aldous Huxley
It is a sad day for folk medicine and a sad day for the folks who use them to treat legitimate physical ailments. It is also a shameful time to call yourself a member of a democracy.
Of course, America was never really a democracy, it has always been a Republic. But we’ve labored under the illusion of our supposed bedrock freedoms for so long that it burns when the blinders come off.
Well, this month the blinders came off and whoa daddy! It’s a sorry sight indeed!
On May 12th, news broke that a Clarksville, Tennessee man was hauled into the system by Metro Nashville Police for allegedly selling more than five pounds of kratom to an undercover cop.
Christopher R. Miller, a twenty-six year old pipsqueak who works as a car salesman at a small lot in Clarksville, is the supposed perpetrator of this insidious act, one that seems highly improbable if we go on the word of Miller’s close friend Jackie Ross, a Hopkinsville, KY resident who says he was her one-time tenant.
Ross says that Miller stayed in touch with her after he moved out and when she was looking for a natural remedy for her husband’s chronic UC (Ulcerative Colitis) pain, Miller suggested that her spouse use kratom, an herb known for its analgesic (pain relieving) properties.
She makes no mention of any money changing hands and, from the sound of it, it is highly unlikely that his allusion to kratom was anything more than one friend pointing another friend in the direction of an organic tonic.
But that’s not how the Nashville po-po saw it. On the contrary, they are claiming that their investigation found Miller to be a stone cold pusherman, a hardcore dealer of kra thum khok’s more powerful brother. They say he supplied large quantities of Kratom to people all across the Nashville area.
Miller was pinched when he turned into a North Nashville car park and was taken down for possession of five pounds of kratom with intent to sell. In this age of technological transparency, it would be nice to see some dash cam footage that could corroborate the cops’ story, but this isn’t some high profile case of a minority getting suicided by cop, so the odds of such footage being released are slim to none.
But even without any photographic evidence, one thing is clear: The Metro Nashville PD’s Major Case Task Force are a cadre of clueless ass hats who have totally misrepresented kratom on the record, describing kratom to reporters as “an opiate synthetic substance.”
As anyone who has explored our blog before already knows, kratom is not a synthetic drug. In fact, it hasn’t even been classified as a drug in many countries and municipalities. No, kratom is an herb, an herb that comes from a plant with some potent alkaloids that may make a substantial difference in the lives of those afflicted with chronic conditions.
Regardless of its purported health and wellness benefits, kratom has been demonized here in the US and beyond, especially since the FDA got the DEA’s nuts in a bunch and urged them to begin seizing kratom in bulk.
The DEA delayed the ban in October of 2016, asking the FDA to conduct a fresh assessment of kratom before they would make a decision. In the meantime, more than 140,000 US citizens signed a petition asking then-President Obama’s administration to prevent the ban.
Even more impressive when we consider the general attitude toward drugs unkown among the Washington elite is the fact that no fewer than fifty members of Congress bashed the DEA for coming down so hard on a plant-based substance without first opening the subject to the court of public opinion.
The DEA has since reversed their decision to give the FDA time to conduct further investigation into kratom. This means that it has yet to be classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Which is exactly why Christopher R. Miller’s arrest is such a mind fuck. If kratom is currently not a controlled substance in the US then why was Miller’s sale of the stuff a no-no?
This comes down to simple state bureaucracy and authoritarianism. In the state of Tennessee, kratom is considered a controlled substance under Section 39-17-438 of the annotated Tennessee Code.
So for the powers that be in Tennessee, Chris Miller’s sale of kratom is akin to peddling black tar heroin…which is, quite frankly, batshit! But the law is the law, regardless of how myopic and inane it may seem.
Sadly, we cannot hold Miller up as a singular martyr in the movement against kratom. He isn’t the only casualty of this senseless war on herbs, he is just the latest in a rash of casualties.
In June of 2016, a Heflin, AL man got himself pinched for having eight and a half ounces of Kratom in his car. Of course, in fairness, we can hardly feel bad for this nitwit as he was carrying bulk Kratom around for a joy ride with a revoked license and warrants out for his arrest.
But later in the year, Calhoun County sherrif’s deputies seized 68 pounds of Kratom from an Alabama filling station and arrested the service station’s owner and his Kratom delivery man.
And this isn’t even limited to American citizens in states with active restrictions on Kratom possession. One UK resident posted on Reddit about how she was arrested for possession with intent to supply after a personal Kratom order from the Netherlands was intercepted.
Fortunately, she was let off with what is called a “cannabis warning” in the United Kingdom and released on her own recognizance, but even this seems like a miscarriage of justice when we consider the reasons why so many people purchase Kratom in the first place—not to get high (although where the harm in getting a little toasted on an all natural substance lies is up for debate) but to alleviate real physical and mental anguish.
The most mind-boggling part of all this negative Kratom attention is the fact that the country is currently in the throes of a very real opioid epidemic, one that is becoming increasingly more dangerous with the spread of the “grey death,” a nickname for the nightmare that is Carfentanil abuse.
Carfentanil is a powerful Fentanyl analogue that is being used to cut street dope. Consequently, heroin addicts are dropping like flies, leaving medical experts and law enforcement in a panic. So why exactly they would be bothered to put the screws to Kratom users at a time like this is perplexing, to say the very least, and aggravating, to say the most.
The Chinese have called 2017 the Year of the Fire Rooster and, from the looks of it, the fire appears to be spreading. Kratom is under scrutiny across the world. Khok-a-doodle-doo!
This war on herbs shows no signs of slowing any time soon, but for those who want to kick back at the Kratom police state, there are nonprofit advocacy groups making real efforts to keep kratom legal. For those of you who care about Kratom’s future, you can get involved with these efforts by visiting the American Kratom Association’s official website.
In the meantime, Christopher R. Miller is out on $22,500 bail, an obscene amount of money for someone who works as a car salesman in Clarksville, TN. Miller’s former land lady and long-time friend Jackie Ross has a gofundme page up for those who would like to help a brother out.
Ross is looking to raise $25,000 to cover Miller’s legal fees. So far, a few generous people have pledged $1,085. To support Jackie’s cause, you can check out the crowdfunding page here.
Let’s do our part to keep the plant where it belongs, in a greenhouse, not behind bars. Mitragyna speciosa—Esto Perpetua.
Bob Freville is the author of “Battering the Stem” and “Celebrity Terrorist Sex Bomb” (Bizarro Pulp Press/Journalstone) and the associate editor of Kotori Magazine. He is also a long-time kratom advocate who has written extensively about nootropics.
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