Kratom, Governmental Overreach and The Erosion of Your Freedom
Many of you probably haven’t heard much about kratom, but it has made an explosion on the alternative medicine scene in the United States over the past few years. It’s rapid rise in popularity has been so dramatic and widespread that federal and state governments have been at odds with respect to how to regulate the substance. While kratom may not seem related to survival or preparedness at first, bear with me as there is a link between a system that is broken and designed to curb our rights. It also represents one of the more blatant attempts by the feds to unilaterally exert their influence over our daily lives, which should make all of us nervous.
What is Kratom?
Kratom comes from a plant in the coffee family that serves as both a stimulant and pain killer. In fact, kratom is so effective at managing pain that it has become a safe and natural alternative to opiate pain medication. Kratom has also been widely-used as a tool that treatments centers can use to help people get over their addiction to prescription pain killers and heroin. Its meteoric rise on the scene, as well as its enormous health benefits have scared the DEA while benefiting states that are trying to get a handle on all of the crime and death associated with the painkiller trade.
Kratom works by essentially reproducing what prescription painkillers do to the body by blocking receptors in the brain that tell us when something hurts. It is this reason that the plant has been so controversial. A handful of states have banned kratom outright whereas a huge number of states have passed laws in recent years that allow for its use. Reasons for the ban stem from the fact that it is similar to an opiate, whereas reasons for its legality stem from the fact that it is essentially harmless when compared to pharmaceutical products that are highly-regulated and very dangerous.
At the end of the day, millions of people with chronic health problems, as well as those who suffer from things such ADHD have been benefiting the most from this plant until recently. In September, 2016, the DEA placed kratom on the Schedule I narcotics list, which imposes the harshest penalties out of all of the illegal drugs on the market, including heroin. Consequently, anyone growing, using or possessing kratom can face years in prison and have their lives ruined by this harmless plant.
The Iron Fist of Government Agencies
What makes this case so important to us is that this ruling was arbitrary, and the agency did not allow for public hearings or comments. Furthermore, the government went ahead with the ban despite widespread criticism from state and federal lawmakers, medical professionals and the testimony of tens of thousands of individuals who have benefited from its use. Furthermore, the only evidence that the DEA used to justify the re-classification of kratom is that a few hundred people contacted the poison control center (over a period of 5 years) because users took too much at one time and essentially fell asleep, even though they woke up just fine a few hours later. They did not rely on research or scientific studies in their ban. In the contrary, a pile of research has actually demonstrated that kratom is safe.
There have been only been a couple of deaths associated with kratom, but those deaths have been linked to a reaction between kratom and a very dangerous painkiller called Tramadol. Ironically, it turns out that the makers of Tramadol tried to synthesize kratom, and researchers believe that the combination of the natural vs synthetic variant can cause patients to have seizures. There has been no link to ill health effects associated with kratom under any other circumstances, and this is important to keep in mind, because those who have been lobbying for a ban on kratom are our friends in the pharmaceutical industry.
It’s All About Money
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to think about reasons why the pharmaceutical industry would want to ban a compound that is completely natural and highly-effective at treating pain, particularly when it doesn’t have harmful side-effects. They stand to lose billions of dollars if kratom were to become part of the mainstream. This is exactly what they did, and their cronies in the DEA banned kratom outright without any input from doctors, researchers or the public at large. In fact, they went ahead with the ban by specifically blocking any debate about it whatsoever.
This is where things start to become relevant to us. First, it is a strong example of how a governmental agency can alter our freedoms with a stroke of a pen whenever they feel like it. Second, in a time when the United States is facing one of the biggest heroin epidemics in history, people are dying by the thousands every year, and crime is skyrocketing, banning kratom will only make matters worse and place ordinary, law-abiding citizens at risk of having felonious drug convictions on their records and serving prison time.
Finally, placing kratom on the Schedule I list makes it almost impossible for scientists to conduct research on the medicinal benefits of the plant. Consequently, the DEA has essentially shut the door on the ability to learn more about the plant, and all of this favors drug companies who want to corner the market with dangerous products for the sake of profit. Making kratom illegal also prevents anyone from using plant as part of their long-term survival medical stockpile.
This article is not intended to steer anyone in one direction or another with respect to kratom use. Rather, it is meant to remind everyone that the government is out of control, has the ability to do what it wants, when it wants, and all of us are at risk of having our rights, freedoms and liberties curtailed at any time. This continual assault on our freedoms is one of the reasons that we all need to become more self-sufficient, learn to fly under the radar and do whatever we can to avoid being under the thumb of an emerging tyrannical regime that continues to make life difficult for anyone who wants to live in peace and anonymity.
This should scare all of us, but it should also motivate us to be even more diligent in our efforts to break free from the system that is exerting more and more control over our lives on a daily basis.