Kratom users celebrated yet again after Florida Legislature failed to begin a crackdown on Kratom. Although this bill failed to pass, an important fight is still underway to bring attention to the positive aspects of Kratom.
There are numerous stories where people rely on Kratom daily. Susan Ash, executive director of the American Kratom Association — and a Lyme disease sufferer — calls it a lifesaver.
“I rarely left the house, I didn’t have a job, I wasn’t doing anything. I felt like I was just lost and sick, and like I was going to be like that forever.”
Kratom is not banned or blessed by the federal government, so hard evidence is hard to come by. The National Institutes of Health warns of rare cases of acute liver damage by recreational use.
Jacobs’ bill called for a study by state law enforcement and health officials, but it died after intense lobbying by Ash. Jacobs is vowing to file the bill again in January. Ash says she’ll be back too, to defend something she believes is a panacea.
“We’re talking about people with chronic pain, people that suffer from addiction, people with severe depression and anxiety. It just makes it all worth the effort, watching people turn their lives around.”
This fight continues even as federal officials dropped kratom from a list of potential drugs and chemicals of concern in areas such as Palm Beach County. Also, Florida lawmakers this spring have balked at imposing a ban or other kratom rules.
Now, Palm Beach County officials have backed away from their plans to add local regulations intended to at least require signs to publicize potential health risks.
“Any regulations should be based in fact,” said attorney Neil Schiller, who represents Plants, People and Health, LLC, an advocacy group that fights restrictions of plant-based products. “We just don’t know all the facts yet.”