The American Kratom Association held a webinar on December 12 entitled “What to do if kratom is scheduled?”
Mac Haddow, Legislative Director of the AKA, assured the kratom community that there is no imminent threat of the DEA declaring kratom a Schedule 1 substance, which would outlaw kratom.
We went through this process in 2016, when the DEA first attempted to schedule kratom, reversed its decision, and in Haddow’s words, felt “abused” by the FDA that they did not go through the proper procedures for recommending a ban.
If the DEA were to schedule kratom, there would first be a federal register notice, which would give the DEA 30 days to ban kratom, and would allow for a comment period. During this time, an “interested party” can request a public hearing, which would be heard by a DEA administrative law judge. According to the AKA this process could last about 4-18 months. The judge would make a decision, and then the final order would be issued by the DEA.
Since the DEA already went through this process in 2016, and overturned its scheduling for the first time, there’s a good chance they don’t want this headache again.
As to the WHY of the FDA’s agenda against kratom, Mac Haddow spoke about the history of dietary supplements and the FDA. Haddow along with his brother John were instrumental in the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).
Much like the FDA’s recent actions and statements on kratom, the FDA was highlighting rare instances where dietary supplements contained adulterated product that resulted in a few deaths. The FDA’s willingness to violate a mandate that they disseminate accurate information to the public, in this case as in the case of kratom, reflected their desire for more power and control over more substances, and an expanded and more heavily funded FDA. They had tried to expand their authority over dietary supplements and vitamins since the 1970s. That all came to an end with the passage of DSHEA 1994, which regulated, instead of banned, dietary supplements and vitamins.
Remember this commercial? (This was back when Mel Gibson only played crazy people in the movies.) It was part of a campaign in 1994 to get the DSHEA act passed.
There were so many calls in support of the DHSEA act, it literally shut down the switchboard on Capitol Hill, illustrating the power of popular movements.