Science and Tech


The DEA Is Backtracking Its Kratom Ban, And It's A Pretty Big Deal

The Drug Enforcement Administration is pausing its kratom ban partially because the internet got really mad about it.
Posted at 10:09 AM, Oct 13, 2016

The Drug Enforcement Administration is backtracking on its decision to outlaw kratom apparently in part because the public doesn't want the ban.

Kratom is a plant that can help opioid addicts wean themselves off drugs. The DEA announced in August it would move the drug to the Schedule I list.

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Schedule 1 drugs have a high potential for abuse and no proven medical use. The list includes marijuana, heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

But due to a lot of criticism, especially on Twitter and other social media, the DEA is considering reversing its decision, which is pretty surprising move.

One drug-policy researcher was quoted in the The Washington Post saying, "The DEA is not one to second-guess itself, no matter what the facts are."

SEE MORE: Prescription Drugs Are Linked To West Virginia's Heroin Epidemic

But it wasn't just the internet that had a problem. When the DEA announced the ban, more than 50 U.S. representatives wrote a letter criticizing the decision. One researcher called it a "disservice to science."

So now, the agency will let the Food and Drug Administration weigh in.

A public comment period will also be open until Dec. 1. After that, the DEA could still decide to move the drug to Schedule I, enforce a temporary ban or could leave kratom unregulated like it was before.