Will kratom remain legal in the U.S.? Here are some speculative thoughts on the subject of kratom legality.
Times have changed since the obvious failure of the marijuana prohibition. There are some new economic calculations that have come into play, making it more costly to continue arresting and jailing people, when there is now a sufficiently large group who will smoke it anyway. Add to that number those who can now smoke or otherwise consume cannabis legally with a doctor’s prescription.
What’s the point of having a law that stops no-one? Now, many of those scofflaws are Baby Boomers who are dependable voters who have the money to pay the high tariff of today’s pricey smoke.
That spendy smoke is now a rich source of tax revenue to the states where cannabis is legal. And, you can bet that other states are watching this carefully!
The police probably don’t want to be arresting a bunch of middle-aged voters who may retaliate by voting down tax increases requested for more law enforcement. So, taxing cannabis gives the police a way to gain revenue without going to the trouble of arresting, feeding, housing, and irritating these potential voters.
Perhaps the cops figure, “Why make enemies, when you can gather revenue from these essentially harmless marijuana users?”
Kratom has an even wider potential for acceptance, because it is by nature more of a health tonic and pain remedy, rather than a “fun drug” like marijuana.
Wider acceptance = bigger market = more money from tax revenues collected on kratom.
After 70 years of wasting money trying to suppress cannabis use by force of law, we see it is being legalized and turned into a source of tax revenue instead of an expense item on the budgets of local, state, and federal governments. This is new and, hopefully, the start of a more intelligent approach to dealing with the small portion of herb users who cause trouble.
Kratom May Benefit from this Trend
As evidence that kratom has something good going for it, we have seen a flagrantly untrue Yellow Journalism campaign against kratom, mainly on evening TV — and yet proposed laws to ban kratom have been handily overturned or amended when kratom industry lawyers and lobbyists explained how much social and medical benefit the herb is producing — at no cost to tax-fed health programs.
Much of the Media “fear and loathing” campaign directed against legal kratom is spearheaded by those who have benefited the most from the epidemic of prescription drug addiction: the addiction rehab business, the law enforcement community, which needs more peaceful perps of victimless crimes to fill their empty jail beds, and — lurking somewhere in the background — it is only reasonable to suspect the pharmaceutical industry is also tacitly supporting the demonization of kratom, though they never show their face in the TV special reports I have seen.
After all, appearing on a news story that is reporting on kratom that is being used to end addiction to Pharma’s opioids — which Pharma would like us to think are not addictive — might be embarrassing for them, especially with a few lawsuits developing in Chicago and two large California counties where prescription addiction has become a huge problem.
Big Pharma doesn’t seem to be the ideal future place for retired FDA employees to hang their hat anymore.
It used to be part of the “revolving door” career path of federal officials to spend a few years in the FDA, for instance, and then go over to work for Big Pharma, where they built another set of friends and connections. All this organizational networking was repaid by bigger paychecks in Big Pharma’s employ for favors they had done when the ostensibly worked for the FDA.
We have also seen execs from the nutraceutical industry business organizations go over to FDA posts, do favors for the private sector business groups, and then return to work for those groups. To the finely-tuned nose of many observers of government, all this back-and-forth mingling of regulators and the private sector they regulate smells kind of funny.
Changing Pharma Fortunes May Benefit Kratom
The pharmaceutical industry has been downsizing for several years. This is likely to continue unless they can come up with some new blockbuster drugs like the statins, which are also under attack for the serious side-effects they produce.
The whole pretense that the pharmaceutical industry is superior and worthy of its near-monopoly status has begun to come into question. Has anyone begun to wonder where are the cures for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, after so much public and private funding has been entrusted to Big Pharma and the fundraising non-profits?
The market has changed somewhat and is likely to continue to change in the direction of more natural anti-aging and generally health-supportive products, such as those carried by health food and nutritional supplement outlets or sold online.
After all, the Baby Boom Generation, which continues to age but doesn’t want to look or feel like it, has always been more inclined to seek natural remedies. Perhaps they have noticed how many of their friends have died or been injured in the care of Big Pharma’s highly touted statins, Vioxx, Celebrex, and Fosamax, which may give them more impetus to finding herbal remedies like kratom.
Although there are still some skirmishes being fought to resist the trend to full legalization of marijuana, some resistance is to be expected when so many people and businesses (including organized crime) have made so much money from keeping pot illegal.
It seems more likely that the governments of states and counties will place THEIR need for more funds ahead of private businesses like the addiction rehab industry, which has been a big drain on state and local health resources.
It is rather humorous that states and private health insurance pay $5000 and up for live-in rehab programs, when — with the help of kratom –prescription drug addicts are regularly doing the job for free at home, with no tendency to relapse reported.
With a fast-growing kratom-using population of more than 500,000 Americans practically begging to be taxed if this herb will be spared criminalization, it seems obvious that lawmakers will opt to accept a new Golden Goose into their approved flock and throw Big Pharma and its allies under the bus.
The one question that remains to be answered is, will Big Pharma (or their minions in the Nutraceutical business) be placed in charge of this new imported herbal remedy, or will the ragtag kratom industrial group consolidate and manage to remain in control of this dynamic and lucrative new product, kratom?
Whichever party is allowed to control kratom, it is certain that a reaffirmation of the legality of kratom will put to rest most of the fears the public has about the safety of this unfamiliar imported herb. This will create a further boom and wideracceptance of this very useful and healthful herb.