DEA withdraws decision to classify kratom as Schedule I substance
Reversing a widely criticized decision, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Wednesday withdrew its notice of intent to classify kratom as a Schedule I substance.
It may be noted here that Schedule I is the most restrictive category of controlled substances, with drugs like heroin and LSD. The federal agency announced its decision to classify kratom as a Schedule I substance on Aug. 31, prompting severe criticism from users.
The federal agency’s decision even prompted a group of kratom vendors to file a lawsuit to block the move, while many supporters of the drug took to social media platforms to express their anger and protest the decision.
Russ Baer, a spokesperson for the agency, said they received more than two thousand phone calls, mostly in opposition to their decision to classify kratom as a Schedule I substance.
Baer said in a statement, “So in a spirit of transparency, and to open this up to public dialogue, we withdrew our notice to temporarily schedule kratom. We will then give full consideration to those comments before we move forward with any action.”
Kratom, which derived from the leaves of a tree native to Southeast Asia, has been in use for hundreds of years as a stimulant to increase work output as well as a way to relax. In the United States, it has become popular among people coping with chronic pain. Some believe that it is a good substitute to opioids.