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Jesse Ventura peeps game as Feds declare war on another herbal solution

Photo credit: Twitter - @GovJVentura

Photo credit: Twitter – @GovJVentura

“The forces behind the drug war seem to be achieving their desired outcome. The pharmaceutical industry is winning, the prison industrial complex is winning, the anti-hemp industries are winning, and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s budget explodes every year as it conducts more operations and seizes more assets,” marijuana advocate and former governor Jesse Ventura agreed with sentiments expressed in a recent interview with Vox.

Ventura is very passionate about ending the drug war, and he has put complete legalization of marijuana atop his bucket list of things to do before the end of his life. He was not surprised by the DEA’s August decision to maintain official classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug.

“Since when can a law enforcement agency decide a legislative question or a scientific question? They have a huge conflict of interest,” he said. “They make money by keeping it illegal. … They’re not going to give up their cash cow.”

That cash cow is an asset seizure program the DEA has exploited under the cover of the drug war. The DEA and other law enforcement agencies have reportedly seized billions of dollars’ worth of property from citizens who, in many cases, are never charged with a crime. Law enforcement agencies have also reportedly seized $2.5 billion in cash from people who were subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.

This week, the DEA made a move that will likely reinforce the perception held by Ventura and many others. The agency is moving to place the herbal supplement kratom on its list of Schedule I drugs, effectively banning a naturally occurring psychoactive substance some say holds promise as a therapy for opioid addiction.

Kratom is made from leaves of a Southeast Asian tree related to coffee, and has been consumed in Asia for millennia as a tea or powder. The herb contains alkaloids that appear to activate opioid receptors in the brain and reduce pain. Although most opioids have sedative qualities, low to moderate doses of kratom serve as a mild stimulant. These characteristics have led advocates and some researchers to claim that kratom can be used as a step-down treatment to help recovering opioid addicts.

“Kratom does not have an approved medical use in the United States and has not been studied as a treatment agent in the United States,” the DEA notice states. “Especially concerning, reports note users have turned to kratom as a replacement for other opioids, such as heroin.”

The DEA notice shows that prohibition remains a favorite tool of drug warriors, despite ample evidence that it doesn’t work. The DEA did not respond to a request for comment.

“We really believed that because of the progress medical marijuana has made through the states, that the federal government was going to leave kratom alone and leave it to the states to decide whether it was appropriate to be legal,” Susan Ash, founder of the American Kratom Association, told Huffington Post.

Even as President Barack Obama and other government leaders increasingly come around to a more treatment-centric vision of drug policy, the DEA is showing old habits die hard. The kratom scheduling move would last for two years, with a possible extension of an additional year, and would go into effect at the end of September.


  1. Co-Ta-Ci-Ne on September 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    STOP THIS NOW. September 13th 12:00 noon at The White House, we the people will make a stand and tell them not to let the DEA make Kratom Schedule 1. This is madness and will kill thousands of people from overdoses and suicides that rely on this SAFE PLANT that is a MIRACLE to me and so many others! Peace and LOVE to you all.

  2. Thomas F. Dixon on September 3, 2016 at 5:56 am

    I have never seen such a tyrannical move by my government in my life. Kratom is a treatment for addiction, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. You can’t get high and you can’t overdose. Damn this malicious, immoral, and downright mean action!

    • Benwilcock on September 5, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      This is the definition of tyranny. No doubt about it. If there is a God and life after death, I hope Chuck Rosenberg and the DEA are met with the same judgement they have cast upon the hundreds and thousands of users of kratom.

      • Thomas F. Dixon on September 5, 2016 at 7:01 pm

        I contacted both senators and a congressman from my district as well as Dr. Karen DeSalvo the assistant director of health today. I’m thinking about writing Nancy Pelosi since her son is the executive director of the American Kratom Association.

  3. Kendall Powers on September 3, 2016 at 9:55 am

    The DEA’s claim that people are “substituting” kratom for heroin is entirely disingenuous. The implication is that the two substances are somehow equivalent; they are not in any way equivalent. It’s like saying, “We are especially concerned that citizens are substituting aspirin for opioids.” It makes no damn sense.

  4. cassandra simonson on September 5, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Kratom saved my life it has helped with my severe anxiety and panic. I can actually breath now before kratom I couldn’t breath it would take me everything just to be able to take a breath. Now I don’t have chest pains due to my anxiety because kratom helps the chest pains go away after ten Mins verses having them all day and night. I sleep better now. I don’t have bad dreams anymore. Kratom is my life saver. Please don’t ban Kratom. Let’s fight for kratom…

    Please sign the petition to help us win this fight. It does not kill people it saves so many lives.


  5. Daniel Williford on September 5, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    The DEA has no statistical backing that I’ve read. 660 call in 5 years (no telling how many were doctors or medical ppl) and 15 deaths that kratom was also found in the system (not the only drug or herbal supplement). They estimated 12+ million doses were shipped into the U.S. I’ll take those numbers over any pharmaceutical medicine. This is senseless. Please help us #keepkratomlegal #iamkratom #kratomsaveslives

  6. Kelly Devine on September 5, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    #KatomUnited #BotanicalEducationAlliance #KratomTeaParty #RawLeafKratom

    I’m 43 years old and I was struck by a drunk driver in traffic in 1992. I suffered soft tissue neck damage and begin to live at chiropractors offices. Subsequently, I was a victim of a violent crime where my pelvis was crushed and I suffered frequent sciatica, and it became impossible for me to lift my leg without using my hand to move my leg. Due to all the injuries I have had, I developed complications and issues with fibromyalgia, fainting spells and narcolepsy. I used to work for FedEx and AGE. I was a package handler and an Insurance Issue Clerk for the military before, but I ended up in a wheelchair after multiple surgeries. I was never addicted to pain medicine given to me by the doctor, but no matter that they continued to give me it incapacitated me and made me incapable of daily duties and taking care of myself. No matter what the doctor gave me it did not effectively relieve me from the pain I suffer. I developed depression, anxiety and PTSD. One day, I heard about kratom on the internet. I ordered some and it saved my life, so I created and run Kratom United – an organization for others like me and those with other conditions who consume kratom on a daily basis in order to function in life. Before I found kratom I would sleep three to seven days in a row. I was tied to the couch or bed from lack of energy, chronic pain and debilitating depression. I have been on a variety of medications. It would take hours to list them all but here are the names of some of them; Viibryd, Prednisone, Fentanyl Patch, OxyContin, Norco, Percocet, Endocet, Opana, Trazodone, Amitriptyline and Carisoprodol. Over the past 20 years, I also tried various other forms of therapy in addition to medication; physical therapy, chiropractic care, exercise, therapeutic injection treatment and hydrotherapy but still I suffered! I became so incapacitated I could no longer work and three years ago I was granted Disability.
    I am very upset that legislators are told false information. I want you to know the facts; it has no respiratory depression, not one death from kratom alone, it is not on the DEA’s list of banned substances. I am now off all 13 medications and I have a better quality life ; I actually have a life I can participate in now. Before kratom, I would pass out or have black outs from all the medications I was prescribed. Today I remember everything from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep. I am a daughter again. I do chores around the house. I can go to family functions. Sadly, in the past I was asked not to attend because my medications made me an embarrassment to my family. If doctors and states ban kratom, I will be back on all the medication. Being a zombie because of prescription medications and still being in pain is no way to live, no quality of life. Please keep kratom legal.

  7. Normala DeLaney on September 5, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I live in chronic pain 24/7/365 but kratom has saved my life. Before I tell my story, I believe you ought to know my medical conditions. Here’s the list of my diagnosed health conditions:

    1) Degenerative Disc Disease of the lumbar and lumbosacral.
    2) Lumbar facet athropathy
    3) Cervical facet syndrome
    4) Carpal tunnel syndrome, bilateral
    5) Cervical radiculopathy at C6
    6) Neural foraminal stenosis of cervical spine
    7) Trochanteric bursitis of both hips
    8) Fibromyalgia with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    9) GERD
    10) Congenital hiatal hernia
    11) Myofascial pain syndrome

    I was in a wheelchair for a solid 3 months from lumbar herniated disc that affected both of my legs. I had a lumbar surgery for it when the herniated disc ruptured that gave me pain from hell. This traumatic incident and possibly the surgery triggered a full blown Fibromyalgia.

    On top of that I also have DDD with bulging discs and stenosis that are also aggravating surrounding nerves on my spine. I was given Vicodin for my lumbar pain and Percocet after my surgery. I was given Lyrica for the nerve pain. After just a few weeks of being on them, I had already become addicted. When I weaned off of them, I suffered badly from their withdrawal symptoms.

    I am going through another withdrawals right now while weaning off of Cymbalta because of its horrible side effects like all over body pain with intense muscle spasms, extreme fatigue, depression, excessive sweating and additionally neurological ones like brain zaps, tremors, weakness, sudden jerk,  shaking, memory loss, and migraine headaches. I have to add that I went through the similar hell back in April when tapering off of Gabapentin.

    A good friend introduced me to kratom and it has helped me tremendously.  I don’t even have to be on it as much as the pharma drugs that I was on. I only take kratom in the morning after I first wake up, in the afternoon and at bedtime as needed. It is helping me to cope with my current withdrawals from Cymbalta and had helped me too with the Gabapentine withdrawals. Kratom gives me relief from my extreme fatigue and pain so that I am  able to sleep and not be up all night in pain, able to get out of bed  and do many things that most people take for granted, like walking across the room without extreme pain, having the energy interact with my family, ability to keep my work from home job as an Senior Applications Engineer and also kratom helps with my depression such that I feel like the I can continue to fight and not let my issues get the better of me.

    Now that you know that I am a software programmer, you know my job requires a lot of logical thinking. Kratom, unlike Lyrica, Gabapentine,  and Cymbalta, does not make me drowsy and zombie like. I am able to think better with kratom without being distracted by my 24/7 pain. Please do not take kratom away from me and many other folks like me. Doing so, without any similar alternative, will negativity impact our lives and in turn affect our families especially to those of us with kids.

    #IAmKratom #KratomSavesLives #kratomsavesmylife  #denegerativediscdisease #fibromyalgia #livingwithchronicillnesses #chronicillness #chronicfatiguesyndrome

  8. Neal on September 6, 2016 at 12:33 am
  9. Charlie Payne on September 6, 2016 at 5:23 am Now that we all know that thumb sucking is an addiction, we can prohibit opposable thumbs and the Government can no longer have it’s thumb up it’s ass and we can all step back into reality! Then all these pricks at the DEA, CDC and FDA with a wink and a nod from the POTUS, Congress and many Governors. Can stop robbing Peter to pay Paul which leaves Peter in chronic pain with no effective treatment!

  10. cassandra simonson on September 6, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Everyone out there that is thinking Kratom is killing people read this. It Cleary states the DEA IS LYING . LET KRATOM BE LEGAL. IT’S A PLANT THAT IS SAVING LIVES . PLEASE READ THIS AND SIGN THE PETITION TO SAVE KRATOM AND SHARE SHARE SHARE. #Iamkratom #KRATOMSAVESLIVES

  11. Jimmy on September 14, 2016 at 2:01 am

    “Especially concerning, reports note users have turned to kratom as a replacement for other opioids, such as heroin.”
    Sounds like they’re wanting us to stay on heroin. As a recovering addict I certainly never want to go back to that life again. Replacing herion with kratom is a good thing, ya knuckleheads!