If you’ve had one of those days that starts with friends calling you with bad news, and the news just gets worse and worse as the day goes on – then that describes my day perfectly.
On Friday of last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, dropped a bill in the U.S. Senate that our lobbyists believe will give the FDA and DEA a backdoor way of banning kratom completely in the United States.
S. 1327 is euphemistically called the SITSA Act. And a companion bill in the US House of Representatives has already been filed, H.R. 2851, by Representative John Katco of New York.
The SITSA Act stands for the “Stop Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017.”
SITSA creates a new “Schedule A” that gives the Attorney General of the United States the power to ban any “analogue” of an opioid that controls pain or provides an increase of energy.
That is kratom. Because kratom’s 2 primary alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, though not opioids, act similarly in some ways.
They could of just called this bill the “Schedule Kratom” Act.
This legislation will allow the Attorney General, and his supporters at the DEA, to add kratom to Schedule A on a “temporary basis” that will last for 5 years.
And once added to Schedule A, the Attorney General can convert it to a permanent schedule.
After everything that we’ve fought successfully against and endured together as a movement, our lobbyists are concerned that this is now the perfect storm for banning kratom.
Under the current Controlled Substances Act, the FDA and DEA have to prove conclusively that kratom is dangerously addictive and unsafe for consumer use. That’s why we were able to stop them in their tracks when they tried to ram through an “emergency scheduling” ban on kratom.
And it is why the FDA is having such a tough time in finding some justification to schedule kratom under regular rulemaking.
So now the anti-kratom bureaucrats in Washington want to ban kratom simply by claiming it has the same effects as an opioid – calling it an “analogue” of the opioid.
And the SITSA Act can enforce a ban on kratom by criminalizing any manufacturer or distributor of kratom. Ten years imprisonment just for manufacturing or selling a kratom product, and a fine of $500,000 if you are an individual, $2,500,000 if the defendant is a company.
If you import or export kratom, it is a 20-year sentence.
And then there are harsh penalties for what they call “false labeling” of a Schedule A substance.
That’s why am writing – because I need your help again.
We have to convince Sen. Grassley, Sen. Feinstein, and Representative Katko that they have to exempt natural botanical plants from the SITSA Act.
We have to act quickly, because I learned today that the House Judiciary Committee is looking to schedule a Hearing before they leave for recess next month.
So I hope you will help by doing three specific things:
1. Click on the link below and sign our petition that the AKA will have delivered to every member of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.
2. I need you to pick up the phone and call Sen. Grassley’s office, Sen. Feinstein’s office, and Representative Katco’s office. When the staff member answers the phone, tell them that their boss should exclude natural botanicals like kratom products from the SITSA Act.
Here are the phone numbers you should call:
Senator Grassley: (202) 224-3744
Senator Feinstein: (202) 224-3841
Congressman Katco: (202) 225-3701
When you call, be polite, but firm. Kratom should be exempted from SITSA.