Friday, September 16, 2016

DEA War On Drugs, Kratom Once Again Puts America On The Wrong Side Of History

800px-Kratom_leafJennifer Aldridge
September 16, 2016

Yes, let us, as a nation, be on the wrong side of history yet again. Let us imprison generations of working, law-abiding citizens for their use of a harmless ancient medicine. Let us take their possessions when the users are arrested. (To be clear, the wealthy will continue to have access to any medicine they choose, natural or synthesized.) The black market criminals love a new source of profit and power.

Yet-to-be-born Americans will judge this generation of American lawmakers and law enforcement harshly, if M. Speciosa is scheduled as a "controlled substance."  This scheduling will be viewed much as the American and European witch trials, viewed like the racist and classist prohibition of cannabis. It will be viewed as ignorant, xenophobic farce, and class warfare in addition. It will be viewed as greed and will be upheld tragi-comically, obvious to future gradeschoolers as corruption, obvious to future historians as a grim list of the evils of power imbalance.

The postponement of scheduling kratom would allow for public and private institutions to at least begin, if not complete, the studies necessary for a more complete picture of this plant medicine.

This medicine will be vindicated.

Kratom has not killed a single person. Ever.

If kratom is to be scheduled, postponement would hopefully allow for patients with chronic conditions to find a replacement. I pray the replacements will not be the toxic and ineffective opioids and dirty black market substances but, be assured, American government officials that have our best interests in mind, the replacements will be none other than those listed. People use kratom because conventional medications and the institution of conventional medicine itself, has already failed them. Humans cannot be flattened and sedated into productive and worthwhile living. The pharmaceutical and therapeutic offerings simply do not work for many suffering people.

If kratom is scheduled, now or later, the United States will have an entirely preventable medical and social tragedy, bloodying the hands of a law enforcement agency, and those that allowed a law enforcement agency carte blanche to make and enforce law.

American law is supposed to be based on a more objective and prudent system of checks and balances. The DEA is willfully circumventing the established rule of law.

Are we not free, as Americans, to heal our bodies outside of the chemical dystopia of psychiatry, ineffectual pain management practices, and the fraud of expensive drug addiction therapies? If the whole plant medicine does not work, why would American citizens continue to use kratom? Conventional medicine and the machinations of Big Pharma have failed suffering people and ruined lives, no matter the intent of the individuals populating these institutions.

Is M. Speciosa being scheduled because the labs and institutions of Big Pharma could not yet find a way to sneak their bloody hands into the cookie jar of unprescribed and unscheduled plant medicine?

Opiates kill. Energy drinks kill. Dishwasher gel packs poison children. Acetominophen kills. Button batteries kill children. High school football kills and disables young adults. Sugary snacks produce a high and contribute to poor health. I know from experience that home brewed coffee is more addictive and produces more euphoria than kratom ever could. Where is the outcry over these things? Where is the violent repression, the search and seizure of artifact and paraphernalia? Where are the flash bombs and the use of deadly force to subdue the citizenry that risks harm with the chemicals and activities listed above? None of the above things warrant scheduling, and neither does kratom. The DEA is acting extrajudicially with the hubris of generations of overreach. This cannot be allowed to continue.

In this climate of mistrust and obscene abuses of power, do law enforcement agencies really need more unchecked power? The DEA is a disease, corrupt to the core and infecting any part of the citizenry it touches with rot and death. The DEA as an institution murders and lies to perpetuate itself. It has eviscerated lives, families, communities, doing more harm than good. It has done this for decades, for generations. The DEA does not need yet another substance over which to perpetuate deadly, civilian-killing, no-knock warrants.

One day, there will be a memorial for the productive lives lost and the deaths committed due to the DEA's senseless prohibition and violent overreach concerning the scheduling of the medicinal cannabis plant. Must there be one by its side, memorializing the physical deaths and imprisonment of M. Speciosa users, commemorating the loss of American freedom and personal sovereignty to a law enforcement agency?

Jennifer Aldridge is a guest contributor to and is the owner/operator/artist

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