The DEA announced their plan to ban the herb Kratom in the United States as of September 30. The move has been met with panic and outrage by countless users who say the leaves are harmless.
Kratom, which is closely related to the coffee plant, will be effectively outlawed as the Drug Enforcement Agency has banned the compounds mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine which are found in in the herb.
Advocates of kratom argue that the leaves do not make you “high” per se, but rather offer a great alternative to traditional and addicting pharmaceutical pain relief. It has also been used to treat psychological disorders and those coming off of opiates, taking the edge off from the excruciating withdrawal process. Heavy spoke with several advocates of the plant, which is mainly used in powder and leaf form for tea, and was overwhelmed by responses of those wanting to share their experiences. Users of kratom cannot be categorized into one group and include veterans, lawyers, teachers, healthcare workers, the young, elderly and just about everyone in between. You can see more of this diversity firsthand by clicking this gallery with corresponding stories. h/t heavy
Many believe that by taking away this seemingly harmless herb, innocent and valuable members of society will lose their lives in the process.