In June 2018 the House of Representatives passed a bill called ‘Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues’ (SITSA). This bill would have given the Attorney General the power to make substances illegal, which is incredibly dangerous for Kratom and all other botanicals. Literally, if SITSA became a law, a single individual (the Attorney General) could solely decide to ban a substance nationwide, and since the Attorney General works closely with the FDA, it is likely that Kratom would have been banned.
Congressman Ken Buck of the 4th District of Colorado made a passionate plea to protect Kratom, and created an amendment for SITSA which would prevent any natural botanical substance like Kratom from being scheduled by the Attorney General.
Shockingly, the House would not even hear Representative Buck’s amendment, and instead chose to block the amendment from being debated. Literally, even though the lives and well-being of millions of Americans were hanging in the balance, the members of the House collectively decided to stifle this amendment.
This means the House collectively cared so little about the lives of millions of American Kratom users that they wouldn’t even take some time to discuss protecting Kratom. Also, it probably means that most of the members of the House were in the pocket of Big Pharma and chose profits over lives.
Here is Representative Buck’s statement. It is probably the most accurate statement about Kratom that has ever been said on the floor of Congress, and it is extremely sad that the House didn’t take it seriously.
"I also offered an amendment with Representatives Pocan and Gosar last night that, unfortunately, was not even allowed to be debated here on the floor that would prevent a natural botanic substance like kratom from being scheduled under the new scheduling authority created by SITSA. Unfortunately, it was blocked. Kratom, which is a cousin of the coffee plant, is used by many as an alternative to addictive opioids and a way of escaping addiction. I have heard from so many constituents for whom legal access to kratom is critical to their sobriety and their battle against opioid addiction. We can very simply ensure that that legal access could be retained had this amendment been allowed. If it is cut off, as the FDA and others have been threatening, there is no doubt in my mind, nor should there be any doubt in anybody's mind, that people will resort back to deadly opioids, rather than managing through harm reduction using other compounds that are less dangerous and less deadly, be it medical marijuana or kratom. We are debating these bills today because we know we need to take action to address the opioid epidemic that we all have felt the human face of in our communities. But instead of trying to ban substances and put more Big Government bans on top of things that people are using to recover from opioids, we should be exploring and embracing alternative treatment options to opioids. Simply put, we need to improve access to alternative pain relief options beyond opioids like kratom and like medical marijuana, because 75 percent of opioid abuse starts with prescription drugs usually for pain management. We need to embrace that part of the solution. Increase freedom. Let Americans choose less harmful compounds that work for pain management and free people up to never become the victim of a terrible cycle of opioid addiction. Unfortunately, both of those amendments were blocked."
Fortunately, SITSA never passed the Senate, so it never became a law. However, the fact that SITSA passed the House, and that the House wouldn’t even officially debate protecting Kratom, reveals that numerous members of Congress will do nothing to protect the lives of the millions of Americans who use Kratom.
The whole point of the House is that they are supposed to represent the people, and to pass legislation to protect the people. In this case the House was doing the opposite of its job, and passed a bill which would destroy millions of people, and the only thing that saved the day was that the Senate did not pass it too.
On a final note, the November general election is approaching, and Kratom users should keep the SITSA debacle in mind when voting, since apparently numerous members of Congress are eager to choose profits over lives and ban Kratom.