A lethal threat to the Kratom industry has been lurking in Congress, and it is called the ‘Modernizing Drug Enforcement Act Of 2019‘, also known as H.R. 2580.
If this bill is passed into law, any substance which acts as a mu opioid receptor agonist would be declared a Schedule I illegal drug. Since Kratom is a mu opioid receptor agonist, this means Kratom would be banned as well.
The truly insidious thing about this bill is that the text of the bill does not even mention Kratom. Literally, this bill permanently bans and criminalizes Kratom, and the word Kratom nor the word Mitragyna Speciosa is in the bill.
This means that representatives in Congress could vote for this bill without even realizing that this bill would ban Kratom.
Further, there are actually good reasons to vote for this bill. Essentially, this bill targets synthetic opioid research chemicals, which have been a persistent problem. Basically, blackmarket chemists are constantly tinkering with the molecular structure of well-known opioids like Morphine and Fentanyl, and slightly changing the structure to make new and highly dangerous opioid drugs, and since these drugs have a different molecular structure they are considered legal.
The Federal Analogue Act partially solves this problem, since any molecule substantially similar to a Schedule I opioid is automatically declared Schedule I. However, blackmarket chemists have been making molecules that are not quite similar to already scheduled opioids, but still have extreme opioid effects, and these drugs are legal until they are explicitly scheduled.
This bill would permanently make all synthetic opioid research chemicals illegal, which would undoubtedly save lives since often even a tiny speck of these opioid research chemicals is enough to kill someone.
Therefore, Congressional representatives have good reasons to vote for this bill, and they may not even be aware that this bill actually bans Kratom, which would be catastrophic since it would leave 15 million Americans who use Kratom with no alternative to dangerous and deadly synthetic opioids and opiates.
There is some good news. This bill has been in Congress since May 2019, and therefore isn’t moving fast. Also, there are many legislative steps to go before this bill becomes a law.
That being said, this bill is definitely still alive, and one day it could be pushed through the legislative steps rapidly. Therefore, the Kratom community needs to keep this bill on their radar, and be ready to stop it if it becomes an imminent threat.
Further, rather than wait, the Kratom community should fight now to either change this bill to exclude Kratom, or to kill this bill completely.
One of the best things that Kratom users can do to fight against this bill is to contact the bill’s sponsor, Representative David Phil Roe of the 1st District of Tennessee, using the phone numbers, email, and mailing addresses at this link. If enough Kratom users tell Representative Phil about how Kratom benefited or saved their life, then it is quite possible he will withdraw or modify this bill before it becomes a critical threat.