DEA withdraws Kratom ban - Tucson News Now

DEA withdraws Kratom ban

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It's a sigh of relief for people who buy and sell Kratom.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is officially withdrawing plans to ban the plant-based drug. 

Kratom vendors around the country, including in southern Arizona, have been worried about the future of their businesses since August. 

They all thought that selling Kratom would be illegal by the end of September. 

[READ: Plant-based drug Kratom to be banned by end of September]

But an announcement made by the DEA on Thursday, Oct. 13, means people can purchase Kratom for a little while longer.

The DEA had planned to classify Kratom as a Schedule 1 Substance, putting it in the same class as heroin. 

Hundreds of concerned citizens and dozens of lawmakers wrote in - and essentially made the DEA go back on their word. 

The DEA said this is the first time in their history that they've gone back on such a notice. 

The DEA is now requesting official comment from anyone who uses the drug, and asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to do more research. 

They'll look at things like how addictive Kratom can be, and just how many people have gotten sick or died because of it. 

In the last year alone, more than a dozen people have died nationwide. 

Several have visited the hospital because of it. 

But at this point, it's not clear if Kratom alone was the culprit or if it was a combination of drugs. 

Owner of Tucson Kratom, Anna Caffarel said her phones have been ringing off the hook since the announcement was made.

[READ: Plant-based drug Kratom gets more time on store shelves]

Her sales have tripled, and she’s now planning to expand her business.

She wants others to share their positive experience with Kratom so that it can it can remain legal.

"Maybe a couple of people have been addicted, but thousands and thousands of people have gotten relief, without addition, without dying. This isn't happening with Kratom, so it's a good alternative when you're talking about getting off of pain pills or heroin, this is a good alternative,” she said.

You can tell the DEA what you think about Kratom until Dec. 1, 2016.

Comment here: http://tucsonne.ws/2eop2sY

Notice to withdraw: http://tucsonne.ws/2dgRlDT

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. 

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