Do Not Ban Kratom

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Commissioner Jacobs and staff,      I understand that you are sponsoring a ban, which would make the medicinal herb, Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and/or its constituents Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy-mitragynine, illegal in your county.  I ask you to make an informed decision by educating yourself on the safety of this plant compared to coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs, and I urge you to research the medicinal potential that this plant has ALREADY displayed. Consider reasonable legislation that would restrict its use to 18+ like other states. I . Kratom can provide a safe and herbal alternative to an epidemic which is most prevalent in Broward County more than any other county or city on Earth. Oxycontyn and opitate abuse can be avoided altogether with use of this herbal supplement. It is used by people as a safe alternative to addictive pain killers. It is also used to stop the withdrawal symptoms from stopping of opiates. Kratom is not an opiate but is helpful for people who are trying to stop using opiates. It is in fact the opposite of what it has been portrayed to be by the grieving Mautner family and many other misinformed media outlets. I urge you to please take a look at the information and consider altering your desire to ban this plant. We urge you and your members to please look at what other government officials before you have done and consider regulating it for use to adults.  The following are important facts for your consideration:   Kratom is a plant, not a synthetic chemical or a “Street Drug” Kratom is in the same family as the coffee tree (Rubiaceae) Kratom is no more habit forming than coffee Kratom has been safely used for thousands of years as a medicine No one has ever died from taking Kratom It is impossible to over dose on Kratom   Tens of thousands of Americans can attest to the beneficial properties of Kratom. The following states proposed similar legislation and after hearing from the community and getting a better understanding of this amazing plant, amended their legislation. The Arizona House of Representatives have accepted an amendment in HB2453 to remove Kratom from its current synthetic cannabinoid law. This was the first legislative victory for the BLD. Kratom also remains legal in Illinois thanks to Representative Dennis M. Reboletti. Reboletti accepted an amendment in HB5526 proposed by the BLD to regulate Kratom to people 18 and over. Similarly in Oklahoma, the Botanical Legal Defense and their lobbyists were able to educate and inform the Oklahoma lawmakers of the numerous positive benefits of Kratom. An Amendment in HB 2666 to have Kratom remain legal was quickly accepted. Supporters of Kratom have played a big role in Iowa, where HSB640 was proposed to ban Kratom. Letters and phone calls to the House of Representatives persuaded non-passage of the law. The bill died on the floor without getting passed, allowing Kratom to remain legal in Iowa.  And in Illinois the bill was amended to restrict Kratom sales to Adults only. Here is the section from the bill:   AN ACT concerning criminal law. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly: This Act may be cited as the Kratom Control Act. Kratom sale to or possession by minors is prohibited. As used in this Act, "Kratom" means any parts of the plant Mitragyna speciosa, whether growing or not, and any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of that plant, including but not limited to mitragynine and 7- hydroxymitragynine. A minor under 18 years of age shall not knowingly purchase or possess any product containing any quantities. A minor under 18 years of age in the furtherance or facilitation of obtaining any product containing Kratom shall not knowingly display or use a false or forged identification card or transfer, alter, or deface an identification card. A person shall not knowingly sell, buy for, distribute samples of, or furnish any product containing any quantity of Kratom to any minor under 18 years of age. Sentence. Violation of subsection (b) or (c) of this Section is a Class B misdemeanor. Violation of subsection (d)of this Section is a Class B misdemeanor for which the offender shall be fined an amount of not less than $500.


Furthermore, Kratom and its 30+ active alkaloids show tremendous medical potential.  The legislation, as it currently reads, would place Kratom and its alkaloids in the proposed kratom ban. Banning this is not a sensible approach to regulating this plant.    Current peer reviewed studies on Kratom and its constituents have shown that Kratom has no acute toxicity, displays powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties, assists with drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, contains several oxindole alkaloids which have exhibited potent immunomodulation properties, and even contains constituents that have exhibited anti-cancer properties!  A brief search in any scholarly database will present hundreds of peer reviewed studies and clinical trials that can attest to the medical potential of this plant.


A few more facts for you to consider when making your informed decision:  


Kratom has never caused a single recorded death and as is about as addictive as coffee. According to the CDC, cigarette smoking causes 440,000 deaths in the United States every year; about one of every five deaths in this country are caused by cigarettes!   Alcohol causes more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking each year!   Pharmaceutical drugs are one of the leading causes of death in this country, killing one American every 19 minutes! Prescription opiate pain killers account for more than 475,000 emergency room visits annually. Over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol send over 56,000 people to the emergency room each year with liver related complications. The Mayo Clinic has reported a 28% increase in overall mortality in people who drink 4 cups of coffee per day.  If you insist on regulating Kratom, please regulate to 18 and over.  This would ensure only responsible adults have access to this safe and mild herbal alternative and allow researchers to continue to develop valuable medicines that would benefit MILLIONS of Americans.   Here are some links to articles about the benefits of kratom and its safety      


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