Why is the DEA rushing through an emergency ban on a plant that may cure opiate addiction? Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.
“The Drug Enforcement Agency has announced plans to make an herbal drug that could potentially help recovering opiate addicts illegal in the United States.
Kratom, an plant native to southeast Asia, activates the same brain receptors as opioids that relieve chronic pain, but anecdotal evidence has found the plant to have fewer side effects and less addictive qualities than its prescription cousins. It’s commonly purchased from smoke shops or online providers without any federal regulation.
But now, the DEA is placing it under the most restrictive category of controlled substances, Schedule I.
Decades of anecdotal evidence have found that some people have successfully used kratom in the place of hydrocodone or methadone, popular drugs used by doctors to treat opioid addiction. Other stories of kratom addiction, however, paint a different, darker picture.”