UPDATE: The DEA has delayed its kratom ban (the one it claims was done on an emergency basis “to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety” even though there wasn’t one) “indefinitely” at the last minute after a nationwide outcry that even pissed off a few senators who wrote to the DEA to declare that using emergency powers to ban kratom (and so, without public comment) had never been done on a natural substance, especially not one with such a long and documented history of helping people beat opiate and alcohol addiction.
This is a victory! It isn’t over, but at least the DEA cannot ban it without a public comment period and a public review process.
Meanwhile, studies have shown that in states that legalize medical marijuana, there is an average drop of 25% in deaths by opioid overdose.
That, and thousands less pharmaceutical drug prescriptions get written in those states.
Do you see what I see?
Prescription pain pills are killing people. Lots and lots of people.
It’s being referred to as a global “crisis.” The National Institutes of Health estimate that somewhere between 26.4 and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the number one cause of accidental death in the US is drug overdose, but more specifically, pharmaceutical drug overdose; of the 47,055 people in America who died of an overdose in 2014 for example, a whopping 40% of them died taking prescription pain relievers.
It is a simple, undeniable fact these perfectly legal pills kill more people than any other drug out there.
It’s a deadly crisis, and yet…
And yet, nothing is changing. Stricter policies on opioid prescriptions to stem the “crisis” of death and suffering in their wake are not being put into place. In fact, the FDA just approved a new prescription narcotic painkiller, Zohydro, which is five times as strong as regular hydrocodone and about which two of the FDA’s own controlled substances staff officially warned would likely be even more abused than hydrocodone. The FDA went against its own staff’s advice in approving the new, more addictive, even deadlier drug.
Worse, the government is fighting every natural pain medication it can tooth and nail to force people to take big pharma’s deadly chemical cocktails.
Despite wider legalization of it across the country, the DEA is fighting marijuana more than ever, a plant which the government actually holds a patent on as an antioxidant and neuroprotectant just by the way, as if its the deadliest drug on the planet… even going so far as to keep even the non-psychoactive components cancer patients use illegal.
They have also made sure it stays classified as a Schedule I drug. As Lisa Egan of Nutritional Anarchy reported:
Cannabis will continue to share Schedule 1 status with heroin, LSD, and methaqualone (Quaalude). Drugs in this category are more strictly regulated than the powerful prescription painkillers that have killed more than 165,000 people since 1999. To understand just how absurd keeping marijuana under Schedule I is, take a look at the list of drugs that are under the less-restrictive Schedule II: oxycodone, methamphetamine, methadone, fentanyl, Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrine, and…cocaine.
So, in the eyes of the DEA, marijuana — which has killed no one — is more dangerous than meth? Meanwhile as mentioned, if you look up drug stats on what drugs are actually killing people, overdoses on prescription painkillers always kill more people than anything else, save for perhaps alcohol poisoning (and alcohol is of course legal).
The items on Schedule I are listed as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”. No current medical use for marijuana? Decades of science says otherwise. Guess that’s why they are raiding 81-year-old cancer patients who grow four whole marijuana plants as if those people are the most dangerous threat to public safety.
But in reality, his plants are only a threat to corporate and criminal justice profits… If people can naturally heal themselves and their pain, they don’t need costly synthetic corporate poisons, do they? In addition, more than half of drug arrests involve marijuana, so there’s a huge criminal justice economy built around putting people in jail for it. (They could just legalize and tax it like Colorado and Washington have done, but that’s neither here nor there… someone has to feed the prison-industrial complex in a nation that puts more people per capita in prison than any other country on the face of the planet…)
Now its coming out just how much lobbyists for Big Pharma’s opioid “crisis” have spent to shape federal policies on marijuana and other natural painkillers while fighting state limits on pharmaceuticals that are mass murderers by comparison.
AP and the Center for Public Integrity found:
The industry and its allies spent more than $880 million nationwide on lobbying and campaign contributions from 2006 through 2015 — more than 200 times what those advocating for stricter policies spent and eight times more than the influential gun lobby recorded for similar activities during that same period…
Wow. Nearly a billion dollars to influence pharmaceutical and legalization policies, and that includes the fight against medical marijuana in states across the country.
Now the DEA is also banning kratom — yet another natural painkiller. (See a pattern here?) Kratom is a crushed leaf powder that people use to control pain, in addition to fighting anxiety, depression, PTSD, and even addictions to the drugs that are truly dangerous… It has also been said to boost the immune system, to lower blood pressure, to help with diabetes management and it is touted for its anti-viral properties. You name it. People actually typically prefer it to prescription painkillers because it doesn’t make them feel hungover and it isn’t addictive in the way prescription narcotics are. (Sounds just like the type of thing the government loves to ban, doesn’t it?)
Starting October 1st, the DEA is going to temporarily classify kratom as Schedule I as well even though it is essentially harmless. It comes from a tree in the coffee family found in Southeast Asia where indigenous people have used it for hundreds of years. Just like marijuana, no one has died from using kratom.
But you know what has happened? The pharmaceutical industry has used kratom alkaloids to manufacture their synthetic opioids and then patent them.
So they’ll take away the natural one and give you a legally approved fake one. The synthetic stuff? Go ask your doctor for some today! The plant you can grow in the backyard? Schedule I most dangerous. Drug. Ever!
Have you caught on yet that the DEA’s drug schedule is arranged based on how much financial damage the drugs on it might do to Big Pharma and not physical harm they might do to the American public?
The bottom line is that these drug bans aren’t about keeping people safe. If the system wanted to keep people safe, they would restrict the prescription of drugs that have killed hundreds of thousands of people in this country — the majority of which are prescription opioids — instead of approving more of them.
No, this is about ensuring people will have no natural alternatives to healing themselves except corporations who synthesize products that ensure addiction and death.
The war on drugs is a war on us.