In July/Aug 2016 the DEA announced that it would classify kratom as a schedule 1 substance. A schedule 1 substance means that the rememdy in question view, the drug has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
This action from the DEA caused a tremendous uproar in the USA. Advocacy groups were very quick to fight the ban, a demonstration close to the White House was organized and a petition with more then 100.000 (!!) signatures was send to the White house.
Besides all this a bipartisan letter drafted by U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ) to the heads of the DEA and the Office of Management and Budget was signed by more than 50 members of Congress. It called for a delay in implementing the ban, calling the decision to ban the “internationally recognized herbal supplement” as “hasty” and noting that this would have a serious effect on consumer access and innovation in treating individuals suffering from addictions.
Because of all this the DEA decided on 13th october 2016 that it would withdraw its intent to temporarily schedule mitragynine and 7-HMG because of “numerous comments from the public. The DEA would give the public (kratom users et al) time to send additional comments, statements and reasons why kratom should remain a substance free to use. The DEA set the deadline for these comments at December 1st.
During this 6 weeks deadline more then 23000 comments were received by the DEA. Almost all in favor of keeping kratom off the banned list. Many of these comments were very well crafted and very well written, stating very serious reasons why the people sending these comments needed kratom for their life, welbeing and how a ban of kratom would negatively effect those peoples life.
This caused the DEA to look at kratom from another angle and for now the DEA has decided it will not continue with the ban.
What the future will bring for Kratom we don’t know but this is an unprecedented occurrence, the DEA does not normally reverse schedule 1 decisions.