On August 31, 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published in the Federal Register a notice of intent to temporarily place mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which are the main psychoactive constituents of the plant Mitragyna speciosa, also referred to as kratom, into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.
Since publishing that notice, DEA has received numerous comments from members of the public challenging the scheduling action and requesting that the agency consider those comments and accompanying information before taking further action. In addition, DEA will receive from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation for these substances, which DEA previously requested.
“Kratom is not an opiate. There is no basis for the hysteria that the DEA has tried but failed to stir up,” said Susan Ash, director of the American Kratom Association. “There is simply no good reason to make felons out of three to five million Americans. These are good people who are exercising their right as adults to use a legal product. There is just no justification for criminalizing their voluntary behavior that harms no one.”
DEA is therefore taking the following actions: it withdrew the August 31, 2016 notice of intent, and is soliciting comments from the public regarding the scheduling of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine under the Controlled Substances Act.
The comment period will be open until December 1, 2016.