Mitragyna Speciosa or Kratom is a leafy green tree of the Rubiaceae family native to Southeast Asia and particularly Thailand, where it has deep roots in the culture of the southern provinces. The Thais have long held Kratom in esteem and incorporated it into the local folklore where it appears regularly as a kind of accoutrement in traditional theater and as a common touchstone within tales passed down via the oral tradition. Today, however, in some parts of the “developed” world, Kratom is under pressure from regulators seeking demons in the mists of the sacred rain forest.

The Struggle for Kratom Truth

The truth, as they say, needs no witnesses. It simply is and whether one acknowledges it or denies it the truth doesn’t change. Politics, on the other hand, is the art of creating true-sounding arguments to sell the masses in order to channel public money and energy toward a given politician’s agenda. The political “truths” that emerge for public consumption have been hammered out during countless hours of closed door bargaining between those championing different agendas and presented in carefully scripted sound bites before the media. So it is with the effort to “regulate” Kratom.

In some ways regulation is the inevitable consequence (at least in the so-called developed world) of a thing’s rising popularity. Politicians always keep an eagle eye open for anything that might appear on the horizon that they can use either as leverage to propel their own agenda or leverage to halt the advance of competing agendas

Truth and the Political Process: Oil and Water 

Once a thing reaches a certain level of visibility or acceptance it enters the realm of political discourse where rhetoric is thrown at it until something sticks. Battle lines are then drawn and the populous encouraged to take sides. Often however, as in the case of Kratom, the ‘opposition’ form primarily out of a need to reset the discourse. That is, re-establish the truth before things go too far down a road paved with nonsense and lies.

In the case of Kratom, nonsense and lies include attempts to classify it as a ‘schedule 1 controlled substance’, (which is patently absurd), and attempts to make it illegal for anyone to purchase or keep Kratom on their person or property. Reasons are couched in the sincere-sounding rhetoric of ‘safeguarding the public’. Though safeguarding them from what is never quite explained. The simple fact is, if you pull back the curtain on these pieces of legislation you find that the man standing there pulling the levers is wearing a hat that says “Big Pharma”.

Few who know the truth about Kratom are arguing for any particular piece of legislation to paint it in a ‘positive light’ in the eye of the public. More research and support is needed, and everyone capable needs to help fight this battle in their state.