Kratom is Safe In Vermont!
UPDATE 12/31/16: 7HM remains in the Emergency Drugs Ban, with no mention of Kratom, or clarifying the rule by specifying isolated 7HM or synthesized 7HM. However, it is on the record, in the minutes, that the whole leaf is not what they are looking for and that the state does not intent to go after the plant. That said, Major Kratom relocated to New Hampshire to avoid complications.
The Vermont Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules met Thursday, 0800, 1/24/13 at the Vermont State House. This was to be the final ruling on whether the alkaloid 7-Hydroxy-Mitragynine would remain on the list creating a gray area regarding the legality of Kratom in ground and simple tincture forms.
Clinical Herbalist, Justin Garner of Sweet Flag Medicinals in Brattleboro, VT and I, Bill Lockwood of Major Kratom testified as part of the agenda. The LCAR committee was very receptive of the testimony which:
- Compared Kratom to Krypton, a designer drug (synthetic opiate) that used Kratom as a carrier/bulker to cut 0-DT - a more potent form of tramadol
- Identified the many uses of Kratom by reading some customer testimonies. Thank you for sending those in. These were key in humanizing the issue, attaching the wellbeing of your families, etc
- Noted the huge increase in opiate pain killer prescriptions, and the corresponding increases in deaths due to accidental overdose
- Corrected some misinformation from the department of health
- 25g Kratom dose - that doesn't sound good
- Banned in europe - actually sweden due to the Krypton deaths
- Banned in indonesia - actually Thailand due to Act 2486 of 1943, to enforce Opiate taxes
- The LCAR Chair suggested that the rule was unclear. Did a ban on 7HM mean a ban on Kratom in its natural state?
- This was interesting, and ultimately it was decided that the threat was ultra-potent synthesized 7HM or isolated 7HM was the risk - after all this is a bath salts bill
- The committee recommended that Kirk Kimball (Dept. Of Health Organic Chemistry Program Chief and Bessie Weiss (Dept. Health Legal Counsel) take another week to create language in the bill that specifically targets isolated and/or synthesized 7HM and not the whole Kratom leaf
- Richard Marek, the Chair of the Committee, made it clear that the bill as it stood created a gray area for those that distribute and consume kratom - and that the practice of law creation didn't like gray areas. He suggested a gray that would make Justin and myself uncomfortable. It was left that the target was the 7HM in a form that could be abused and not the beneficial Kratom leaf
- It seemed by the end of the meeting, the Committee was educated on the benefits of Kratom and that its typically cited drawbacks did not out weigh the benefits
- Letters sent in to the Board of Health, Kirk/Bessie, should have (and may have) also gone to the LCAR committee. As a learning we see that the non-scientific parts of state government are more concerned with compassion and the human aspect; where as the Department of Health is concerned with safety and drawbacks as opposed to health as a whole.
- Luckily the Dept. of Health also agrees that the threat of abuse is 7HM alone and that Kratom is not a threat in a non-enriched form
For those interested we'll post the handouts that we used below. Foot notes went a long way in these.
Major Kratom One Sheet - http://bit.ly/Xs7FUE
Sweetflag Medicinals One Sheet - http://bit.ly/VzH8Wb
Also, the champion of the hearing was Linda, a sufferer of Lyme disease, and the extreme anxiety that accompanies it. Linda read her prepared and succinct testimony. As she went on she struggled more and more to be able to speak, at times sounding like she'd burst into tears. She showed the committee real proof that there was a human need for Kratom, and that this was an issue of compassion not to be taken lightly. Thank you Linda - you were incredible.