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Thailand legalizes medical marijuana, Kratom

Thailand has approved the use of cannabis and Kratom for medicinal purposes. Possession of larger quantities and/or trafficking of the plants are still subject to heavy penalties.

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved legalization by a parliamentary vote of 166-0, with 13 abstentions.

Over the course of the last few years, public hearings demonstrated overwhelming support for the legislation, which amended the Narcotic Act of 1979 in an extra-parliamentary session.

Somchai Sawangkarn, chairman of the committee that drafted the legislation, proclaimed, “This is a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people.” (Reported by Reuters.)

The reversal is especially newsworthy considering Thailand was formerly part of a group of South East Asian nations with some the world’s harshest punishments for drug law violations. Marijuana traffickers remain subject to the death penalty in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Read more at Forbes online

Links: Kratom fuels economic boom

Natural Disaster Strikes Southeast Asia

FDA Fails to Follow the Science on Kratom

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New White Paper from the American Kratom Association offers a scathing review of the FDA’s report on kratom.

A new white paper was recently published by the American Kratom Association, a nonprofit that has worked since 2014 to educate the public about the natural drug kratom.  You can download the complete white paper here. The white paper is titled “FDA Fails to Follow the Science on Kratom” . Published this week  and written by Jane Babin, a lawyer and PhD in molecular biology — refutes the scientific process the FDA used to conclude that kratom is a health risk.

Calling the FDA’s review “junk science,” the paper accuses the agency of misrepresenting the evidence regarding kratom. The FDA has attributed several deaths to kratom overdose. In their recommendation to the DEA, the FDA cited 44 cases of kratom-related deaths. In the paper, Babin goes through many of the individual cases cited by the FDA, pointing out their flaws.

Critics say that deaths attributed to kratom are often from other substances. This article in Rolling Stone Magazine gives an excellent summary of the FDA recommendation and the fact that the FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb stands behind the agency’s initial position. Read the entire recent statement from Dr. Gottlieb to Rolling Stone Magazine in this article.

You are reading Kratom News on the Gamelan Bay website. We are a kratom vendor. Shop all of our kratom varieties. We love what we sell and we sell what we love. More about Gamelan Bay. Please contact us here if you have any questions or comments.

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Is the SITSA Act a Kratom-killer?

Is the newly enacted SISTA Act a Kratom-killer? The law provides a loophole the government can potentially use to classify Kratom as a “Schedule A” substance, thereby making it illegal to use or sell.

On June 15, 2018, 239 members of the US House of Representatives voted to pass H.R.2851, the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act, legislation designed to combat this country’s deadly opioid epidemic. SITSA creates a new “Schedule A” substance classification that gives the Attorney General of the United States unprecedented power to ban opioid “analogues” used to control pain or increase energy.

While the stated purpose of SITSA is to empower the Department of Justice to effectively stem the spread of ultra-powerful fentanyl analogues, the broader governmental powers it gives the DOJ worries Kratom supporters. SITSA makes it possible for the Justice Department to add Kratom to the “Schedule A”  list of illegal analogues—sidestepping the usual, more rigorous requirements for adding a substance to the schedules of controlled substances.

With SITSA, all the DOJ has to do is cite the FDA’s recent assessment of the herb as a dangerous substance—even though there’s no evidence of Kratom directly causing a single death from overdose.

Additionally, consumer rights organizations like the Human Rights Watch argue that the bill punishes users instead of the “drug dealers in lab coats” who work for the giant pharmaceutical corporations responsible for opioid addiction crisis. An estimated 75 percent of Americans addicted to opioids started with prescription painkillers.

An HRW spokesman said that while “… the legislation attempts to address the very real problem of synthetic opioid overdoses in the United States … we believe that its methods are misguided. Instead of punishing people who use drugs and low-level dealers, legislation should focus on expanding treatment opportunities and targeting the international drug trade.”

Many Americans are wondering why the same pharmaceutical companies who caused the opioid epidemic are so heavily invested in the government’s efforts to criminalize Kratom.

Writing in Forbes magazine, David Kroll is critical of the poor science employed by FDA Head Scott Gottlieb in a attempt to scare consumers away from Kratom. And by the way, Gottlieb, a Trump appointee, serves on the board of 3 pharmaceutical companies and leads a venture capital firm funding over 150 companies in the drug sector. Gottlieb is reported to have received more than $400,000 from Big Pharma between 2013 and 2015. Can consumers be blamed for wondering if the Head of the FDA is displaying a conflict of interest?

While more research needs to be done, there’s mounting evidence that criminalizing Kratom could possibly increase the number of deaths caused by opioids. Recent surveys suggest that hundreds of thousands of people use Kratom and as many of 70% do so to quit or cut back on opioids.

In September 2016, shortly after the DEA announced it’s intention to classify Kratom as a Schedule 1 substance, 51 members of Congress formally petitioned the DEA to delay placement of Kratom onto Schedule I, so as to allow more time for public discourse and research into useful applications of the herb. A letter accompanying the petition openly challenged claims by the government that Kratom has no known medical use. Cited in the letter was the work of Christopher R. McCurdy, PhD, of the University of Mississippi who investigated the use of Kratom as an analgesic alternative to strong opioids and an aid in recovery from opioid dependence.

Funded by the NIH, McCurdy and his team observed that compounds found in Kratom don’t approach the potency of prescription opioids, morphine or fentanyl, Investigating traditional use of the herb in Malaysia, the researchers observed that locals commonly rely on Kratom to wean themselves from opium, using the herb as an alternate form “… of methadone or Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) maintenance therapy.”

The purpose of the SISTA Act is to improve public health, but the legislation can cause further harm by criminalizing the possession of analogues instead of focusing on underlying issues and treatment resources. If Kratom becomes an illegal substance, we may never have an opportunity to explore use of the herb as a safe alternative to pain pills—and an effective tool in stemming the opiate crisis.

You are reading Kratom News on the Gamelan Bay website. We are a kratom vendor. Shop all our kratom varieties. We love what we sell and we sell what we love. More about Gamelan Bay. Please contact us here if you have any questions or comments.

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Kratom Topics Trending in Google Search

kratom topics growing in popularity

This is an article about Kratom topics growing in popularity on Google Search. We here at Gamelan Bay sell, use and love kratom, but for a lot of people it’s new! Kratom has been used for centuries in Asia. See our article What is Kratom here.

If you’re like us and you run an online store, you’re always thinking “how can I drive more online users to my website?”. Maybe you want to sell more products by showing up in Google Search on the first page, or understand what new products people are interested in, or to make sure you’re abreast of new trends.

No, this isn’t an article about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but that’s what we were doing when we discovered that Kratom Topics are Trending in Google Search. We were trying to research some keywords for our kratom online store (you’re here on the Gamelan Bay website where we sell kratom, ha!)

Kratom has been controversial in the United States over the last year. This has sparked a lot of interest in kratom. The topics all run together…

  • Is kratom legal?
  • Is it a drug?
  • What is kratom?
  • Can I grow my own kratom? (No, it grows in Southeast Asia). You can buy tiny plants from not so reputable vendors…but)

Here are some suggestions from the Google Search Trends :

1) over the last 90 days, Google users searching for kratom topics is up 160% on the Kratom Reddit page.

2) searches are up 140% for user looking to buy kratom at a retail brick-n-mortar shop. Gamelan Bay has a very successful retailer who purchases wholesale from us. Contact us about wholesale opportunities here.

3) There’s a strong interest in Kratom in Kansas. Go figure.


Check back often for new articles, buy a kratom sample pack of Kratom from Gamelan at a discount, or just enjoy your weekend!

Kratom Topics on Google Search