Using Kratom in Australia has been outlawed. This has crushed a valuable civil liberty for the over 20 million residents. This ban on the sale of this marvelous natural herbal remedy from Southeast Asia sets an unfortunate precedent. This is one of a very few countries in the world who have outlawed the use of Kratom. It may have use flawed or no evidence at all in enacting this law. There does happen to be many centuries of documented information suggesting that Kratom is perfectly safe for human consumption and in fact has powerful medicinal effects that can be enormously beneficial.
Why is Kratom Illegal in Australia?
In early 2003 those in the legislature in Australia began considering which new substances to add to Australia’s registry of controlled substances. One of the substances under consideration was Kratom, the main alkaloid in Mitragyna Speciosa leaves. This alkaloid is called mitragynine and is thought to be the source of many of Kratom’s psychoactive, emotional and physical effects.
The Australian National Drugs & Poisons Schedule Committee ended up recommending that Kratom be classified under the Schedule 9 provision and in 2005 this was approved and became law. This instantly made it illegal to buy, sell, distribute or use Kratom in Australia. Research on Kratom however is still legal and allowed to continue. At the same time this prohibition was enacted in Australia, that country formally recommended to New Zealand that they enact the same policy with regard to Kratom.
Problems with Australia’s Ruling
As the ruling was handed down, members of the committee investigating Kratom admitted that they had no evidence of anyone abusing Kratom in Australia. They also acknowledged that Kratom had not been banned by the World Health Organization. The committee also noted that Kratom does act as a pain reliever and that it can be of value to those trying to withdraw from opiates, and that it’s effective as an anti-diahhreal.
The press pointed out that there were other alkaloids found in plants that provide psychotropic effects that also were not scheduled by the WHO, but nonetheless the ban on Kratom was approved by the Australian government. Many Australians are scratching their heads wondering why.
What does the Legal Status Mean?
Australia’s legislative committee admitted they had no evidence of anyone abusing Kratom or any known health risks from Kratom. But when asked why they banned Kratom they answered that they had acted “proactively” which can only mean that they banned Kratom out of an unsubstantiated fear that there might be problems in the future.
There were two issues that influenced their decision:
1. A study paid for by Smith Kline, the pharmaceutical manufacturer which recommended the ban on mitragynine after conducting clinical trials on the alkaloid. Because this is an all-natural herbal remedy which can treat many of the symptoms that pharmaceutical drugs treat, it’s obvious what the motivation is for a big pharmaceutical company for recommending the ban.
2. The second issue that the committee used to justify its decision to outlaw Kratom in Australia was the ban posed on Kratom by Thailand. The fact that Thailand banned the use of Kratom is bewildering since Thailand is the largest exporter of Kratom and has been for centuries. The plant is indigenous to Thailand and thrives in many regions of the country. With a little bit of digging it’s easy to figure out why the Thai government banned Kratom in 1943.
What happened in 1943 was that Thai government officials wanted to protect the huge profits being made by their illicit and extremely lucrative opium trade. They needed to bury the competition posed by Kratom which does not have significant withdrawal effects. This law is still in effect today. So neither one of these reasons is valid which makes Australia’s ban on Kratom highly suspicious.
Kratom Benefits and Health Risks
Kratom is absolutely not unsafe to the health of Australians. It was used first as a local folk medicine in Asian culture many thousands of years ago. Kratom has demonstrated a perfect health record throughout history. It is currently embraced by those in the alternative medicine community who regard it as an authentic and valuable treatment for a whole host of health issues ranging from hypertension to cancer.
In centuries of widespread use there is no record of any serious health complication that has been attributed to Kratom use. Most studies report that becoming addicted to it or overdosing on Kratom is practically impossible.
Does this mean you Cannot Buy Kratom in Australia?
The reason the ban on Kratom in Australia is important is that it sets a destructive precedent for practices worldwide with regard to health and healing. The legislative committee in Australia issued an all-encompassing ban without any valid or scientific evidence to back it up, just as a precaution. It’s hard to imagine how widespread the effects would be felt every new alternative treatment was buried before proper scientific research had been completed.
Even though there is ample anecdotal evidence over centuries of use that natural herbal remedies can provide powerful treatments for a wide range of health issues people who are suffering all over the world would needlessly be denied the easy, natural remedies that Mother Earth so generously provides. This is what has happened to the people residing in Australia. Therefore it is critical for those residing in other countries like the UK where Kratom is legal take notice of this ban in Australia, and let their own governments know that this will not be tolerated.