No International Kratom Ban Is Coming: The WHO Doesn't Have The Authority To Ban Kratom In The USA + The WHO Review Of Kratom Will Take Years
There’s been a lot of negative hype recently about an ‘International Kratom Ban’, and this hype is scaring Kratom users and businesses. However, the truth is that there is no international Kratom ban coming, since the World Health Organization (WHO) has no legislative/judicial authority to ban Kratom in the United States nor any other country, they can only recommend that Kratom should be banned. Further, Kratom is only under a pre-review by the WHO, and not a critical review.
Essentially all the hype started when the FDA posted this notice, which states that the FDA will send a recommendation to the WHO regarding Kratom, and that the FDA is collecting comments from the public in order to help prepare its response.
This FDA statement was somehow misconstrued/marketed into an ‘imminent international Kratom ban’.
However, the notice explicitly states that there are two-levels of WHO review, with some drugs under critical review and some drugs under pre-review. Kratom is on the pre-review list, meaning even if this round is lost by the Kratom community, Kratom will go onto the critical review list and another debate will occur.
Specifically the WHO says: “The substances listed below have been proposed for a pre-review. The purpose of a pre-review is to determine whether current information justifies an Expert Committee critical review. A pre-review is a preliminary analysis and findings at this stage should not determine whether the control status of a substance should be changed.”
This process will take years, since the WHO only convenes annually to debate drugs that should be banned. Therefore, even if all goes wrong, it will be 1-2 years before the WHO officially recommends that Kratom should be illegal.
Further, even if that happened in 1-2 years, Kratom would still be legal in the USA, since only the United States legislator or law enforcement branches have the power to ban Kratom. The WHO’s declaration to ban Kratom would be nothing more than a recommendation.
Thus, no international Kratom ban is coming anytime soon, and Kratom users and businesses don’t need to worry too much about this WHO situation.