The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) Technically Does Not Prevent A Kratom Ban Law From Being Enacted At A Later Time; This Could Likely Be Remedied Via Including Explicit Legal Protections For Kratom In The KCPA
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) has been the foundation-stone of the American Kratom Association’s (AKA) push to keep Kratom legal in recent years. Indeed, the AKA has just announced that they are making a major nationwide push to pass the KCPA in as many states as possible, in conjunction with the start of new legislative sessions across the country.
However, despite the merits and benefits of the KCPA, technically the KCPA does not preclude a Kratom ban law from being passed at a later time, and indeed Nevada moved towards banning Kratom last year despite having already passed the KCPA. On the bright side, it is possible to include explicit legal protections for Kratom in the KCPA in order to make it much more difficult to ban Kratom in states where the KCPA has already been passed, as will be discussed in this article.
What Does The KCPA Do?
Before discussing the fact that the KCPA technically does not prevent a Kratom ban, it is important to discuss what the KCPA does.
The point of the KCPA is to properly regulate Kratom products, so that no adulterated or contaminated Kratom reaches the market. Additionally, the KCPA aims to prevent the sale of Kratom to people under the age of 18, in addition to properly labeling Kratom products.
Essentially, the theory behind the KCPA is that proper Kratom regulations will prevent negative Kratom related incidents, and less incidents means the FDA will have less ammunition to get Kratom banned. For example, in the past the FDA has attacked Kratom over a Salmonella outbreak and over heavy metals concentrations, despite the fact that these are problems common to all vegetables. In any case, the KCPA sets up guidelines to prevent Kratom products from being contaminated with Salmonella or excess heavy metals, to prevent such incidents in the future.
Further, there was an incident in Europe where a Kratom product called Krypton was actually laced with the dangerous synthetic opioid O-desmethyltramadol, leading to several overdose deaths, and ultimately this incident caused Kratom to be banned in several European nations.
The KCPA aims to prevent any Kratom products from being laced with any drugs or plants that are not Kratom, to prevent an incident like Krypton.
In summary, the KCPA aims to ensure that only pure Kratom products are available on the market, to prevent any incidents that the FDA can use as fuel to get Kratom banned. Further, it is commonly believed that by educating legislative representatives about Kratom during the passage of a KCPA law, then it is less likely that those same legislators would agree to ban Kratom later on.
There Is Nothing In The KCPA Which Prevents Kratom From Being Banned At A Later Time
While the KCPA certainly does help to educate legislative representatives about the benefits of Kratom, and the KCPA does setup regulations to ensure that only pure Kratom products are allowed to be sold on the market, and both of these of factors theoretically make it less likely that Kratom will be banned, one thing the KCPA does not do is directly prevent Kratom from being banned.
An even more compelling piece of evidence is the fact that Nevada, 1 of only 4 states which have passed the KCPA, moved towards banning Kratom last year despite having a KCPA law in place.
The Nevada Board of Pharmacy (BOP) has started the process to place kratom on its Schedule I list. Nevada lawmakers already passed the Kratom Consumer Protection Act and there is no reason for this new action. Kratom saves lives. The FDA is wrong and the BOP needs to know that.— Mac Haddow (@HaddowMac) July 20, 2020
Fortunately, Nevada did not ultimately ban Kratom last year, but the fact remains that a Kratom ban was proposed in a state where the KCPA had already been passed.
Explicit Legal Protections Could Likely Be Included In The KCPA To Prevent A State Which Passed The KCPA From Banning Kratom At A Later Time
A likely solution to this conundrum is that the KCPA could include explicit legal protections for Kratom, in order to make it much more difficult, if not impossible, for a state to ban Kratom at a later time once the KCPA has been passed.
Although this would not be a silver bullet for keeping Kratom legal, since technically the DEA could ban Kratom nationwide and that would override the KCPA, it is worth doing since it would make the KCPA a much stronger law for keeping Kratom legal, instead of the current situation where a state could easily ban Kratom even if they had previously passed a KCPA law.
On a final note, I am not trying to lambast the KCPA, since the KCPA indeed has merits and benefits as described above. However, if there is something that can be done to make the KCPA much more effective for keeping Kratom legal, such as explicitly including legal protections for Kratom in the KCPA, then it should be done, especially since the Kratom advocacy community is focusing a bulk of its funds and efforts on passing the KCPA.