This group of lawmakers is slamming the Obama administration for banning another drug

By Christopher Ingraham
September 27

A bipartisan group of 51 U.S. representatives is asking the Obama administration to reconsider a unilateral move by the Drug Enforcement Administration to ban the drug kratom, a plant whose opiate-like effects are making it an increasingly popular alternative for treating pain and drug addiction.

The DEA recently decided to place the drug kratom into schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, the most restrictive regulatory category, "to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety." The ban is likely to go into effect on Friday.

"The DEA’s decision to place kratom as a Schedule I substance will put a halt on federally funded research and innovation surrounding the treatment of individuals suffering from opioid and other addictions — a significant public health threat," the letter states. Mitigating the effects of the national opioid epidemic -- which along with heroin killed close to 30,000 people in 2014 -- has been a major goal of the Obama administration's drug policy.


Letter sent to DEA: