The 2020 Election season can be hard to ignore, even for those of us who have checked out from the frenetic discourse.
And while it can be a tough, stressful time of year for many, I have noticed one thing; Americans are participating in their civil duties like never before in this 2020 Election.
One benefit for the kratom community is that the ever-dwindling group of kratom opponents have their attention elsewhere, like on their reelection campaigns. All the while, the scientific community continues to release incredible data regarding the medical potential of kratom.
Kratom and the 2020 Election
While I doubt kratom will be the issue that sways many voters one way or the other, it is notable that kratom has not really come up on the radar of the executive branch. It’s most notable foray was during the epic battle with the FDA in 2016 – which the Kratom community won resoundingly using science, calls for empathy, and teamwork – when the American public mounted a petition to the White House. This garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures. While it turned out to be unnecessary, it was a welcome sight of mobilization, and did not go unnoticed.
As it turns out, the legislative branch will have the greatest impact on kratom. In 2016, the American Kratom Association – which is distinguishing itself as a remarkable organization more akin to a movement than a lobbying group – appealed to Congress and the Senate. Remarkably, over 60 members of both Houses grouped together in a bi-partisan effort to rebuke the FDA’s effort to pressure the DEA into scheduling Kratom. They noted what seemed to be an intentional disregard of scientific fact and the FDA’s insistence on ignoring the hundreds of thousands of voices – just a fraction of the American kratom community – who spoke to the incredible positive impact kratom has had on their life.
Look no further than calls to American congressional bodies to decriminalize cannabis on a federal level for evidence of a changing tide of opinion when it comes to governing all natural substances. It is likely that the next four years could see a federal decriminalization of cannabis, something which would have seemed unthinkable even 10 years ago, as states were struggling to mandate their own local laws to allow for medicinal cannabis.
Legislators and Kratom
One of the most notable political names in kratom is that of Andrew Pelosi. The son of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Andrew added some name recognition to the founding of the American Kratom Association. While we didn’t receive an explicit answer on Mrs. Pelosi’s views on kratom, it does seem that she agrees with her son in principle. Thus, she could be a powerful ally for kratom.
While it’s important to understand the down-ballot implications of our vote anyways, in regards to protecting kratom, it becomes even more important. Ensure that you check your candidates record in regards to kratom when considering your vote, if the issue of kratom merits that level of conviction for you – it may, or may not. The senators and congressmen were rather public in their denouncement of the DEA’s proclamation, and their resistance played no small part in the reversal of the intended ban.
Check to see if your preferred candidate was one of the signatories of the 2016 public letter to the DEA; if so, know that they fought for kratom. It was a remarkably bi-partisan effort, and had some famous names along with it, such as Bernie Sanders. For what it is worth, the signers had a slightly blue tint.
Kratom in 2020 and beyond
It’s difficult to project what either candidate would do if elected, in regards to kratom, should it be pushed to their attention. With any luck, the American Kratom Association will have some time to continue in their mission in seeing the Kratom Consumer Protection Act passed; this vital piece of legislation goes state-by-state, preempting the FDA’s federal mandates, and is seeing promising returns in seeing individual states pass laws which will protect the kratom community and offer welcome regulations.
Trump has said he is targeting the opioid crisis, and it remains to be seen if he would continue this mission and if he would be open to the science which suggests that kratom has tremendous potential in seeking to alleviate the deadly opioid epidemic. Biden, meanwhile, has made overtures saying that he will work to ensure cannabis is made legal, largely in an effort to alter policing and remove the unjust convictions of so many who are unduly punished for cannabis use, something that is now legal in many states. Thus, I don’t think it’s likely that either candidate attacks kratom.
Much of it could come down to the legislature, and the composition of the legislature could very much be in flux for this 2020 election.
Voting is important, especially in a year like 2020. We should all strive to do our civic duty, regardless of who we support. But this year, it may have some extra importance.
While kratom has gone under the radar for a few years, it may come to lawmakers attention again, as the FDA continues their bizarre crusade and the opioid crisis continues to push the medical community to find alternatives that could save lives (like kratom).
So you’ll hear it from me, as I’m sure you’ve heard it elsewhere.
First and foremost, educate yourself, and decide what matters to you on on your own volition, and not that of a party of group.
And most importantly, vote!
Peace and Love,