DEA withdraws notice of intent to ban controversial herb Kratom, opens public comment period

Posted: 10:36 PM, Oct 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-12 23:20:31-04
The Drug Enforcement Administration has withdrawn its notice of intent to ban Kratom. The DEA says it was flooded with reaction, challenging the intent to ban the controversial herb. 
Ever since the DEA's August announcement to ban Kratom, Joshua Pardue has been at work. 

"Just writing letters and just trying to get the information and questions answered like, why are you doing this?" said Pardue. 

He's one of the many Kratom users inundating the DEA with comments against banning Kratom. Pardue says he takes Kratom in tea form for his back pain at the Purple Lotus Kava Bar in West Palm Beach. 

"I can be productive. When I was taking medications I was a zombie most of the time and I couldn't properly function to handle my business. I couldn't take care of my kids," added Pardue. 

Kratom opponents say the herb can be addicting and laced with synthetic drugs. The DEA called it an imminent hazard to public safety when it filed its intent to ban Kratom and planned to classify the herb in the same group as heroin and bath salts. 

"I'm very relieved for right now and I really hope that they do the proper process so that way all of the information and facts can come out," added Pardue. 

The DEA will continue to accept feedback from both organizations and members who say the herb is dangerous and from institutions researching the herb's benefits. The public comment period will close December 1. To submit your comment go to .