Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, issued the following statement about the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) intent to place the active materials in kratom, Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, in the Schedule I category of controlled substances.
"The DEA announced on August 31, 2016, it intended to temporarily classify kratom as a Schedule I drug. Under current law, the DEA does have the authority to place a substance under a temporary schedule for up to two years, if that substance is deemed an imminent hazard to public safety. The DEA stated this decision was due to the fact that kratom was commonly marketed as a legal alternative to illegal substances. Additionally, law enforcement has seen a drastic increase in kratom trafficking and usage.
"Because of public concern, the DEA recently withdrew its notice to temporarily schedule kratom and will be taking public comment on the matter until December 1, 2016. Prior to this announcement, I made a formal inquiry to the DEA, requesting they explain their reasoning behind this decision. The DEA has utilized its authority to temporarily schedule substances in the past. However, the abrupt nature of the DEA’s actions, in this instance, is without precedent and going forward should warrant a more open process. It is imperative that decisions such as this are properly scrutinized by the Congress and that the public has the opportunity to offer comments to ensure an informed review process. I encourage you to make your comments known to the DEA prior to the December 1 deadline."