The Folly of Banning Herbs

by Paul Kemp

Forbidding humanity to use herbs and plants hasn’t worked since the Garden of Eden, but that hasn’t stopped governments from trying. What’s that definition of Insanity? “Doing the same action over and over and expecting a different result.”? We and our political leaders need to stop pursuing insane objectives.

Herbs, of the psychoactive variety, can be very helpful thinking aids, giving us a different perspective on our problems which can lead to creative solutions (that we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.) Many famous writers and thinkers have used herbs for this purpose.

Kratom is about as psychoactive as coffee, but contains far more health benefits than that other herb — marijuana — which is far more psychoactive in the usual sense of the word. Nevertheless, both are herbs that elicit a love-hate response from lawmakers. (They’ll hate it until it makes so much money, the State can’t resist getting some tax revenue from it!)

The Bell Curve of Herb Use

If society perceives an herb as “dangerous”, it is called a drug. However, a drug made by a pharmaceutical company can do no wrong in the eyes of the State, even if it occasionally kills a few people.

There is a bell-curve that depicts the prevalence of the use patterns of drugs in any society, anywhere. Even when a drug is formally banned, some people will still choose to use it.

In Saudi Arabia, where the penalty for possession of alcohol or forbidden drugs is severe, a few people still use them. Drug traffickers, even for hashish, are beheaded.

It is impossible to generalize about the habits of those who will eventually use herbs, except to say that a majority will use these substances constructively, some will be totally uninterested in using them, and a relatively small number will abuse them, even to the point of death.

I don’t believe it’s society’s job to restructure that individual’s consciousness so they won’t harm themselves.
There need to be social institutions, churches, or whatever, that an individual joins which could try to persuade them not to harm themselves. It is not the government’s job.

It is ironic that the drugs most governments approve of — and collect a tax on — are deadly. Alcohol, tobacco, and many pharmaceutical drugs fall into this category.

Some medicinal drugs that are approved by the FDA cause suicidal thoughts, though if there are any other factors to blame, these approved drugs get a “pass”. This seems to be an unwritten law of journalism these days.

Usually, it is the herb that gets banned and the synthetic, patented pharmaceutical derivative gets the applause of the media and officialdom.

Mankind copies Nature’s best creations, patents them, and then demands that the original inspiration for the pharmaceutical drug to be banned. Oddly enough, many of us find that the pharmaceutical copy is no improvement on the original herb.

It is not in society’s interest to restrain everyone because a few can’t use the herb or substance to their benefit. There is a long tradition of artists, writers, mathematicians, poets, and musicians who have used herbs and other substances — and we wouldn’t have the fruit of their genius any other way.

Kratom Is a Very Misunderstood Herb!

Kratom is one of the herbs with the least abuse-potential of any I’ve ever encountered. It has an automatic ceiling on how much a person can consume before the whole quantity gets expelled. For most people, that’s a great incentive to use it very moderately.

There are occasionally people who neurotically are obsessed with drinking water. They drink too much water — to the point that it thins out the electrolyte content necessary to keep them alive, and they die.

This is a quirk of human nature and it is a fool’s errand to try to ban substances and inert objects like guns (or water), to prevent any possible danger.

The wisest policy a government can enact is to warn people of actual dangers and to create an environment where citizens have an incentive to do their own research to learn to use herbs for their benefit, while avoiding harm.

It is a useful incentive to know that they are personally responsible for their actions in every instance.
No-one is protecting them. The belief that a product has been tested by its maker, who then paid a large sum of money to the FDA, and is now “safe” for use should give the public second-thoughts.

As we have seen in practice, we can’t depend on the FDA or CDC to protect us. They are not protecting us; they are protecting the company that paid to get the patent in too many cases.

The best use of a police force is to protect individuals from each other, not prevent them from doing harm to themselves. The costs to society where every person was protected from harming themselves (in the State’s opinion) would be too great — a terrible waste of resources that could be used more productively.

And yet, protecting us from ourselves has become a standard practice in our country. This has not eliminated the use of “banned” drugs. If anything, it has enticed more people to use these substances with more wild abandon.

Simply put, banning herbs is socially destructive, it weakens the moral fiber of the people, and it doesn’t achieve its stated objective…every time!

The Volstead Act, banning liquor consumption in the 1920s and thirties was a flop. Worse than that, the alcohol that was supplied came from criminal elements, was poorly made(dangerous), and put huge profits into the hands of criminal gangs.

Marijuana prohibition has accomplished the same result. It has wrecked many individual lives, many families, and been highly disruptive socially and economically — and, it has had virtually no effect on the number of people interested in using the herb.

Why are cities, counties, and states even considering banning the herb, kratom, in view of the past failures of prohibitions? Proposing to ban anything is insane and a waste of time, lives, and money.

The ultimate proof than even the strictest bans don’t work is that the prison population in the USA has more access to drugs than do the citizens outside the walls. I have heard this from personal conversations with prison guards, as well as former inmates.

So, when are we going to learn that bans, if they accomplish anything, it is to encourage people to use whatever substance more furtively, with more abandon, and more irresponsibly? They will “use it like they’re about to lose it”, which is exactly what society doesn’t want!

People need to be encouraged by their parents and peers to make informed decisions for themselves, whether or not to use herbs or other substances. It will be they who suffer — or benefit — depending on how they approach the task.

The notion of banning an herb like kratom, which has so much potential to relieve human suffering and help boost our spirits is absurd. We need the freedom to learn about it and use it — and the public is doing a good job of teaching each other how to do that. To ban it so as to force millions of people back into the greedy arms of the pharmaceutical industry is totally unacceptable. It would be a big step in the wrong direction, toward a fascism of consciousness.

I believe the purpose of life is to evolve to higher states of consciousness, health, and happiness. Restraining people from exploring their mental capabilities hinders human and scientific progress.

It makes no sense for marijuana to be heading toward legality while kratom is moving (or being pushed) in the opposite direction. To make kratom illegal to please the pharmaceutical industry would be a huge mistake. If anything, many of their useless and damaging products, such as statin drugs and fluoroquinolone antibiotics, should be outlawed for the egregious harm they do. There are natural substances that do a better job — even if they don’t make Big Pharma any money.

The powerful corporations we call Big Pharma are obsolete and do more harm in their present form than they benefit us. Their monopoly should be ended.

Big Pharma’s drugs are killing people. Kratom is not.

Our republic was not set up to help corporations make windfall profits by harming the health of the people and the fiscal health of the nation. That’s the way our government is being used now and those laws and regulations need to be changed.

Those we elect to public office need to become convinced that the majority of voters are aware of the corruption that allows the pharmaceutical industry to wreck our health — and we’re tired of it.

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