Proposed Florida ban on kratom opposed by Libertarians

Bradenton, Florida – The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) is the third largest political party in Florida and has come out against HB 183 & SB 424, which would effectively ban kratom in Florida. Kratom is a plant from the coffee tree family and is commonly taken recreationally or medicinally as a pain killer and to alleviate the symptoms of opiate addiction.

Kratom is one of the only known substances able to work in the brain similarly to opiateskratom without the negative effects and risks of opiates such as heroin and is often used by Floridians to end their addiction to heroin as well as prescription painkillers. According to the Florida Department of Health, “no pervasive health issues have been attributed to the ingestion of kratom products in Florida.” Kratom has enjoyed a surge of use in the United States and is becoming increasingly popular as people ingest it as an alternative to alcohol, opiates, and pharmaceutical drugs, as it comes with far lesser side effects and a long history of safe human consumption.

Kratom has also been falsely implicated as the cause of a few deaths in the U.S.; there have been zero deaths directly linked with kratom itself. While there have been a handful of deaths of individuals with kratom in their system, those individuals had other legal and illegal substances in their body as well. So, when politicians or the general media suggest someone died from using kratom, they are outright lying. And when other anti-kratom advocates suggest that its use is addictive, it is as is about as habit-forming as coffee.

“This is a move by the state to protect the big pharma monopoly at the cost of all Floridians,” said LPF Chairman Braden.

Karl Dickey, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County said this morning, “We defeated proposed bans in Palm Beach County as well as Broward and will continue to stop this misguided legislation on the state level. Legislators are betting on the ignorance of the public to ban this beneficial plant without cause. Even the Broward County medical examiner testified before the Broward County Commission that in the U.S. no deaths have been directly caused by the consumption of kratom.”

The choice to consume certain foods, drinks as well as drugs and other substances, comes with their own inherent risks. The Libertarian Party of Florida is suggesting that it is up to the individual to make a calculated decision when choosing what to put into one’s own body. The LPF believes that it is ultimately up to the individual to take responsibility for their own actions and it is not the job of government to interfere with the lifestyle decisions of individuals. Neither is government intervention an effective means in protecting the individual from drugs or decisions that may be harmful.

The Libertarian Party stands for the protection of the rights of consenting adults to participate in activities that may be harmful to the self as long as those activities do not violate the rights of others. A Kratom ban in Florida will only result in a black market for the substance while turning otherwise law-abiding users into criminals and denying them possible medical relief.

Concerned citizens are being encouraged to write their Florida representatives and urge them to vote “NO” on this legislation when and if either of these bills come before them.

The Libertarian Party of Florida is opposed to all vice laws, including the ability for consenting adults to purchase, manufacture, and consume anything of their choice so long as those individuals accept responsibility for their actions – positive or negative. Government prohibition always results in a violent black market that lacks quality control and legal protection for the consumer.

The LPF believes that by ending the War on Drugs and treating drug addiction as a medical, rather than a criminal condition, it will lower the rate of drug abuse across society and increase the viability of treatment. An end to drug prohibition is less expensive for the taxpayer and is compassionate to the addict and abuser. At the same time, ending drug prohibitions allows individuals who suffer from ailments that diminish their quality of life to take drugs that may alleviate their symptoms without worry of criminal penalties that are often more dangerous. As such, the proposed kratom ban is diametrically opposed to the party’s platform. While the LPF does not condone the use of kratom or other substances, they oppose the government’s restriction on adults who wish to use them.

It should also be noted, that some drug rehab representatives have testified before elected officials in favor of banning kratom. However, one needs to realize, that often the reason for their testimony is that they, and “Big Pharma”, are losing business to kratom as patients are able to ween themselves off hardcore drugs like heroin with the use of kratom. Dickey added, “It’s always a useful exercise to ‘follow the money’ when laws are being proposed to see which special interests would benefit. While the Libertarian Party has zero money at stake and simply advocates for individual freedom, Big Pharma and some drug rehabilitation centers are more interested in keeping the money flow going their way. When addicts discover kratom, they realize they do not need pharmaceutical opiates or rehab. Utilizing the force of government through banning a plant in order to keep money flowing into your company is reprehensible and immoral.”

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