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Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence met to evaluate kratom’s safety profile. This meeting’s stakes were high: The WHO Committee can make drug scheduling recommendations to the United Nations (UN), and UN member states are obligated to follow them. As a result, the meeting was set to shape kratom’s legality in the United States, Canada, and many other nations.
Thankfully, it seems the global kratom community can rest easy: The WHO Committee’s verdict is in, and they’ve found “insufficient evidence to recommend a critical review at this time.” This means, as of now, the WHO Committee won’t keep kratom under heavy scrutiny or move towards a scheduling recommendation. The news broke Tuesday, December 7th, 2021, after the WHO Committee released a document summarizing the meeting’s events.
That said, the WHO Committee has recommended keeping kratom “under surveillance.” However, in a recent tweet, American Kratom Association representative Mac Haddow described this as “the lowest international regulatory status,” so it may not be much cause for concern.
Kratom advocates quickly took to Reddit and other online communities to acknowledge and celebrate the victory, and rightfully so: According to Mac Haddow, their eighty-thousand submitted comments likely helped inform the WHO Committee’s recommendation.