So we can perhaps understand where a certain institutional dislike of kratom in Thailand comes from: the fat cats, politicians and generals hated having their dope profits cut.
And in the US, a similar process is arguably underway. The pharmaceutical firms who earn billions a year from the many addictive, liver damaging, branded opiate pain relievers don’t want competition from some natural, relatively safe and non-addictive rival. Cue the media hubbub and ignorant political kneejerk response.
Herbal alternatives to pharmaceuticals in general are under broad attack, from medicinal cannabis to established and legal herbal remedies, as part of a wider attack on public health. That’s a whole other story for another day (in the meantime Google Codex alimentarius).
But hey, let’s not be despondent. Kratom is still widely legal and widely available (including from us of course!) for both medicinal and recreational use, and honest scientists are producing more evidence of its safety and potential usefulness. Maybe honest appraisal of the science and common sense will win out.