When kratom is at risk, we tend to freak out as a community. Emails go out by the dozen, painting the most dire picture that seems almost copy and pasted from that previous kratom scare. Yes, these scares are real and should be taken seriously. We are not trying to minimize that. However, no one can deny that when kratom is at risk, there seems to be a play by play process that starts, and it goes something like this:
- Social Media freak out. Everywhere throughout Facebook (mainly), people are commenting about the latest kratom ban approaching. “What is going on?” “How can I help?” “OMG Thank you AKA for all that you are doing to help the kratom community!” “We got this!” “I need kratom to help my nervousness! This cannot happen!” “Who has the cheapest kratom?” “Anyone have 10 kilos available?”
- AKA sends out emails by the masses (the most you ever hear from them is when a kratom threat is happening).
- This brings us to our next play: People stock up. They IMMEDIATELY seek out to stock up on kratom in case the worst-case scenario happens. HAPPY DAY for vendors! Which equals.
- Vendors hiking their prices. They know people are trying to stock up, so they make the typical, sly business move – they raise their prices because they know regardless people will be coming by the masses.
- People donate. Notice how this is play 5 on the list? The first thing that people do is not donate. They stock up, freak out, THEN they MAYBE donate. Only after they ensure they have enough kratom.
This process never fails, it’s always done in that order, and we are here to say that is freakin SAD and pathetic on so many levels. This process needs to change. Kratom (along with marijuana and many other non FDA approved products/supplements) will also be “at risk”. Therefore, there needs to be a better process in place.
These are the things we SHOULD do as a community when kratom is at risk:
- Be ahead of the game. AKA should be sending out emails that have information, not sending out emails only when they need donations. Asking for donations every time will not ensure donations, but communicating effectively might. People want to be in the loop. People want to be updated regularly on the details (that tend to lead up to proposed bans), so they do not freak out by the sudden drastic news. This way they see where their money is going or would be going. People are more inclined to donate when they see fruit and accountability/transparency — not by scare tactics.
- Encourage and/or look for ways that the community can strengthen their processes. Encourage vendors to become certified, to test, to be a legit company/business with proper procedures in place and proper clean rooms (with EINs). Encourage and support vendors that WORK with AKA/BEA and other kratom advocacy groups that better the community and its processes.
- Donate! You SHOULD donate first before you buy. In fact, you SHOULD have been donating before this ban attempt even began! Supporting non-profits who focus on the safety and security of kratom should be a must if you are a kratom consumer. Botanical Education Alliance, American Kratom Association, and Kratom United are all non profits that support the kratom cause (set aside your gossip, rumors, and drama on any of these groups mentioned and just donate and support ONE of them at least). A person who freaks out on Facebook and starts buying a bunch of kratom, but yet has NEVER donated to a kratom nonprofit is a douchebag. Sorry, but that word defines a person like that who has money to spend, worries about losing kratom, but never donates.
- Don’t stock up from only a single vendor. If you should stock up and shop from a variety of vendors and “spread the love”. This helps to discourage vendors to hike their prices (because you’re spreading out your funds). This also helps to support the community (especially if you buy a little from all of the vendors that are legit businesses, trying to help the cause instead of making it worse).
The most important thing the kratom community could do to help to keep kratom legal or get legal in the states where it is not, is to encourage and support the process of “cleaning up” the image of kratom. There are too many “pop up vendors”. There are too many vendors selling kratom in baggies (looking all ghetto and sh***). There are too many consumers who truly know NOTHING about the tree. Knowledge is power! Lets HELP the kratom cause.