Why do People in Kalamazoo Take Kratom Despite Government Denunciation?
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This study details the controversy involving a botanical psychoactive that is legal in most of the U.S., including Michigan. The project also determines why people in Kalamazoo consume it through a series of 13 interviews and three conversations with users of the plant. Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom, has a devoted base of users in Kalamazoo and across the U.S. despite the FDA urging the public against it and the DEA attempting to schedule the substance to a classification akin to heroin. Users claim myriad health benefits when used for treating several mental illnesses, physical pain, and both fatigue and restlessness. Government organizations claim fears of abuse, but many users, supporters, and researchers of kratom fear prohibition of the plant will limit its beneficiaries to expensive pharmaceuticals with dangerous or lethal side effects.