University of Miami Law Review


Olivia Castillo


The Drug Enforcement Administration wields tremendous power at scheduling a new drug or substance on an emergency basis under the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA newly leveled this power at a plant—kratom—with the potential to curb the menacing opioid epidemic in North America. This unprecedented effort has generated considerable controversy. Many individuals remonstrated the agency’s action, especially those facing life-threatening hardships because of the opioid crisis. Members of Congress also took a stand against the DEA’s unrivalled move to schedule kratom, suggesting that the agency had abused the emergency scheduling authority delegated by the legislative branch.

This Comment explores the interplay between the DEA’s rulemaking authority, the public’s democratic participation in the DEA’s rulemaking process, and the legislative branch’s delegation of authority and oversight of the DEA’s rulemaking in the specific case of kratom.