A Leaf of Faith

|

Joanna Andreasson

Like kratom itself, a new documentary from Chris Bell feels a little scammy. The shooting, animation, and narrative structure of A Leaf of Faith are sloppy; the tone veers between boosterish infomercial and conspiracy theorizing about big pharma.

Kratom, a leaf from Southeast Asia, is available over the counter in the United States, often sold under ridiculous names in brightly colored envelopes. Users say it treats pain, improves mood or focus, and helps manage opioid addiction. Similar to marijuana, its advocates—many of whom drift in and out of the film without too much introduction—point to a wide array of asserted therapeutic benefits, very low side effects, the near-impossibility of overdose, and the fact that it's natural.

Despite its slapdash feel, the documentary does address most of the major issues around the drug, which is still relatively new to the U.S., including use by veterans, adulteration, polydrug poisoning (many deaths attributed to kratom actually involve people mixing substances), and the particular susceptibility of addicts to a flashy sell on a quick fix. Kratom's full potential is unclear, but one thing Bell gets right is the importance of avoiding hasty, ill-informed prohibition.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

4 responses to “A Leaf of Faith

  1. The Kratomic Punk! (Let’s Brew some Tea!)

    I am a victim of the drug-war age
    A child of the storm, whoa yes
    I can’t remember when I was your age
    For me, it says no more, no more
    Nobody rules these streets at night like me, the kratomic punk!
    Whoa yeah, wow
    I am the ruler of these drug-war worlds
    The underground, whoa yes
    On every wall and place my fearsome name is heard
    Just look around, whoa yes
    Nobody rules these streets at night like me, the kratomic punk!
    Ooo, ahhh
    I am the ruler of these drug-war worlds
    The underground, oh, oh
    On every wall and place my fearsome name is heard
    Look around, whoa yeah
    Nobody rules these streets at night like me, nobody, ah
    The kratomic punk!

  2. It’s an honest review. But I want to watch this documentary anyway. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.