The government of Thailand is preparing to remove kratom from the nation’s list of narcotic substances. The country’s Minister of Justice — Somask Thepsutin — will present a report to the House of Representatives calling for the decriminalization of the plant by the end of this month.
If successful, the government could decriminalize kratom within 90 days of viewing the documents. Subsequent changes in legislation will allow citizens to use kratom for any purpose outside of its role as a narcotic.
The move follows steps taken by the Narcotics Control Board last year to relax prohibition surrounding kratom after backing from 95% of participants at a public hearing. Proposed drafts of the Narcotics Act seek to maintain an element of control over the substance. The document restricts its use among adolescents, pregnant women, and limits importing and manufacturing.
Drugs ministers claim changing the law will benefit Thai society. Each kratom case costs the government 20,000 baht. Decriminalization will also cancel penalties for kratom-related offences — fines often served to farmers and labourersin the country’s south.
Currently, 135 villages across 10 provinces selected for a pilot program are cultivating kratom for medical and research purposes. Known scientifically as Mitragyna speciosa, the tropical evergreen has a rich history in Southeast Asian traditional medicine.
Active constituents within the leaves — namely mitragynine — produce an analgesic effect and underpin the traditional application of the plant for intestinal infections, muscles pain, and coughing.
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