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Justice Minister vows to hurry kratom legalisation

Justice Minister vows to hurry kratom legalisation

BANGKOK: Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin has vowed to expedite legalising kratom, a local plant classified as a narcotic after researchers registered patents for kratom-based medicine in Japan and America.

drugs
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 14 December 2019, 10:02AM


Few leaves from 500 kilograms of kratom seized by anti-narcotics officers in Phuket during a raid in December last year. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Few leaves from 500 kilograms of kratom seized by anti-narcotics officers in Phuket during a raid in December last year. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

"I will proceed with this project as soon as possible because this [legalising kratom] will truly benefit society," said the justice minister.

He said a medical research team of Thai and Japanese researchers had already registered four patents two in Japan and others in the US.

Mr Somsak yesterday said the ministry had formed a committee to consider the legalisation of kratom-based medicines.

He cited research where kratom has been used as a traditional medicine to treat some illness such as pain, fever, dysentery and diarrhoea.

Kratom is not classified as a narcotic drug by the United Nations and kratom-derived products can be freely imported and exported in many countries except Thailand where it has been treated as a narcotic, he said.

With the scientific name Mitragyna speciosa, kratom is a tropical evergreen tree belonging to a coffee family native to Southeast Asia. However, it has been classified as a narcotic for seven decades.

In Thailand, Kratom is a Category 5 narcotic and selling it can lead to a jail term of up to two years and/or a fine of between 40,000 and 200,000 baht. Possession can result a jail term of up to one year and/or a 2,000 baht fine.

The plant has been popular among villagers in the South who chew kratom as a stimulant. Over the past years, kratom has also been used as an ingredient in recreational drugs known as 4 by 100.

Read original story here.

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Kurt | 15 December 2019 - 09:29:25

Noticing how the world except Thailand is looking at kratom it is indeed time to legalise it here. It also would give real criminal inmates in thai prisons more space.

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