Thailand Decriminalizes Kratom NEWS
Kratom was officially decriminalized in Thailand on August 24, 2021. After 30 days, the public in that Southeast Asian country will be able to purchase, possess, use, and sell Kratom.
Thailand officially removed kratom from the list of controlled narcotics despite a refusal by the United States to ban the plant. Kratom is native to several Southeast Asian countries but has recently become more popular in the U.S.A.
Kratom, also known as mitragyna speciosa, is a longtime treatment for a wide range of ailments in some Thai communities. Locals claim that the product helps them manage anxiety and pain, diarrhea, and insomnia.
In the U.S.A, it has gained popularity in recent years for its use in helping treat opioid addiction. It is possible to consume powdered leaves in different forms, such as capsules or tablets.
Since Thais have used kratom for generations as traditional medicine, its decriminalization is a significant victory for the product's users. Consequently, most people look forward to using the plant without being concerned about legal punishment.
Kratom will not only be legal for residents to own and use, but they will also be able to grow the herb. More than 12,000 of those previously convicted of kratom-related offenses will also benefit from the amnesty. Around 121 inmates serving time for kratom-related "crimes" will also be released immediately, according to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, who serves in the second cabinet of the prime minister.
Decriminalization occurred after the Thai Narcotics Act of 1976 was amended to remove the botanical from the list of Category-5 narcotics. The country also has cannabis and psychedelic mushrooms on its list of Category-5 drug substances.
The Kratom Ban in Thailand: A Brief History
The traditional use of kratom has been around for thousands of years in Southeast Asia. Thailand is one of the countries that the herb grows naturally in dense tropical forests. The Maeng Da strain of kratom is one of the most powerful and popular strains in the world, hails from this region. Its name means "Pimp Grade" in Thai, indicating the strain's distinctive strength.
The only people who could enjoy Maeng Da from this region were the international community. Kratom Plants were made illegal in 1943 after the Kratom Act was passed. In addition, the law ordered that existing kratom trees be cut down. Although lower-class citizens remained dependent on kratom for its medicinal properties, kratom continued to be used by lower-class citizens in the dense jungles of the region. Even though it was illegal, residents of Thailand held kratom's cultural meaning close to their hearts
Kratom became a Class 5 narcotic after the Thai government updated its Narcotics Act of 1943 to establish the Narcotics Act of 1979.
The law remained the same until 2016, when the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) in Thailand allowed farmers to grow and consume over 1500 kratom plants, despite the plant's illegality. As a result of the ONCB's tests, we see significant progress towards decriminalizing kratom today.
Thailand legalized the cultivation and export of kratom for medical purposes in 2018 and allowed farmers to make money from the product. Thai authorities repealed the Narcotics Act in May of 2021, removing kratom from the list of prohibited substances. Kratom users across the world celebrated the win on August 24th when those May amendments finally took effect.
What Are the Expectations Following the Decriminalization of Kratom?
Thailand has been working toward liberalizing drug laws in the last few years. Thai residents are finding more options than ever before when it comes to cannabis and kratom.
For instance, Thailand regulated medical marijuana over the last two years to create a functioning marijuana market within its borders. The government allowed cannabis growers to get licenses and even allowed plants to grow in six plants per household.
However, the use of concentrates when it comes to kratom is still prohibited. Thailand Kratom is likely to become a very popular drug in the near future. There is also a possibility that US consumers will soon be able to access more Thai Kratom products. More Thai residents can now grow kratom plants following the recent Kratom amendment.
Additionally, Thailand's decriminalization of kratom could lead to new research opportunities at home as well as abroad. In the recent approval, the ONCB approved funding of 19 million Baht (around $580,000) to support Kasetsart University's research into the positive effects of kratom's alkaloids.
Differences in Kratom Strategies between Thailand and the U.S
While Thais are celebrating, the legal landscape in our own country is entirely different. It is most likely that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will ban global kratom consumption. Recently, the FDA received over 50,000 opposition comments from the American Kratom Association (AKA), which have now been extended to the 24th of August.
The FDA may not go as far as to ban Kratom through a global campaign. We don't know how they will address this issue, but it could be an attempt to stop the growth of Kratom.
Thai authorities' decision to decriminalize Kratom may have implications throughout the world. With more people supporting Kratom across the world, it increases the chances of legalizing the product. Other countries can recognize the therapeutic potential of kratom thanks to Thailand's recent kratom changes.
We should create laws on plant protection, not demonization!
What the locals claim
Muslim community leader Nimu Makaje expressed concern about the abuse of the plant in Thailand's southern province of Yala.
The Associated Press quoted him as saying, "if we are legalizing the product we need proper controls. In today's economy, a large number of people are unemployed, and they need to reduce their stress by going on vacation. It's a very dangerous situation."
According to Ramdin Areeabdulsorma, a politician in Pattani province, Kratom has been used by locals for many years, to help them feel refreshed after a long day in the fields.
"It is right to decriminalize kratom. This will make it easier for patients and local residents to access the product. However, I am worried about teenagers mixing it with other narcotics, for example, or using it in the wrong way. If we don't control this, it could cause damage," he stated.
While it is legal in some states, kratom is generally unregulated in the United States.
Celebrating a Win for Kratom!
Thailand is celebrating the win for Kratom and as Kratom enthusiasts, we should join them in their joy. Everyone can enjoy the wide range of Kratom benefits. Kratom has deep cultural roots and historical health ties in Southeast Asia, where the Mitragyna speciosa tree grows naturally.
Having this herb legalized makes us happy that our Thai friends can use it legally for generations. In addition, they can also grow their economic status by exporting their Kratom strains across the world. Our expectations are high for decriminalization, but we don't know for certain what will happen next.