Sun, September 26, 2021

in-focus

How lift of ban on kratom affects us


How does the legalisation of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) affect the people in Thailand? What are the benefits of the herb and how you can use it legally. The legalisation of the herb on Tuesday saw thousands of prisoners released and cases against more than 10,000 people were dismissed.

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Why lift the ban on kratom?
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said primarily the government will save about 1.7 million baht per year by no longer prosecuting users. 

How can kratom be used legally?
Though the herb is legal now, the fine print of the law is still pending. Details available, so far, say people can get a five-year licence for commercially growing and selling kratom or a 1-year licence for importing or exporting the herb. Applicants must be Thai citizens who are residing in the country and have not had a previous licence revoked or suspended. 
Licence holders must: 

  • Grow kratom on the land or location specified in the licence
  • Importers or exporters must clearly indicate they are trading in kratom and all labels and invoices should list the source of kratom and warnings related to use of the herb. 

Controls on kratom

  • Sellers of kratom to youngsters below the age of 18, pregnant or lactating women can face a fine of up to 30,000 baht. 
  • Those selling kratom near an education institution, dormitories, public parks, zoos or amusement parks can be penalised up to 50,000 baht. The same fine applies to those selling the herb online. 
  • Those selling concoctions made by boiling down kratom leaves can be fined up to 50,000 baht. 
  • Those selling more kratom than legally allowed or importing and exporting excessive amounts can face up to one year in jail and/or a fine of no more than 100,000 baht.

How does kratom help?
The Prince of Songkla University has been researching kratom as a pharmaceutical formulation since 2018. Studies have found that the herb contains substances that can help with many problems including pain, diarrhoea, obesity, inflammation, stomach ulcers, depression, stress or drug addiction. In some countries, kratom is used in place of drugs. 

From the international perspective
The Human Rights Watch told the Agence France-Presse that the legalisation of kratom was a good thing and should have been done a long time ago. 
“This will end the violation of the right to use traditional medicines,” the agency said. 


In 2019, Thailand became the first Southeast Asian nation to legalise the use of medical marijuana. 
The government has given the go-ahead to the extraction, refining and marketing of cannabis oil for use in the health industry.

Published : August 25, 2021

By : The Nation