Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri on Wednesday said he is considering the possibility of legalising krathom - Mitragyna speciosa - leaves with one of the options being to use the plant as a substitute in drug treatment programmes.
But public opinion would need to be gauged first, he said. The idea could materialise if it is backed by scientific research and gains social acceptance.
Krathom is classified as a drug in the 5th category of the Narcotics Act, alongside cannabis and psychotropic mushroom species, but has lighter penalties than those drugs.
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