8,000 to be cleared after kratom's removal from narcotics list

8,000 to be cleared after kratom's removal from narcotics list

A soldier chops down one of 14 kratom (mitragyna speciosa) trees found in the backyard of a house in Khlong Luang district of Pathum Thani in 2016. (File photo: Pongpat Wongyala)
A soldier chops down one of 14 kratom (mitragyna speciosa) trees found in the backyard of a house in Khlong Luang district of Pathum Thani in 2016. (File photo: Pongpat Wongyala)

More than 8,000 convicted people and suspects will be cleared of legal charges when kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is removed from the narcotics list on Aug 24, Office of Narcotics Control Board secretary-general Wichai Chaimongkol said on Tuesday.

Kratom (Migragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen plant with opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects. It had long been used in tradtional medicine but was declared a Class 5 narcotic under the Narcotics Act of 1976.

The law was amended in 2021 to remove kratom from the list. The amendment was published in the Royal Gazette on May 26 and the removal of kratom from the narcotics list is effective from Aug 24.

From Aug 24, kratom is no longer a narcotic. People can grow the plant and use it in herbal medicine and trade it domestically. However, use of kratom in the production of any kind of narcotic drugs is prohibited.

As a result, about 1,000 people who have been convicted in cases involving use, sale and having kratom in possession will be cleared of the charges.

The names of another 7,404 people who were arrested, charged or indicted in 6,927 cases from Oct ,1 2020 - Aug 6, 2021, will also be cleared of the offence.

He made no mention of compensation.

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