Legislation that would remove the popular drug, kratom, from the narcotics list in Thailand has taken a huge step forward after the Council of State completed an examination of the amendment to the Narcotics Act.
The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) announced that the government’s legal arm had finished examining the legislation that was initially proposed in March of this year.
The proposal to remove kratom from the drug’s list will now be sent back to the Thai cabinet for approval before finally moving to parliament, where it would become law.
ONCB General-Secretary, Niyom Termsrisuk, issued a warning that the plant-based drug remains on the narcotics list at present, and possession is still illegal.
Since the legislation was proposed in March, there has been a considerable spike in the number of cases logged by the ONCB relating to kratom possession.
Between April and June of this year, the number of cases rose by 46 percent, with many people believing the law had already been passed, according to Mr. Termsrisuk.
While possession of kratom remains illegal for now, Mr. Termsrisuk said that the ONCB is currently working with the Interior and Public Health Ministries in coordination with a number of small villages to prepare a pilot project when the legislation passes.
One hundred thirty-five communities across ten provinces have been selected to participate in the project where kratom will be produced for research and medicinal purposes.
To comply with the current law, the pilot projects will adhere to a new set of ministerial rules that are drafted and ready for public hearings over the next couple of weeks.
The hearings will be organized by the Food and Drug Administration, and the Public Health Ministry with opinions gathered to be forwarded to the cabinet in conjunction with the new regulations.
Source: Bangkok Post