After being listed as an illegal narcotic for many decades, Thais will finally be allowed to use and own Mitragyna speciosa, also known as kratom, as traditional medicine by August this year.
On May 28, an announcement was made in the Royal Gazette which effectively removed the plant from the list of narcotics. As new laws take effect 90 days after their publication in the Gazette, kratom use and possession will be effectively decriminalised on Aug 24.
Prior to its decriminalisation, kratom was categorised as a Class 5 Narcotic substance under the Narcotics Act, which made consuming, cultivating and possessing any part of the plant illegal.
Justice Minister, Somsak Thepsutin, said the move the regulate kratom does not end with its decriminalisation, as the parliament is now working on new laws to manage and control the cultivation and use of the plant.