Proposed legislation that would remove kratom from the list of narcotics has taken a step closer to being tabled before parliament, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) said on Tuesday.
The Council of State, the government’s legal arm, finished examining the amendment to the Narcotics Act last Wednesday, and will send back to the cabinet for endorsement before it is forwarded to parliament, ONCB secretary-general, Niyom Termsrisuk, said.
The cabinet approved in principle to remove kratom from the drugs list in March.
Mr Niyom warned the public that the plant is still considered a narcotic at present, which means possessing it is illegal.
The warning came in response to a recent surge in drug cases involving kratom.
The number of cases logged by the ONCB’s operations centre rose sharply by 46% between April and June, which suggested many people believe the plant had already been delisted, Mr Niyom said.