A policy commentary on the WHO pre-review of kratom

In this policy commentary, we first take a look at the developments in Southeast Asia, where the criminalization of kratom significantly increased after Prime Minister Thaksin declared a war on drugs in Thailand in 2003.

This intensified law enforcement in the region put kratom on the radar of UNODC’s SMART programme. Yet Thailand, where repressive enforcement of the kratom ban had reached dramatic proportions following Thaksin’s drug war, moved to lift the ban in August 2021.

We then look at how kratom became an issue of concern when it was labelled a ‘New Psychoactive Substance’ (NPS) and how procedures established to expedite the scheduling process for NPS, especially UNODC’s Early Warning Advisory, propelled kratom onto the ECDD agenda.

Read the full commentary at tni.org.