Thailand on Tuesday legalized the possession and sale of Kratom, which is often used as a painkiller and mild stimulant, the Associated Press reports. The reforms will see thousands of pending criminal cases in Thailand dropped and 121 inmates convicted of kratom possession released from prison.
Ramdin Areeabdulsorma, a politician in Pattani province, told the AP that kratom has historically been a part of the daily lives of Thai people.
“To decriminalize kratom is the right thing to do. Local people or patients who need it will be able to access it more easily. However, I am concerned that teenagers will use it in a wrong way, for example, mixing kratom with other narcotics. We have to control this strictly, otherwise, it can cause damage.” — Areeabdulsorma to the AP
Nimu Makaje, a Muslim community leader in Yala province, said that the nation needs “to have proper controlling measures” of kratom now that it has been decriminalized.
“Currently, a lot of people have lost their jobs and they may use it to reduce their stress,” Makaje said to the AP. “This is very dangerous.”
In the U.S., kratom is considered a “drug of concern” by the Drug Enforcement Administration but it is not federally outlawed. Kratom is banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin, according to Kraoma, which notes there is pending legislation on kratom in Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.
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