Justice Ministry proposes 5 choices for removing krathom plant ban

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BANGKOK, 12 September 2013 Justice Minister Kasem Nitisiri has indicated that the working group evaluating a removal of krathom plant from the list of narcotic substances has proposed 5 choices on how to de-list the plant. 

The justice minister has ordered the establishment of a working group to deliberate the matter of krathom plant, a plant native to Thailand which has been banned for no less than 6 decades. The agenda of the working group is to determine the removal of the plant from the ‘banned narcotics’ list, as some Muslim communities cultivate krathom for herbal use and because the plant yields medical benefits if used in appropriate quantities.

The working group proposed 5 choices for the ban removal, which included marking krathom as a herbal plant, marking krathom as regulated substance, modifying the regulations to facilitate traditional uses of krathom, and having the Ministry of Public Health make deliberations on krathom use as precursor substance. If the 4 aforementioned choices were not suitable, the 5th choice called for the Food and Drugs Administration’s narcotics control committee to consider the issue of utilization of krathom plant.

Each of the choices will be presented to the minister of public health and the FDA’s narcotics control committee for further evaluation.