1,038 inmates, imprisoned for kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) use and possession, will be released after a new law, in which the plant is removed from the list of controlled narcotics, takes effect next week.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said kratom has been removed from the list under the amended Narcotics Act, which comes into effect on Tuesday. As a result, these inmates will be released and their offences expunged. For those being prosecuted or standing trial, authorities will release them from custody as well.
He said the country is expected to save about 1.7 billion baht annually in legal costs, following the decriminalization of the plant, as expenses for each court case average 76,612 baht. There were 22,076 kratom-related cases filed between January 1st, 2020 and June 30th this year.
Mr. Anucha said people can grow and sell kratom after decriminalization, but mixing it with drugs on the controlled narcotics list remains illegal. Permission is required for the import and export for industrial use. (NNT)