Why Was Kratom Banned in Thailand?

July 02, 2015 Articles

Why Was Kratom Banned in Thailand?

When the origin of kratom is discussed, people often come to think of Thailand. If you have been wondering why it was banned from the same country in which it came, read on. What had transpired that made the Thai government decide to control this substance in 1943? Some might suggest that they believed this substance to be dangerous and addictive  however this is likely not the truth.

The Ban of Kratom in Thailand

Kratom was banned in the country in 1943 under the Kratom Act 2486, however the reasons behind this have been debated. According to sources, the real reason for such control was because the Thai government during that time had been levying duties and taxes to shops and users who were engaged in the opium trade. Therefore, kratom use was severely cutting into their profits.

And because of the decreasing income from the opium trade in 1942, the government grew concerned and decided to take action against kratom. In this case, they decided suppressing the kratom trade so that they could bring back the high income brought from the taxes.

After the World War II, the Kratom Act that made Kratom illegal was never actually enforced with a high level of seriousness. Since the trees were native to the area, it made it impossible to fully restrict kratom use. Later in 1979, kratom was listed as a Schedule 5 substance, meaning it was classified in the restriction as drugs like cannabis or (magic) mushrooms. Being a newly classed Schedule 5, sentences and punishments were reduced from those stated in the Kratom Act. Therefore, kratom had been decriminalized.

Kratom Legality

Health Was Never the Concern in  The Kratom Act

As you could have assumed, the government of Thailand did not ban Kratom because of health concerns but rather, a loss of tax income. They put kratom under this prohibition to recoup the losses they were having in the opium trade that was giving them significant income.

The government banned kratom even though it was helping the citizens recover from opium addiction. What had happened there was that they were protecting the political cronies and dealers involved in the drug trade rather than thinking about the peoples’ welfare. They were so afraid that kratom would keep on killing their business, so they made it illegal. Unfortunately for them, it was not enough to stop kratom from spreading its roots.

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