Early in 2005, the Government of Australia imposed a ban on the Kratom use. This implies that the legal status of Kratom in Australia is that of a narcotic drug, the use of which can put the user behind bars. While Australia might have its own reasons for imposing such ban, by doing so it has crushed the civil liberties of more than 20 million citizens who were beginning to view Kratom as a symbol of hope and healing.
What does the current legal status of Kratom in Australia actually indicate?
Centuries of historic evidence has proved that Kratom poses no risk to the user. In fact the medical benefits associated with it are far out reaching. This proves that the legislation of Australia is ill founded and not based upon medical evidence.
The Present Legal status of Kratom in Australia
Beginning from 2003, the special legislative committee began discussing the possibility of adding several new substances to the registry of controlled substances. Kratom and the main alkaloid- Mitragynine also figured in these controlled substances.
In 2005, the Australian Drug and Poisons Schedule Committee recommended that Kratom and Mitragynine be grouped along with other schedule 9 substances. Through this legislation, Australia has expressly prohibited the purchase, sale and even possession of Kratom products and Mitragynine. However this law does not prohibit Kratom for research purposes. By passing this law, Australia is bringing increasing pressure upon New Zealand to adopt the same policy.
It was surprising though that at the time of ruling, that the special investigative committee in charge of the process could not produce any material evidence of Kratom abuse in Australia. Also it was not clear why Australia was adamant on banning this herb when the WHO considered it very much legal. The irony of the whole situation was that the committee in spite of acknowledging the medicinal benefits of Kratom and agreeing that it could be used as an excellent opiate withdrawal went on to impose the ban. This left many of the Kratom users in Australia in a quandary.
Later studies attributed this ban to two possible reasons:
- A giant pharmaceutical company felt threatened by this innocuous herb which promised hope for many ills. The studies suggested that this company had a major role in influencing the decision.
- The second reason cited was the ban imposed on Kratom in Thailand. However ironically Thailand too imposed this ban to rule the competition to its opium trade so that the exports of the latter would remain unaffected.
Australia by rendering the Kratom use illegal without any research and findings has squashed the hopes of budding alternative therapies. With the legal status of Kratom in Australia being unreasonable and unjustified, followers of natural remedies have lost all hope. However the citizens in Australia can only hope that their government see reason at the earliest and lift the ban; Kratom after all symbolizes an improved lifestyle for many.