The controversial debate surrounding Kratom has left many individuals with a blend of conflicting sentiments regarding its use. While some advocate for stricter regulations and tougher punishments, others firmly believe in its potential benefits. However, despite the buzz surrounding its health advantages this botanical also carries a host of negative effects. As a result, many countries across the world have prohibited its use including Australia.
This begs the question: Is Kratom still considered illegal in the land of Kangaroos? Are there any chances of this herb getting unbanned in the near future? In order to understand this situation, it is important to understand the penalties and the laws surrounding Kratom in Australia that influenced the decisive stance on this plant and its usage.
Understanding the Prohibition of Kratom in Australia: Laws, Regulations, and the Backstory
In 2003, the Australian government decided to ban Kratom due to concerns about its potential misuse as a narcotic substance. This ban was put in place according to the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1989 (NSW) – Section 18B(3). The government took further steps in 2005 to strengthen this prohibition, making it illegal to engage in various activities related to Kratom. (This ban applies across all states and territories in Australia, ensuring consistency in the regulations surrounding Kratom across the entire country.)
The Australian Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee categorized Kratom, along with its components Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, as narcotics alongside other harmful substances in Schedule 9. However, it’s important to note that there are exceptions to this ban. The use of Kratom products is permitted solely for analytical, teaching, or training purposes, and medical and scientific research. Such usage must be conducted with the approval of both the Commonwealth and the Australian Health Authorities. This ensures that any medical research or clinical trials involving Kratom are conducted under proper supervision and regulation.
As far as the current legal status of Kratom in Australia is concerned, the sale, import, and export of all forms of this herbal product and other related ingredients are still prohibited within the country. Given that it continues to be on the list of Schedule 9 substances in the Poisons Standard (SUSMP), with the current edition being the Poisons Standard February 2022.
What is a Schedule 9 Substance?
A Schedule 9 substance is a substance that is not allowed to be manufactured, possessed, sold, or used, except for specific purposes. Kratom also falls under the classification of a Schedule 9 substance.
In Australia, all these synthetic and psychoactive substances are categorized into schedules from 1 to 10, indicating the level of control over their availability to the public. The higher the schedule number, the more restrictive the regulations. When deciding the scheduling of substances, toxicity is just one of the factors considered. Other factors taken into account include:
- The Purpose of Use
- Potential for Abuse
- Potential for Safety
- Need for the Substance
Penalties for Illegally Engaging in Kratom-related Activities in Australia
According to Section 18B(3), engaging in unauthorized activities related to Kratom in Australia carries significant penalties. Those who are proven guilty of these offenses may encounter serious repercussions, which can include:
- The possibility of being sentenced to a period of imprisonment lasting from 12 months to two years.
- The potential imposition of a fine amounting to a maximum of $2,200.
It is important to note that the penalties for supplying and manufacturing Schedule 9 substances (Kratom) are generally lower compared to those for prohibited drugs or plants. This is because the government has created a broader offense to address new substances that may emerge and be included in the current Poisons Standard as Schedule 9.
The purpose of these penalties is to discourage the residents and businesses from participating in unlawful activities related to Mitragyna speciosa. By imposing such consequences, the Australian government seeks to uphold public safety and prevent the improper use and distribution of this substance. Individuals need to understand these penalties and adhere to the laws concerning Kratom in order to avoid any legal action.
Potential Defence Strategies for Limited and Specific People
According to statistics, more than 63% of offenders who commit these offenses are convicted and receive fines as punishment. However, it’s important to note that there are also potential defenses available for these charges. No one can press charges against you until:
1. You have a valid license or authorization to manufacture, produce, supply, or possess Kratom under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 (NSW).
2. You have been authorized by the Secretary of the Ministry of Health under section 17D of that Act to manufacture, produce, supply, or possess Kratom.
If you find yourself facing charges related to Kratom, it would be beneficial to seek advice from the team of drug lawyers in Sydney. They can assist you with personalized and tailored guidance based on your specific situation.
How To Shop For Kratom Products Amid the Ban In Australia
Since it’s impermissible to purchase, possess, or consume products containing Mitragyna, there are no online or local vendors available within the country. However, if you have a strong desire to use this botanical substance, there is an alternative solution to consider. You may explore the option of relocating to a nearby country where Kratom is legally permitted.
In light of the restricted availability of Kratom in Australia, it’s worth considering alternative herbal substances that may offer similar effects or benefits. Exploring these alternatives could provide potential options for individuals seeking alternative remedies.
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What’s Next for Kratom in Australia?
The future of Kratom’s legalization in Australia continues to spark ongoing discussions and debates. Despite the numerous health benefits associated with Kratom, it is disheartening to note that it has yet to receive the recognition it deserves. If you are a devoted Kratom supporter eagerly anticipating its potential legalization in Australia, it is essential to actively advocate for its rightful recognition and legal rights. By working diligently towards this cause, you can contribute to shaping a future where Kratom may be utilized responsibly and legally in Australia. Let us join forces and strive for a positive outcome in the journey towards Kratom’s legal recognition.