Ban, ignore or regulate? Kratom and the Whac-A-Mole world of soft drugs

The Czech Republic is testing a new approach to controlling psychoactive substances
Politico (US)
Wednesday, April 19, 2023

kratom2It’s a leaf, it’s sold as a dye, and it’s used as a drug: It’s kratom, and it’s all the rage in the Czech Republic. Kratom is among the dozens of psychoactive substances emerging on Europe's recreational drugs scene every year. Some, like kratom, are fairly new to Europe but have been used in other parts of the world for hundreds of years. Others, so-called designer drugs, are concocted by recreational drugmakers to circumvent drug laws — hence their moniker, “legal highs.” They're drugs that fly under the radar, open to abuse but which don't (yet) fall under the purview of international drugs laws. And they create a cat-and-mouse game between policymakers and drug designers.