Ketum Abuse In Malaysia: Its Legal Status And Proposed Solution
AbstractThe time is right for the relevant authorities in the country to find concrete solution over the issue concerning abuse of Ketum in the country. For many years, there have been many debates in the country over the legal status of Ketum especially on the issue of its abuses. Scientifically known as mitragyna speciosa, Ketum is a tropical deciduous and evergreen tree in the coffee family native to South East Asia (SEA). It has been a long time used in traditional medicine by which it is often used by workers in laborious or monotonous professions to stave off exhaustion as well as a mood enhancer or as a typical painkiller. Though it has potentially been used as traditional medicine, there are many reported cases over the recent years over its abuse especially among the youth due to its characteristic which said to be similar to other illegal and addictive substance like drug. There have been many studies conducted on the effects over the abuse of Ketum ranging from classical addiction up to chronic symptoms. Drinking Ketum water obtained by boiling the Ketum leaves in water is said to adversely affect the nervous system and make the abuser addicted to the drink. Due to this study revelation, many people in the country especially parent started to feel worried over the wide spread used of Katum particularly among children. Based on the mentioned negative effects over the abuse used of Ketum also there have been a proposal to consider Ketum as a drug and been regulated under Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 [Act 234], Malaysia toughest law dealing with drug abuse cases. It is the objectives of the paper to examine further the issue of Ketum, effects and causes over its abuse, its legal status and finding concrete solution to the ongoing issue. This paper will adopt pure library research as its methodology. Various sources of references both in the form of primary or secondary legal sources will be adopted in this paper. At the end of the research, this paper will able to produce several solutions in form of suggestion or proposal in dealing with the ongoing issue concerning Ketum abuse in the country.
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