A Ministry of Justice (MOJ) official told lawmakers yesterday that ketamine would probably be upgraded to a class-two drug soon and users would have to undergo treatment at drug rehabilitation centers.
Prosecution Department Director Chu Kun-mao (朱坤茂) made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井) said ketamine abuse has become a serious problem on campuses, with the number of ketamine users having jumped 10-fold from six years ago.
Liao asked why the ministry has been hesitant to upgrade ketamine from a class-three drug to a class-two drug.
KMT Legislator Hsieh Kuo-Liang (謝國樑) said the ministry’s position on ketamine made it “a supporter” of the drug.
Chu said the ministry would likely pass a bill in an inter-ministerial meeting it is hosting at the end of this month to list ketamine as a class-two drug.
By law, people who use first or second-class drugs have to undergo treatment, Chu said, and so the ministry has to get ready to house more drug users. It is also considering allowing students who use ketamine to receive treatment during their summer or winter break.
The law states that individuals arrested for using first-class drugs such as heroin and cocaine, or class-two drugs such as amphetamines and marijuana are required to undergo treatment at drug rehabilitation centers for a maximum of one month.
Those who fail a medical examination after a month of treatment are required to undergo a second period of treatment, which can last up to a maximum of one year.
Individuals who have undergone narcotic treatment but are rearrested for drug use will be charged with a criminal offense.