Ban on Recreational Use in Thailand
Thailand's Minister of Public Health, Cholnan Srikaew, signed a bill last weekend to amend current cannabis legislation, emphasizing that it cannot be consumed for recreational purposes, such as 'have reported local media. A proposed law aimed at emphasizing the medical use of cannabis while prohibiting its recreational use.
Directions of the New Legislation
The proposed law in Thailand emphasizes the exclusive medical use of cannabis, establishing measures to control and prevent its recreational use. This legislation may require revisions to existing regulations classifying cannabis as a controlled plant. Organic law enforcement will determine whether a medical certificate is required for the purchase of cannabis.
Restricting Cannabis Sales
Cannabis stores in Thailand will be required to sell only parts of the plant considered legal. The aim of this law is to help police apprehend those who abuse cannabis for recreational purposes.
Towards Promoting the Medical Benefits of Cannabis
The law aims to encourage the use of cannabis for its health benefits, while putting in place measures to control and prevent its recreational use. If approved by the government, the bill will be submitted to the Lower House for consideration.
Likely Revisions to Current Regulations
Regulations from the Department of Traditional and Alternative Medicine in Thailand, which classifies cannabis as a controlled plant, may need adjustments to align with the new law. The sale of cannabis in legally registered stores will be allowed, but only for parts of the plant considered legal in Thailand. The law will also help catch individuals misusing cannabis for recreational purposes.
In a separate incident, a large seizure of cannabis was intercepted in Ireland, with some of the drugs being shipped from Thailand.
Context of Previous Legalization
The country had legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes in June 2022, but without specific laws governing its cultivation and sale, a recreational cannabis industry has developed.
Recreational Use Of Concern
However, Dr. Chawanan Charnsil, head of the Psychiatric Association of Thailand, observed in August 2022 that recreational use of cannabis had become widespread since its removal from the list of narcotics. He stressed that this differed significantly from the medicinal use of cannabis envisaged by the Ministry of Public Health, warning of increased risks for people with pre-existing mental health conditions.
Political opposition was anticipated from Thai conservative groups questioning whether cannabis users were the type of tourists Thailand should welcome. Resistance was also expected from the country's large alcohol industry, as well as criminal groups that previously controlled the illegal cannabis market.
Following the cannabis policy change, reports from multiple sources indicate a significant decrease in the street price of methamphetamine. It is important to note that methamphetamine is a highly addictive substance, and prolonged use is associated with serious harmful effects.