2 years after legalization, cannabis to be re-listed as a narcotic in Thailand

2 years after legalization, cannabis to be re-listed as a narcotic in Thailand2 years after legalization, cannabis to be re-listed as a narcotic in Thailand
via Srettha Thavisin
Ryan General
10 days ago
Thailand is backtracking on its cannabis legalization policies with a plan to re-list the plant as a narcotic by the end of the year.
Key points:
  • Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced Tuesday that the Health Ministry has been instructed to include cannabis in the list of narcotics.
  • According to the official, the lack of market regulation has led to increased use among young people.
  • Cannabis will still be allowed for medical and health purposes.
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The details:
  • Thailand was the first Asian country to legalize cannabis for medical use in 2018 and for recreational use in 2022. The latter helped boost the economy and tourism industry.
  • A legislation drafted earlier this year proposes fines of up to 60,000 baht ($1,624) for recreational use. Advertisements promoting such use could draw jail terms of up to a year or fines as high as 100,000 baht ($2,707).
  • “I would like to ask the Ministry of Public Health to amend the ministry announcement by bringing marijuana back to category 5 drugs and hasten to issue ministerial regulations allowing its use for medical and health purposes only,” Srettha wrote on X in Thai.
  • The prime minister also asked the ministries of public health and justice to raise the efficiency of drug treatment work in centers, prisons and the probation system. He said the government would work to ensure there is a smooth transition to the new regulations.
  • Cannabis advocates have expressed disappointment at the decision, saying that it will harm the economy and small businesses. Cannabis Future Network Secretary General Prasitchai Nunual told Reuters: “Many people have been growing cannabis and opening cannabis shops. These will have to close down.” 
What’s next:
  • With Srettha seeking results within 90 days, the Health Ministry is expected to amend the list of narcotics within the next few months.
  • The government will then need to pass new regulations governing the use of cannabis for medical and health purposes.
 
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