Fri 18 November 2022:
After recent allegations of misuse and use by children, prominent members of Thailand’s civil society and political class seek more controls on access to and use of marijuana.
Southeast Asia’s first nation to decriminalize the selling and use of marijuana was Thailand.
Anutin Charnvirakul, the health minister who oversaw the law, promoted marijuana as a cash crop and supported its usage for medical purposes.
The move gave rise to a number of stores selling pre-rolled joints and both domestic and foreign strains, according to the Reuters news agency.
However, since that time, recreational activity use has increased dramatically.
Now, doctors and some lawmakers demand stricter laws or perhaps a ban on marijuana use.
The legislation to govern, cultivate, sale, and consumption of marijuana is still stuck in parliament as confusion over the aspects of legality remain.
“We’re in a vacuum,” senator Somchai Sawangkarn told a domestic broadcaster on Wednesday.
He said that the announcements by the health ministry had not curbed recreational use.
The row over the marijuana bill reached the judiciary last week after the president of Thailand’s association of forensic physicians, Smith Srisont, filed a petition to re-list it as a narcotic.
“It was wrong to not have governing laws before unlocking cannabis … it is not being used medically, but recreationally,” he told reporters.
Many business owners, who have reaped profits ever since cannabis was decriminalised, support greater regulation over the use, but have ruled out recriminalisation.
The chief executive of a medical cannabis business, Adam Group, Akira Wongwan, said the profit margins for recreational cannabis were “super high”.
“Most people still think at least they can get the profits now, even if regulations change,” said Akira.
According to a study by the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the industry might be worth $1.2 billion by 2025.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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