Medical Experts Warn Against Reclassifying Cannabis as a Narcotic

By Thailand THC

thailandTHC > News > Medical Experts Warn Against Reclassifying Cannabis as a Narcotic

Last updated on June 25th, 2024 at 10:05 am

  • Driving The News: Experts criticize the government’s move to reclassify cannabis as a narcotic, emphasizing the need for scientific evidence and balanced regulations.
  • Why It Matters: Misclassifying cannabis could hinder its medical use, affect patients relying on it for treatment, and ignore its potential benefits.
  • The Big Picture: The debate highlights the importance of developing comprehensive cannabis legislation that ensures safe access for medical purposes while preventing misuse.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – Recent discussions about reclassifying cannabis as a narcotic have sparked strong reactions from medical experts and advocates. Dr. CHINTANA MANONROMPATRASAN, a rehabilitation medicine specialist, and PRASIT CHAI NOONWAL, a leading advocate for cannabis legalization, argue that such a move could have severe consequences for patients who rely on cannabis for medical treatments.

Dr. Chintana emphasized that cannabis should be viewed as a medicinal herb, not just a drug. She highlighted its long history in Thai traditional medicine, where it has been used to treat various ailments effectively. “Cannabis is an essential herb for many patients, providing relief from pain, muscle spasms, and other chronic conditions,” she said. “Reclassifying it as a narcotic would criminalize its use and severely limit access for those who need it most.”

Prasit Chai pointed out that reclassifying cannabis without proper scientific justification undermines the progress made in integrating it into medical practice. He cited research from the United States and Canada showing that cannabis can help reduce the use of more harmful drugs like methamphetamine and heroin. “Cannabis has proven benefits in harm reduction and treating addiction,” he said. “Reverting it to a narcotic status would be a step backward.”

Both experts advocate for comprehensive cannabis legislation that balances its medical benefits with the need to prevent misuse. They argue that strict enforcement against illegal sales to minors and clear regulations on usage can address most concerns without resorting to drastic measures like reclassification.

Dr. Chintana also mentioned the need for public education and responsible use, noting that most issues arise from misuse rather than the plant itself. “We need to regulate cannabis intelligently, ensuring it remains accessible for medical use while preventing recreational abuse,” she added.

Contributing Sources: Naewna