Public and Expert Opinions to Shape Future of Cannabis Legislation, Says Health Minister

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thailandTHC > News > Public and Expert Opinions to Shape Future of Cannabis Legislation, Says Health Minister

Last updated on June 25th, 2024 at 10:22 am

  • Driving The News: Health Minister Somsak Thepsuthin discusses the possibility of reclassifying cannabis as a narcotic, highlighting the split in public opinion.
  • Why It Matters: The decision could significantly impact the legal status of cannabis in Thailand, affecting both public health policies and the cannabis industry.
  • The Big Picture: The Ministry of Public Health is set to review public feedback and scientific data before making a final decision on the reclassification of cannabis.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – On June 18, 2024, Health Minister SOMSAK THEPSUTHIN addressed the ongoing debate about reclassifying cannabis as a narcotic. Speaking at a press conference at Government House, Somsak acknowledged the mixed public opinion on the issue, noting that initial opposition to the reclassification has evolved into a more balanced debate.

Somsak explained that the Ministry of Public Health had been conducting a public opinion poll, set to conclude on June 25. The results will play a crucial role in the decision-making process. “In the beginning, there was significant opposition to reclassifying cannabis as a narcotic. However, opinions are now nearly evenly split,” he said.

He emphasized that any decision would not be solely based on public opinion but would also consider scientific evidence and expert recommendations. The Ministry’s Narcotics Control Board will convene to discuss the poll results and relevant scientific data before making a final determination.

Somsak also highlighted the importance of strict law enforcement in combating drug abuse. He referenced recent measures allowing the police to arrest individuals possessing even a single methamphetamine pill, with options for rehabilitation if the individual is a user. This stringent approach aims to reduce drug abuse by targeting both users and dealers.

The Minister pointed out that successful drug policy requires comprehensive strategies, including seizing assets from drug traffickers and providing incentives for those who help uncover illegal activities. “We must address the root causes of drug problems by targeting both supply and demand,” he added.

The debate over cannabis reclassification is part of a broader discussion on drug policy in Thailand. While cannabis has been decriminalized for medical use, concerns about recreational use and public health persist. The upcoming decision by the Ministry of Public Health will likely have significant implications for the future of cannabis regulation in the country.

Contributing Sources: Bangkok Biz News