Legislators to Renew Push to Tighten Cannabis Usage


BANGKOK (NNT) – Parliament will renew a push for an overarching law on cannabis use for medical and research purposes, more than a year after the herb was legalized.

Last year, Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to decriminalize cannabis, but in the absence of specific measures, the government needed to issue rules to prevent its unchecked use, particularly among children.

The new law will target an industry projected to be worth up to US$1.2 billion over the next few years, with cannabis shops having sprung up across the capital Bangkok and tourist hot spots, such as the resort island of Phuket.

Saritpong Kiewkong of the Bhumjaithai party, which spearheaded the decriminalization and is now the second largest component of Thailand’s 11-party coalition government, said: “Cannabis will be – double underline – for medical purposes and research.”

The lawmaker told reporters in parliament that there is “no policy for recreational use,” adding that such measures were not yet being considered.

The draft law, which consolidates measures against public use that the government now relies on to rein in misbehavior, is expected to take a year to finalize and pass.

It covers permits for growing plants, sales and distribution, and tighter measures against sales in temples, schools and amusement parks.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin previously said he supported only medical, and not recreational, use of cannabis.

The preceding is a press release from the Thai Government PR Department.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced his ambition to put an end to the recreational use of marijuana within Thailand in six months, promising law amendments and stricter restrictions on the sale of the plant to ensure it is used solely for medical purposes.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.