Over 100,000 People Allegedly Sign Petition to Re-Criminalize Cannabis Use as Pro Cannabis Groups Plan Massive Protest on June 9th


On June 6th, 2024, Thai Minister of Public Health, Somsak Thepsuthin, addressed the public regarding the controversy over potentially reclassifying cannabis as a type 5 narcotic.

According to Thai national media, the anti-cannabis group “Youth Network Against Cannabis (YNAC)” submitted a petition with over 100,000 signatures to criminalize cannabis use, advocating for its restriction to medical and health purposes only.

Somsak revealed that this aligns with the government’s approach.

Although previous attempts to amend ministerial regulations to recriminalize cannabis have lacked widespread support, Somsak emphasized his commitment to minimizing conflicts between opposing parties, even as a war of words heats up between pro and anti cannabis groups.

When questioned about a pro-cannabis group’s request for a public debate or vote on the reclassification, which was never held, Somsak asserted his fairness, citing his previous position as the Thai Minister of Justice. He did not directly answer however if he would consider a debate or public vote.

Addressing concerns about the impact on the cannabis business following legalization, Somsak clarified that businesses could operate legally under medical and health guidelines and claimed that despite the plan to reclassify cannabis as a narcotic the process to legally use cannabis for medical needs would not be too intrusive, complex, or expensive. Recreational use, however, would be considered illegal.

Regarding the “Shaping the Future of Thai Cannabis” protest scheduled for June 9th at Government House, Somsak stated he was unaware of the event but would discuss the matter with the group to seek a solution.

Cannabis protesters have vowed to gather in force and show their opposition to the plan to recriminalize cannabis and also have already questioned the transparency and integrity of the signature taking process by rival groups.

Read our previous article about Thai Cannabis Advocates Challenge Prime Minister’s Proposal, Demand Science-based Decision Making.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.