Following the legalization of cannabis in Thailand, recreational use of cannabis and marijuana smoking are proposed to be banned to protect young people
Thai Health Minister Anutin Charvirakul declared the decriminalization of cannabis a successful policy and drew attention to the need for awareness campaigns to ensure the correct use of the plant. However, Senator Somchai Sawankan warned of the need for appropriate legislation banning the recreational use of marijuana by young people, the Bangkok Post reported.
Hemp decriminalized in Thailand last Thursday: Smoking marijuana in Thailand allowed from 9 June 2022
The health minister, who is also deputy prime minister, said around 700,000 people had already applied for licenses for cannabis-related businesses. In the meantime, the application to register private cannabis cultivation has been used 20 million times.
“That’s more than planned,” Anutin said. “The policy is the right one. The Ministry of Health is promoting it because of the economic and health benefits.”
The Thai government allows people to freely register and grow cannabis for home use. However, producers of cannabis products must obtain licenses and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of their products must not exceed 0.2 percent by weight. Any higher content is considered narcotic, the minister explained.
The THC content restriction also applies to the use of cannabis as a food ingredient.
A bill on the use of hemp in Thailand is expected to be passed during the current parliamentary session. The Ministry of Health has already issued a notice banning the intrusive use of cannabis in public places, Anutin said.
“We have intensified public outreach to inform people about the virtues of cannabis and to warn against unhealthy use,” the health minister said.
Many cannabis-based medicines are already on Thailand’s national list of essential medicines and can be used to treat patients. The government will encourage the use of cannabis to generate revenue, Anutin said.
However, Senator Somchai Sawankan warned that if the cannabis bill was not passed in the current session, it would have to wait another year. This would lead to a vacuum of control over the recreational use of cannabis in Thailand, which is necessary to protect young people. The senator said the cabinet should issue a regulation clearly banning any recreational use of marijuana. However, Somchai pointed out that testing THC content is expensive and laboratories with such facilities are not available across the country.
“I support the medical use of cannabis in Thailand but oppose its liberal, irresponsible and uncontrolled use,” the senator said.
Existing controls do not prohibit marijuana users from riding motorbikes or using public roads, nor do they prohibit young people from using marijuana, the senator said. Earlier, the Thai police said that driving under the influence of cannabis would be treated the same as driving under the influence of alcohol.
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