Thailand Plans to Ban Recreational Use of Cannabis
SEAToday.com, Bangkok-The Thai government will urgently move a Bill to ban the recreational use of cannabis, the health minister said on Tuesday (2/6), after the kingdom decriminalized the drug in 2022.
As the first Southeast Asian nation to decriminalize cannabis, Thailand spawned an industry worth up to a projected US$1.2 billion in the next few years, as thousands of dispensaries sprang up, along with spas, restaurants, and festivals. In Bangkok, this situation is particularly provoking concern from critics who urged the need for tighter legislation
Now, Thailand is canvassing public opinion on a draft Bill outlawing the recreational use of cannabis after more than a year in which marijuana-related businesses flourished following legalization and insufficient regulation.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who took office last August, has frequently voiced his opposition to the recreational use of the drug and said it should only be allowed for medicinal use.
There was also fresh pressure from the public last weekend after attendees of British rock band Coldplay's shows in Bangkok complained on social media saying "the entire concert smelled like marijuana".
In 2018, Thailand became the first country in Asia to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis. The most recent legislation in June 2022 means that health providers and clinics can now more easily offer and advertise their cannabis treatment services. A number of cannabis-based medicines are now included in the list of national drugs which means that public hospitals in Thailand can prescribe cannabis remedies to patients under the universal healthcare scheme.(DKD)