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Anutin open to more relaxed laws on pot

BANGKOK: Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday (Aug 17) that further liberalisation of cannabis for recreational use is possible in the future if the public accepted it.

Cannabishealthtourism
By Bangkok Post

Thursday 18 August 2022, 07:01AM


A worker demonstrates part of the process of producing medicine from cannabis, after the plant was removed from the narcotics list recently, at a processing facility of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization in Pathum Thani. Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb

A worker demonstrates part of the process of producing medicine from cannabis, after the plant was removed from the narcotics list recently, at a processing facility of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization in Pathum Thani. Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb

Speaking at a “Meet the Press: Cannabis” event, organised by the Department of Public Relations, he said that a new cannabis law has an opening that would allow for an amendment via a committee to legalise the recreational use of cannabis in the future, reports the Bangkok Post.

This could be done if people agree that cannabis use is not harmful, said Anutin who is also the Bhumjaithai Party leader.

“We are ready to achieve that point if people have a better understanding of how to use it correctly,” he said.

Anutin insisted the government’s medical cannabis legalisation has not been harmful to society, adding that he has not seen adverse social impacts since the plant was taken off the country’s narcotics list in June.

The Ministry of Public Health has reported only 60 hospital admission cases with severe conditions caused by improper cannabis use from June 6 - Aug 16, or one case per day on average, which as a figure means nothing among a population of 70 million people, Anutin said.

“I would say some negative cases appeared on the news that are very dramatic - such as cannabis use in schools or cannabis smells in public places. We have a law to control it under the public health law and the authorities have full right to take legal action against culprits,” he said.

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“All regulations we have already implemented are enough for control measures, even without the cannabis law.”

Anutin said the exaggerated fear and concern over the negative impacts of cannabis legalisation has been intentionally pushed by some groups.

He said cannabis legalisation for medical treatment has been a highly successful campaign that the Bhumjaithai Party has strongly pushed forward.

Currently, over 1.1mn people have made a request to plant cannabis on some 7,500 rai of land, he said, adding that the revenue from cannabis products this year is expected to reach B28 billion and it is expected to climb to B50bn annually in coming years.

However, Anutin did sound a warning discouraging tourists from visiting the country purely to smoke cannabis.

“We don’t welcome those kinds of tourists,” Anutin told reporters when asked about recreational marijuana use among foreign visitors, a Reuters report in the Bangkok Post said.

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Fascinated | 18 August 2022 - 13:06:43

So long as the 'filthy farangs' stay away I guess he'll be happy. Xenophobia rules again. He really needs to be kept away rom weapons with the number of times he shoots himself in the foot.

Kurt | 18 August 2022 - 12:02:03

First we made Pot legal, Unbelieveble success. Now we have to make vague laws to allow Officialdom to move forward, backward, left, right, to make a lot of money out of it. We realize that Pot = Gold! "Just for medical purpose" brings no money in under the table. Foreigners not allowed to bring own Pot. Must buy in BKK, Pattaya, Phuket and Phang Nga island for half/full moon parties. 

JohnC | 18 August 2022 - 10:34:08

kurt. Some people just have no clue but need to mouth off anyway. At full moon parties the drugs of choice are MDMA (ecstasy), Ya-ba,  coke, alcohol and other pick me ups that make you want to party. Cannabis is a depressant so it makes you more likely to want to chill out quietly away from the madness.

SEC2 | 18 August 2022 - 10:25:05

Phang Nga is a province.  Pha Ngan is full moon party headquarters. But exactly my thought earlier when they said no recreational pot, and Mr. Phitphat is going to Pha Ngan to promote tourism.  What does he think they are doing over there? Drinking green tea?

christysweet | 18 August 2022 - 09:43:51

So all those  cafe style  outlets with the outrageous prices are operating illegally and in full view. No wonder no one hasn't any respect for the law here when it is so massively flouted and so much confusion exists as to what exactly the law is.  

Kurt | 18 August 2022 - 09:08:50

"If the public accepted it"??? Mr Anutin really doesn't know that the public is further than he is,  already accepted it? True that many people here still have to learn how to use it. Government can teach that. Anutin can go Phang Nga island during half-, full moon parties, do a survey among the thousands of visitors about use of pot.

 

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