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Experts raise cannabis concerns

BANGKOK: Concerns over the recreational use of cannabis have been raised following the plant’s decriminalisation, with doctors citing problems surrounding a lack of proper regulations.

By Bangkok Post

Sunday 12 June 2022, 09:46AM

A man displays buds to celebrate the legalisation of cannabis at the ’Thailand 420: Legalaew!’ weekend festival hosted by Highland in Nakhon Pathom province on Saturday. (AFP photo)

A man displays buds to celebrate the legalisation of cannabis at the ’Thailand 420: Legalaew!’ weekend festival hosted by Highland in Nakhon Pathom province on Saturday. (AFP photo)

Chanchai Sittipunt, dean of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, said he is concerned about youths having easy access to cannabis as there is currently no law prohibiting underage use, reports the Bangkok Post.

“It is a bit late to wait for [the Cannabis and Hemp Act] to be passed,” he said. “Because right now, anyone can buy and sell cannabis anywhere.”

Although the purpose of decriminalising cannabis is geared towards medical use and the economy, people are likely to mix cannabis in food or come up with products which unsuspecting people may consume.

Dr Taejing Siripanich, secretary-general of the Don’t Drive Drunk Foundation, told the Bangkok Post that he is concerned about road accidents caused by motorists under the influence of cannabis.

“I’m concerned about the repercussions of consuming cannabis while driving a vehicle as it will affect driving capability,” he said.

“We have campaigned [against drunk driving] for more than 30 years, but daily accidents still happen because of drunk driving.”

“Now we have ganja, and we do not have a law to [control it],” he added. “I think the punishment should be heavier than the one given to those driving under the influence of alcohol.”

Rasmon Kalayasiri, director of the Centre for Addiction Study at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, said she has not seen any measures to help prevent the abuse of cannabis.

Moreover, there is no law nor regulation controlling cannabis use in food, she said, noting that excessive amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, mixed in ordinary food can make people intoxicated.

CBRE Phuket

“What I am concerned about the most is cannabis use among adolescents as it is toxic and could damage brain cells,” she said.

“There is no clear evidence proving that cannabis use is a [gateway drug] but parents should pay attention to their children [by encouraging them] to stay away from the plant.”

She said her team found that the government’s cannabis policy has encouraged youths to use cannabis.

The study found that 1% of adolescents used cannabis in 2019 but the number increased to 2% in 2020 and 2.5% last year.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has also expressed concerns over the use of cannabis, saying the decriminalisation of the plant is not for recreational purposes.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the prime minister has heard the concerns and suggestions of many sectors over the matter.

He said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul ‒ who spearheaded the kingdom’s cannabis decriminalisation bid ‒ is chairing a panel discussing the national cannabis policy to ensure its use stays in line with the government’s medical purpose plan.

“The premier has reiterated [the plan] to building an understanding that cannabis [decriminalisation] is not for recreational purposes,” Mr Thanakorn said.

“The government must reduce people’s concerns as [cannabis] will impact health.”

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Kurt | 13 June 2022 - 10:29:32

@JohnC, a learning proces in changing laws? About this subject it is new law making. But look at laws in countries were use of weet happens already legal long time. Copy laws, Why inventing the wheel again. Anyway, many Thai laws are good for paper only.  From high to low in Thai society laws are put aside/disrespected if they not fit personal doings.
@Kakka2, good comment!

Kurt | 13 June 2022 - 10:17:10

@JohnC, your opinion and mine about PN articles are mostly the same, not much air in between, just not copies in word. You need reference to these articles?So I don't understand your 'kudos-wai' to Dkk. Have a nice day.

christysweet | 13 June 2022 - 10:14:10

I smoked pot UNTIL I came to Thailand where I found a vastly inferior product at inflated prices- plus my aging lungs could not take it anymore. Looking forward to responsibly regulated edibles at a fair price- whoops-  will never happen  in Thailand. 

JohnC | 13 June 2022 - 09:37:55

Stick at it Thailand. This is just the first step in the process of making a  very useful plant that has been used for thousands of years legal again. There are always hurdles to changes in laws, it is a learning process that gets better with more experience. The young will always abuse substances if they can, all part of growing up. 

JohnC | 13 June 2022 - 09:32:31

@dekaaskopp. LOL. Kudos buddy. Though I doubt even good quality weed would have any effect on improving kurt's attitude towards Thailand and all people in general. 555.

DeKaaskopp | 12 June 2022 - 20:23:00

@Kurt   If the use of cannabis makes happy ,as you say,, then you should really start to use it. 

christysweet | 12 June 2022 - 12:54:39

That bud in the pic certainly is more than 0.2 % and there was a 'festival' promoting usage, but 'recreationally' is illegal? FFS GET REAL-  make it like alcohol, over 18 ( or 21?)  only, no driving etc etc.  

Kurt | 12 June 2022 - 11:59:37

... smoking pot makes happy. Artists get more inspiration. :-) Beautiful things will happen. If cannabis policy discussion still has to start than this Government is to late. Besides the fact that it not carry much capacity among freedom loving population. They are tired of self-glorious /flip flopping orders from above from people who sometimes commit major crimes themselve.

Kurt | 12 June 2022 - 11:43:38

Whatever laws they make, 'adolescents' will shruck shoulders and ignore them. They just will finger point to ministers, high Government dept directors who 'steel'/encroach government land, a field were many laws concerning lay on the table but not respected. Do your pick. What happen in established canabis countries will go to happen here too! Don't worry, smoking pot makes hap...

Kakka2 | 12 June 2022 - 11:36:17

this puppet Chanchai should be more worry about young kids or teen of getting yaba anywhere in this country or even alcohol.. surely a drunk driver is far more dangerous than a stone one, and what about the yaba one?  brain cell damage i dont think is such a big issue in thailand anyway...since they might already have none left once they start smoking ganja anyway.. normal cigaret are far worst...

Kurt | 12 June 2022 - 11:15:47

There are traffic rules/laws and still many drunk driving. Ao, why complain that there are no 'ganja laws', it will not make any differents! Underaged? No problem my older friend will buy. And no need to be afraid of damage  supposed Thai brain cells 

christysweet | 12 June 2022 - 09:55:02

Even the experts are confused! If anything over 0.2 (aka hemp rope)  is illegal- no one is getting high - of course this expert likely knows laws have a way of not getting enforced, especially when they are this murky and convoluted. Foreigners, BEWARE!!


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