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Opposition slams cannabis decriminalisation without controls

Opposition slams cannabis decriminalisation without controls

BANGKOK: The opposition accused Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul of causing social problems and violating local and international laws by decriminalising cannabis without proper controls as the censure debate got underway today (July 19).

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 19 July 2022, 04:03PM

Opposition chief whip Suthin Khlangsaeng (centre) criticises cannabis decriminalisation at parliament during the opening stage of the censure debate today (July 19). Photo: Bangkok Post / Screenshot

Opposition chief whip Suthin Khlangsaeng (centre) criticises cannabis decriminalisation at parliament during the opening stage of the censure debate today (July 19). Photo: Bangkok Post / Screenshot

Anutin was the first to be grilled as the House began debating the opposition’s motions of no-confidence in government ministers, reports the Bangkok Post.

Suthin Klangsaeng, the chief opposition whip from the Pheu Thai Party, began his attack with a video of Anutin’s election campaign promise that his Bhumjaithai Party would bring happiness to people by allowing them to grow cannabis, which would be decriminalised.

Cannabis would be sold and used to make food and prevent and treat illness, and even be smoked in private, Anutin was seen saying in the video clip.

Mr Suthin said that speech violated Thai and international laws and also raised concern over the cannabis-smoking remark.

He said the cannabis policy violated the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, which Thailand ratified.

Cannabis was included as a dangerous narcotic in the convention, which limited its use to medical and research purposes and imposed strict controls on its use, he said.

Suthin said the Public Health Ministry decriminalised cannabis on June 9 without laws to control its use and that was considered a violation of international law.

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“The country could face international legal action over this issue,” he said.

The chief opposition whip said the cannabis policy also violated Section 66 of the constitution, which required the country to cooperate with international organisations and protect the public interest.

Suthin said that after cannabis decriminalisation on June 9, cannabis products and cannabis-infused products became available on the streets, students were seen abusing cannabis and people fell ill because of cannabis abuse and were taken to hospital.

Suthin asked if the government could really protect young people from cannabis abuse while households were allowed to grow cannabis and Anutin had already voiced support for cannabis smoking at home.

“Cannabis damages the brains of young people... There will be serious social problems,” he said.

Suthin also blamed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for accepting Bumjaithai’s cannabis decriminalisation policy as a condition of the party joining and supporting the coalition.

Medical, religious and judicial organisations had voiced their opposition to cannabis use, according to Suthin.

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christysweet | 20 July 2022 - 10:17:09

 Article 112 and Lese Majeste are also violations of  International laws-and violate Human Rights  so rescind those, too. 

JohnC | 20 July 2022 - 08:45:17

It appears K. Suthin is not happy because he is not getting his cut of profits out of it. When it was still illegal cannabis smuggling was mostly controlled by the higher up officials and well connected cronies. Now being legal means they have to rely on other much more dangerous substances to continue raking in the $$. Thailand doesn't deserve such greedy corrupt politicians.

Kurt | 20 July 2022 - 08:27:30

Talking about a ratification in 1961??  Typical Thai, 61 years of 'stand still thinking'. Can't be taken serious. Now we wait what convicted drug dealer/flower ex minister/ RTP Captain is going to say during these parliament sessions. He is now party secretary, and professional in drugs matters, yes?

Capricornball | 19 July 2022 - 21:48:06

Khun Suthin and his cronies are dinosaurs, clinging to an international ruling in 1961, and implying that the UN could come roust Thailand over its weed policies. Totally absurd and laughable, but he was serious. Legal or not, most of the people smoking weed now were smoking it before, and legal or not, will continue smoking.  If they want to tackle a REAL problem...try police corruption

Fascinated | 19 July 2022 - 18:59:17

'Fell ill' or got stoned? Canada did not turn into a nation of zombies after it was decrimilasied, neither did Portugal or Uruguay. Concentrate on yaba, heroine and cocaine (oh we can't do coke because the hisos would end in in pokey) instead of a weed that is safer than nicotine. The 'gateway drug' thing is complete BS.


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