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Recreational use ‘doubles’ since delisting

Recreational use ‘doubles’ since delisting

BANGKOK: The Centre of Addiction Studies (CADS) has found the number of people aged under 20 who use cannabis recreationally has doubled since the plant was formally decriminalised this year.

Cannabishealth
By Bangkok Post

Monday 31 October 2022, 08:59AM


A shop advertises an offer of a range of cannabis bubble tea series in Samut Prakan. Photo: Somchai Poomlard.

A shop advertises an offer of a range of cannabis bubble tea series in Samut Prakan. Photo: Somchai Poomlard.

The increase has caused concern among critics of the policy over the plant’s impact on the physical and psychological health of young people, especially as the effort to pass the cannabis and hemp control bill is currently going nowhere, reports the Bangkok Post.

CADS director, Ratsamon Kalayasiri, said the increase in recreational cannabis use among Thai youth underlines the need to closely monitor the impact of the policy. Such data could be used to inform lawmakers deliberating the cannabis control bill.

“The use of cannabis for purposes other than medical or research is a sensitive issue, and as such a good system needs to be in place to control access to the plant,” Dr Ratsamon said.

Muhammad Fahmee Talib, a lecturer with Prince of Songkla University’s Faculty of Medicine, said while the negative impacts of cannabis use are still manageable, there has been a marked increase in the number of patients seeking treatment after consuming cannabis.

Patients seeking treatment for psychological side-effects following cannabis consumption account for about 3% of all ER admissions nationwide last year, but this year, the figure is closer to 17%, Dr Muhammad said.

“The Bhumjaithai Party promoted cannabis as a cash crop prior to its legalisation, and now cannabis is seen as a tourist draw. Thais have to be aware of the negative impact [of this policy],” he said.

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Separately, Patcharin Khankham, a senior policy planning analyst at the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), said there are growing concerns that locally-grown cannabis which does not meet the standards for further processing into medicinal products might be diverted to the black market to meet demand by recreational users.

She said that up to 95% of domestically cultivated cannabis fails to meet the standards required for further processing.

Meanwhile, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Siriraj Hospital, Chariya Phuditchinnaphat, said a legal mechanism is needed to ensure producers of cannabis-infused food and beverages accurately list the concentration of psychoactive ingredients in their products.

This will help protect consumers from abuse.

“Recently, three people were admitted to Siriraj Hospital after ingesting cookies which contained more tetrahydrocannabinol that what is legally allowed under Thai laws,” she said.

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Prab | 31 October 2022 - 15:00:12

how many are recovered for abuse of alcohol or kemical drugs daily ? this seems just the usual propaganda article.. having say that i also do agree that should be some sort of regulation on weed and smoking.. right now we are experiencing the worst legalization ( or best ) in history.. from drug to vegetable in 1 day and no rules what so ever.. amazing thailand 

Taswegian | 31 October 2022 - 13:28:54

Maverick is right, it's not called dope for nothing. sit back and watch the Darwin effect take care of the problem.

Kamala Pete | 31 October 2022 - 12:09:45

Fascinated has raised a serious issue. In the "western" world roadside testing can detect drug use. I don't believe the thai police have the equipment or training to do this. It should be made a priority - but probably won't be.

maverick | 31 October 2022 - 11:08:42

The penalty is death 

Fascinated | 31 October 2022 - 10:48:32

No one seems to have explored smoking and driving. I saw a farang woman literally stagger out of a 'cafe' the other day get into a car, pull into traffic and straight through a red light. Someone's gonna get killed soon and there has been NOTHING about the penalties for using ganja when driving

 

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