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Thailand’s Health Minister Dismisses Calls To Re-Outlaw Cannabis

By Frank Schuler

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From a regional standpoint Thailand is leader in many ways when it comes to cannabis policy. Earlier this year Thailand implemented a very progressive change in cannabis policy that made it the most cannabis-friendly country in Southeast Asia.

Cannabis is legal for medical purposes in Thailand, however, it remains illegal for recreational use. All legal cannabis has to be below a .2% THC threshold. That threshold may not sound like much to some people, yet, a growing industry is built around low-THC cannabis varieties in Thailand now.

Leading up to the policy changes back in June, cannabis hardliners inside and outside of Thailand predicted doomsday scenarios for if/when cannabis laws became less harsh. Despite the sky still remaining above Thailand post-reform, opponents have continued to call for reversing course on cannabis policy. Fortunately, they are not getting a sympathetic audience from the nation’s health minster. Per Bangkok Post:

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Monday dismissed a plan to return marijuana to Type 5 narcotics status, saying that would fall under the remit of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

According to Mr Anutin, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has, after much discussion and debate, already been decided upon.

Despite reassurances from Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, cannabis activists in Thailand are planning a rally this week to put pressure on a meeting of the Narcotics Control Board to help ensure that cannabis is not returned to Type 5 narcotics status.

“The attempt to return cannabis to a narcotic drug will affect millions of people who are planting it. Moreover, the remit would restrict people from accessing cannabis in the long term,” stated Prasitthichai Nunual, a representative of the People’s Network for Cannabis Legislation in Thailand, on Facebook according to¬†The Bangkok Post.

Cannabis policy in Thailand can be confusing, with some people describing it as cannabis being legal in the Southeastern nation for recreational use. There’s quite a bit of confusion inside Thailand as to what is legal and what is not, which makes further reform and regulation necessary.

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