Drug Control

Thailand's Health Minister Seeks Ban on Recreational Cannabis Use

Main image to the post Thailand's Health Minister Seeks Ban on Recreational Cannabis Use

Thailand is set to crack down on the recreational use of cannabis with the introduction of a new bill that is expected to be approved by lawmakers by the end of October. Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew's intention to outlaw recreational cannabis use comes in response to concerns that the liberal use of the substance, following its decriminalization two years ago, has escalated into a political controversy that's linked to drug addiction issues.

It was noted that Thailand's move to decriminalize cannabis, making it the first Asian nation to do so, stirred up a wave of marijuana-related businesses, including shops and farms across the country. However, the absence of clear regulations around the cannabis industry left a loophole that many politicians argue has contributed to increased drug addiction rates. The pending cannabis bill seeks to address this by explicitly banning recreational use, potentially shutting down the burgeoning cannabis enterprises that have cropped up in the wake of decriminalization efforts.

The efforts to tighten regulations around cannabis use in Thailand coincide with political events such as the national elections, where the topic of cannabis liberalization became a significant point of debate. As the country grapples with the aftermath of decriminalizing cannabis without a corresponding regulatory framework, the health minister's push for a ban on recreational use signals a shift towards a stricter stance on the drug and its potential societal impact, particularly in the context of drug addiction concerns.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09