Thailand’s ‘cannabis legalization’ debate reignited … Anti-drug registration protests

Continued criticism from opposition parties and civic groups… Government “There is no possibility of withdrawing the policy”

Protest against the legalization of cannabis

[AP 연합뉴스 자료사진. 재판매 및 DB 금지]

(Bangkok = Yonhap News) Reporter Kang Jong-hoon = The debate over the legalization of hemp is heating up again in Thailand, which banned hemp from drugs in June.

Although the opposition parties and civic groups pointed out the increase in the use of cannabis for pleasure and argued that the legalization measure should be cancelled, the government insisted that there would be no change in policy.

When voices arguing for the cancellation of marijuana legalization came out, marijuana supporters held demonstrations against it.

According to the Associated Press on the 23rd, around 200 people held a rally in front of the government building in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, the day before, wearing T-shirts with the shape of hemp.

It was a protest against the recent call for the legalization of marijuana. Hemp growers, dealers and consumers gathered to protest yet stricter regulations.

The protests were held after it was announced that the Narcotics Authority of Thailand (ONCB) would hold a meeting to review the cannabis legalization policy.

Earlier, an anti-drug advocacy group sent an open letter to ONCB asking it to seek a way to reverse the Ministry of Health’s decision to exclude hemp from the drug list.

Protesters demanded that “politicians make it clear that they are not trying to put cannabis back on the drug list.”

Thailand, which legalized medical hemp in 2018 for the first time in Asia, exempted hemp from drugs and allowed home cultivation from June 9 this year.

The government announced that it would restrict its use for medical purposes and warned that it should not be sold to teenagers, etc., but the use of hemp for pleasure increased amid a regulatory vacuum.

Opposition politicians pointed to various side effects and demanded strict regulation, and some argued that legalization should be cancelled.

In the process, a new drug law was not passed and is pending in Congress. The passing of the measure has been delayed as the opposition parties have opposed it, saying it is insufficient to prevent the use of hemp for recreational use.

As a temporary measure this month, the government established rules such as banning the sale of hemp to people under 20 and pregnant women.

Opposition lawmakers also filed a lawsuit in the administrative court against Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Chanwirakul, who led the legalization of cannabis. They argued that hemp should be put back in the narcotics category until appropriate laws are put in place to deal with it.

As the debate continued, the government began to evolve, saying that the cannabis legalization bill would not be withdrawn.

According to the Bangkok Post, Deputy Prime Minister Anutin said, “ONCB does not have the authority to change or cancel the cannabis legalization policy.”

He said, “There are people who oppose it, but the legalization of hemp will help develop the medical industry, increase people’s incomes, and stimulate the economy. What remains is to establish a legal system to prevent consumption for pleasure .”

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2022/11/23 14:02 Sent

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