Thai lawmakers seek to reverse cannabis legalization amid health concerns

By Linh Le   January 12, 2024 | 04:53 pm PT
Thai legislators are reportedly seeking to ban the recreational use of cannabis, just two years after Thailand became the first Asian country to decriminalize the plant.
A close-up shot of a pair of hands holding cannabis. Illustration photo by Pexels

A close-up shot of a pair of hands holding cannabis. Illustration photo by Pexels

The draft legislation, introduced by the Thai Health Ministry on Jan. 9, aims to impose stringent restrictions on the use and sale of cannabis for non-medical purposes, as reported by Singaporean news site Mothership.

According to Bloomberg, the proposed bill aims to confine the use of cannabis to medical and health-related contexts only. Individuals found using cannabis recreationally could face fines up to 60,000 baht (US$1,711), while providers of recreational cannabis risk up to a year in prison, a fine of 100,000 baht, or both.

The bill also seeks to criminalize the marketing and advertising of cannabis.

It is open for public feedback until Jan. 23.

As per The Guardian, Thailand decriminalized cannabis in 2022, ruling that anyone over the age of 20, who is not pregnant or breastfeeding, is legally allowed to use cannabis. This decriminalization has since positioned the country as a major destination for cannabis tourism in Asia.

However, the current government under the administration of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has expressed concerns about the potential for addiction and the impact of widespread cannabis recreational use, according to a report by the Bangkok Post. Thavisin stated in September last year that he was committed to cracking down on the recreational use of cannabis within six months of taking office.

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