Bhumjaithai didn’t push cannabis legalisation for recreational use

PHOTO: Bhumjaithai MP Suphachai Jaismut says cannabis legalisation wasn't for fun use. (via Line Today)

The Bhumjaithai Party who pushed for the decriminalisation of cannabis now says they are shocked to find people are using the drug recreationally. In a Facebook post yesterday MP Suphachai Jaismut said that his party had campaigned for the legalisation of marijuana strictly for medicinal purposes.

The Bhumjaithai never intended the use of cannabis for anything more than improving the health and medical treatment of the people of Thailand and were not considering recreational use or the economic advantages of legalisation. The government is now considering the Cannabis and Hemp bill expected to pass through the House next month to rein in how the plant will be handled going forward.

Suphachai is the chairman of the House Scrutiny Committee on the Cannabis and Hemp Bill that will oversee the creation of regulations and control over the popular plant. When it was decriminalised on June 9, growing, selling, and using cannabis was suddenly legal and unregulated. On June 16, Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul signed a document classifying the plant as a legally controlled substance to allow doctors to use cannabis extracts to treat patients.

But possession and sales have been legal as well for anyone over the age of 20, though minors, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers are forbidden from possession and use of cannabis. Use in public is still technically illegal as well, with a maximum fine of up to 20,000 baht and up to one year in jail.

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Cannabis is also forbidden for use by government officials or even around government offices.

The Ministry of Public Health will help all relevant agencies nationally and locally to enforce regulations. The government hopes to minimise any negative outcomes from widespread use and Suphachai assures that, while they intended for legalisation to be for medical use, they are on top of the cannabis rollout.

“The party stands by its will to promote cannabis for medical use, and the Ministry of Public Health will keep issuing regulations to control its use. We have laws to oversee growing the plants and have never ignored the potential for misuse of the plants in public.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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