Supreme court dismisses cannabis case against former Health Minister Anutin

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The Supreme Administrative Court has put an end to a lawsuit targeting the former Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul over his legalisation of cannabis. The plaintiffs, who took legal action against the former minister, have been categorically defined as not being direct victims of the legalisation of cannabis, hence their case has been dismissed.

This news follows in the wake of the Administrative Court’s earlier decision, which also dismissed the case, effectively taking it off the legal radar. Dr Smith Srisont, the President of the Forensic Physician Association of Thailand, along with six opposition MPs of the previous administration, were the plaintiffs who set the wheels of this case in motion.

They protested in court against former Minister of Public Health Anutin and two other individuals, claiming their decision to remove cannabis from the national list of narcotics was against the law.

However, the court has put a halt to this cannabis lawsuit, stating that it cannot be pursued any further in the Administrative Court. The reasoning behind this is the plaintiffs’ lack of direct victim status. The court emphasised that the plaintiffs are not considered direct victims of the legalisation of cannabis, thus nullifying their right to file this case.

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Anutin has long been a stong supporter of cannabis and was integral in its legalisation. After the plant was declassified as a drug, and growth and sales were legalised with very little regulation or oversight, many considered it a blunder. But Anutin was unfazed.

He shrugged off the attempt to criminalise the herb again last year, saying that the debate over cannabis is decided and done. Opponents of legalisation continue to push for cannabis to be reclassified as a Type 5 narcotic, which would be under the purview of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board. But Anutin says that cannabis legalisation is for medical purposes and will not lead to an increase in illegal use by underage people.

Last week, Anutin reconfirmed his commitment, calling for the continuation of the current medical cannabis policy under the incoming health ministership. He asserts that, if used correctly, cannabis provides immense benefits to users.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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