Thai govt open to cannabis recreation, not pot-smoking tourists

Thailand’s Public Health Minister made contradictory statements yesterday regarding the recreational use of cannabis. In one statement Anutin Charnvirakul said he was open to the further liberalisation of the drug and in another, he said pot-smoking tourists are not welcome in Thailand.

“We don’t welcome those kinds of tourists,” said The 55 year old Bhumjaithai Party leader at a “Meet the Press: Cannabis” event when asked about recreational use of marijuana among foreign visitors.

But Anutin did say he was open to further amendments to the cannabis law to make it more recreational in the future if it was safe to do so.

“This could be done if people agree that cannabis use is not harmful. We are ready to achieve that point if people have a better understanding of how to use it correctly.”

Anutin announced that the decriminalisation of cannabis has not been damaging to society since the plant was taken off the country’s Category 5 narcotics list on June 6. On the contrary, he said it has had a positive effect on Thailand.

He reported that the kingdom had recorded only 60 severe hospital cases, because of improper cannabis use, since it was downgraded from June 6 to August 16.

“There has been one case per day on average, which as a figure means nothing among a population of 70 million people.

“I would say some negative cases appeared on the news that is very dramatic, such as cannabis use in schools or cannabis smells in public places. We have a law to control it under the public health law and the authorities have full right to take legal action against culprits.

“All regulations we have already implemented are enough for control measures, even without the cannabis law.”

Anutin believes the negative stories on the decriminalisation of the drug have been exaggerated for political reasons and added cannabis legalisation for medical treatment has been a highly successful campaign.

“Over 1.1 million people have requested to plant cannabis on some 7,500 rai of land. The revenue from cannabis products this year is expected to reach 28 billion baht and it is expected to climb to 50 billion baht annually in the coming years.”

But Thailand isn’t stopping there, on Monday, the Thai Narcotics Control Board announced it is looking at the medical benefits of magic mushrooms, which are believed to be effective in combating cluster headaches, anxiety, anorexia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and various forms of substance abuse.

SOURCE: CNN Bangkok Post

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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