Thailand to reclassify cannabis as narcotic from 2025

Picture courtesy of The Pattaya News

The Ministry of Public Health has announced a proposal to classify cannabis and hemp as illegal narcotics under Thai law. This decision follows a meeting of the Narcotics Control Board, where the majority agreed on the medical and research benefits of cannabis but opposed its recreational use. A minority expressed concerns that strict regulations might cause public inconvenience.

The draft announcement by the Ministry of Public Health aims to add cannabis and hemp, specifically flowers and extracts with THC content above 0.2%, to the list of narcotics. This excludes branches, stems, roots, leaves, and seeds.

Dr. Surachoke Tangwiwat, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Public Health, confirmed that the results of the meeting would be submitted to Minister Somsak Thepsuthin and then to the Narcotics Control Board. The ministry plans to enforce this regulation on January 1, 2025.

On the same day, the Shaping the Future of Thai Cannabis network, led by Prasitchai Nunual, informed the public and cannabis networks nationwide of their actions. They viewed the decision as a step towards reclassifying cannabis as an illegal narcotic, following a timeline set by the Minister of Public Health.

“We have no other way to return cannabis to the people except to change the policy. The reclassification of cannabis as a narcotic is driven solely by the orders of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, not by any law, not for health or science-based reasons, for the benefit of their alleged specific capitalists, not the public.”

He further urged supporters to unite on July 8 in front of the Government House to oppose the reclassification. “July 8 is crucial for us. Let’s unite for the goal of returning cannabis to the people. Join us in large numbers in front of the Government House to fight for victory,” Prasitchai added.

M.L. Rungkun Kitiyakorn also called on cannabis users, business operators, and those who see the value of cannabis to gather on July 8 to oppose the Narcotics Control Board’s resolution. “This is our final fight before they present the resolution to the Narcotics Control Board to reclassify cannabis as a narcotic without regulatory laws.”

The network plans to occupy a 200-metre stretch of Ratchadamnoen Avenue on the night of July 7, from the Army Headquarters to the UN Office, opposite the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium. They intend to stay overnight and march to the government house on July 8, reported The Pattaya News.

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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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