Drug law amendment makes 2 meth pills dealing

PHOTO: a new drug law amendment would make possession of more than one pill considered intent to sell. (via DEA.gov)

To effectively combat the illegal drug trade, a law is being amended in Thailand so that anyone caught in possession of more than one meth pill will now be considered a drug dealer. Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul announced this change yesterday, stating that the current regulation has been exploited by those who actually intend to sell the drugs.

The harsh new law will view anyone with more than one pill as having the drugs with intent to sell, instead of the current standard of 15 pills or fewer being considered for personal use only.

The amendment, which has already been prepared by the Committee on Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts is awaiting a signature from the Health Minister. It will then go to the Cabinet for their sign-off before ultimately being published in the Royal Gazette, making the law official.

Authorities aim to provide a more decisive legal measure against the drug trade. They hail it as a measure to save society, families, and young people from the evils of drugs. Anutin says this amendment will prevent the exploitation of the regulation by drug traders, brushing off suggestions that prisons would quickly be overcrowded by this draconian solution.

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“The reason the committee reached this decision is that we want to be more decisive and see effective enforcement of the law after it was suggested that we seem to fear there is not enough room in prison for drug convicts.”

Anutin Charnvirakul, who is also the deputy prime minister, expressed confidence that the amendment will make it more difficult for drug traders to operate and will help reduce the number of young people who fall victim to the dangers of drug abuse.

In a separate incident, an army patrol in Thailand made a significant drug bust, seizing 21 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, packaged as Chinese tea, from the bank of the Mekong River. The Surasak Montree Task Force received a tip-off that the drugs were arriving from Laos and set up a stakeout on the riverbank.

The suspect was arrested after they arrived in a Toyota Rivo pickup to collect the package, which contained 21 packages of crystal meth, labelled as Kwan Yin Wang Chinese tea, with each package weighing approximately 1 kilogram. A 55 year old labourer from Mukdahan, allegedly confessed to getting 5,000 baht to deliver the drugs to a storage area in Mukdahan.

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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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