South Thailand Muslim representatives still pushing against cannabis legalisation

Photo by The Phuket Express.

South Thailand’s Muslim representatives aren’t giving up their fight against Thailand’s cannabis legalisation. Yesterday, the Satun Provincial Islamic Committee of the Islamic Network submitted a petition calling on the government to revise the decriminalization of cannabis and hemp.

A representative from one group involved, the Satun Center for Protesting Against Unethical Laws and Regulations, vowed that the groups would call their supporters to push the government more if authorities did not respond to them. The Chairman of the Islamic Committee of Satun Province, Arun Umachi, warned of the consequences of cannabis for young people. He said…

“If the situation of cannabis cultivation and the distribution of cannabis continues like this, it will have negative consequences for the country, especially among future generations.”

The groups argued that since the implementation of the law isn’t clear, people have misused and abused the plant, especially teenagers.

The ‘happy plant’ isn’t the only thing South Thailand’s Muslim representatives have been pushing back on. Last month, the region’s Muslim leaders read a statement against three draft bills that were being debated or yet to be presented to the Thai parliament. Those bills were the Cannabis and Hemp Bill, the Progressive Liquor Act, and the Civil Partnership Bill which would allow same-sex couples to ‘register’ their partnership, but not get legally married.

Religious and cultural tensions between southern Thailand and the rest of the country have existed since Thailand annexed the southern Pattani area in 1909. The Patani Malay people are primarily Muslims, while Thailand’s majority are Buddhists. With Thailand’s increased liberalism in the rest of the country, and South Thailand’s Muslims sticking to tradition, tensions may widen even further.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.