Health Ministry greenlights medical opium and magic mushrooms

Photo courtesy of The Nation

The Public Health Ministry authorised the utilisation of opium and magic mushrooms for medical treatment and research purposes. This groundbreaking decision, disclosed in a directive published in the Royal Gazette yesterday, signifies a significant shift in drug policy.

Signed by Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew, the directive came into effect today. It categorises opium and psilocybin mushrooms, commonly known as magic mushrooms due to their hallucinogenic properties when ingested, as narcotics falling under Category 5. Notably, these substances are distinct from marijuana and hemp extracts.

Previously, the ministry had removed kratom, marijuana, and hemp from the Category 5 list, retaining only opium, magic mushrooms, and marijuana and hemp extracts with a THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) level exceeding 0.2%.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, the directive states that drugs on the Narcotics Category 5 list, excluding marijuana and hemp extracts, are now sanctioned for medical consumption and research purposes, reported The Nation.

This bold move was facilitated through the invocation of Article 24 and Article 58 of the Narcotics Code by the public health minister.

In related news, the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine (DTAM) has initiated a pioneering programme utilising marijuana oil infused with high levels of CBD to combat drug dependency.

Dr Thewan Thanirat, DTAM Deputy Director-General, unveiled the innovative prescription, named Karun Osoth, a concoction of coconut oil and CBD meticulously balanced to 10 milligrammes of CBD per millilitre of coconut oil.

In other news, the Health Ministry faces a 30-day deadline to substantiate its regulation that categorises individuals holding five methamphetamine pills or 10mg of crystal meth or less as mere drug users, not dealers. This demand comes from the Office of the Ombudsman, which is considering cancelling the ministry regulation.

The secretary-general of the Office of the Ombudsman, Police Lieutenant Colonel Keirov Krittateeranon, expressed a keen interest in understanding how the regulation is going to tackle social disobedience, as previously claimed.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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