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Medical marijuana is now legal in Thailand

The Thaiger

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Medical marijuana is now legal in Thailand | The Thaiger

• Possession of marijuana and krathom within legal limits will be allowed for treatment of certain diseases, for first aid or in cases of emergency

•The committee has the authority to give permission to requests for production, import and export of marijuana

A new law that legitimises the use of marijuana for medical purposes has sailed through the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) yesterday with overwhelming support.

The big picture

Under the revised Narcotic Drugs Act, possession of marijuana and krathom within legal limits will be allowed for treatment of certain diseases, for first aid or in cases of emergency.

However, anyone possessing more than 10 kilograms of marijuana will be treated as having the intent to sell it illegally. The possession of marijuana for purposes other than the strict limits outlined under the law remains liable to legal action.

Those found in possession of less than 10 kilograms of marijuana could still face up to five years in jail and a fine of 100,000 baht.

Anyone possessing more than 10 kilograms of the drug risks imprisonment of between one and 15 years, and a fine up to 1 million baht.

The law amends the existing Narcotic Drugs Act of 1979.

The amendment also increases the National Narcotics Control Committee to 25 members, up from 17. The eight new members include the permanent secretary of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, the director-general of the Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, and the director-general of the Department of Health Service Support.

The committee has the authority to give permission to requests for production, import and export of marijuana, and also to approve regulations proposed by relevant state agencies.

After the law has been in force for three years, the committee is required to review all permissions every six months.

The fine print

The law allows possession of “a necessary amount” of marijuana for medical treatment.

Those in possession of the drug for this purpose need to carry a doctor’s prescription.

It will also be legal under the new law to possess marijuana for research and development as well as agricultural, commercial, scientific and industrial purposes.

Among those permitted to possess marijuana are patients who need the drug for treatment, state agencies responsible for research or medicine-related education, Thai Red Cross, anti-narcotics agencies, institutions of higher education with research and teaching on medicine, and registered farmer groups.

With this law going into effect, the growing of marijuana and processing within the legal limit will be allowed, under close supervision by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board.

The bill will be forwarded for royal endorsement before being published in the Royal Gazette.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

Thai’s go west during rainy season – study

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai’s go west during rainy season – study | The Thaiger

Thailand’s rainy season might be bad for the country’s beach hot spots but is typically associated with travel to the western regions of the country, where nature becomes its most beautiful during the period.

New data from Hotels.com reveals a 26% jump in searches among Thai travellers for accommodation in the Western region over the past 12 months. The data shows the strengthening of tourism to Thailand’s second tier destinations as an alternative to the traditional tourist magnets.

According to search data from Hotels.com, local searches for hotels located in Thailand’s western region, including Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Tak and Prachuap Khiri Khan, soared 26% during May to September 2019, compared with the same period last year.

The most desired province for Thai tourists in the Western region this year during the rainy season is Ratchaburi – which experienced an 83% rise in searches for overnight accommodation in 2019. Other Western provinces experiencing an increase in search volume included Phetchaburi (31%), Tak (19%) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (18%).

According to Jessica Chuang, the Hotels.com regional marketing director for Greater China, Southeast Asia and India, travellers are now staying in hotels they never knew existed, off the well-beaten tourist tracks of Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.

“The data indicates a positive, upward trend in travel to Thailand’s Western region, especially during the rainy season.”

Thai's go west during rainy season - study | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Thai finance minister confident GDP will pick up next quarter

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai finance minister confident GDP will pick up next quarter | The Thaiger

Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak says he is confident Thailand’s gross domestic product will pick up in the fourth quarter as a result of the launch of 316 billion baht economic stimulus package from the Thai government.

He claims the new rice price guarantee scheme will also assist the agricultural sector.

The Cabinet approved the new packages at its Tuesday meeting. The National Rice Policy Committee approved a budget of 21 billion baht to guarantee the price of rice harvested in 2019 and 2020 the following day.

Somkid recently held a meeting with the Bank of Thailand and Finance Ministry to discuss a plan to set up a joint committee to steer the Thai economy.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank has downgraded its 2019 GDP growth forecast for Thailand to 3% from 3.3%. The bank expects growth in the second half to improve from a weak 2.6% in the first half.

According to the National Economic and Social Development Council, the country’s GDP expanded 2.3 per cent in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter’s growth of 2.8 per cent.

According to the Finance Ministry, the country’s debt level in the next five years is expected to be 46.73%, while the GDP next year is expected to expand by 3.5%, then 3.6% in 2021, 3.8% in 2022 and 4% in 2023.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Environment

Another baby dugong dies in Thailand

May Taylor

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Another baby dugong dies in Thailand | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) revealed on Thursday that Yamil, the dugong being cared for in Phuket after being found stranded on a Krabi beach, has died. It was brought to Vachira Hospital at 5.00pm for a planned endoscopy to remove a large amount of seagrass stuck in its stomach.

Another baby dugong dies in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

The medical team used water to break apart the seagrass and managed to suck out 30% of it in a procedure that took about an hour and a half. Yamil was then transferred back to the rehabilitation pond at the PMBC. The dugong’s heart rate was quite low, so the team continued to monitor it closely.

Later that evening, a CT scan showed an infection in the dugong’s lungs. Yamil went in to shock and its heart stopped beating. Despite carrying out CPR, the medical team was unable to bring the baby dugong back. Yamil was pronounced dead at 9.43pm.

Another baby dugong dies in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

Yamil when found

The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) thanked the public for the outpouring of love and concern shown to the dugong, as well as acknowledging the efforts of the vets and volunteers from the Libong Island community and various department officials.

The DMCR has stated that they would like to apologise to all Thais for being unable to save Yamil’s life, following the recent death of another dugong, Mariam.

“Even though both dugongs have gone, they have raised awareness of the importance of ocean preservation. We promise you that we, together with all Thais, will do our best to take better care of our marine and coastal resources.”

SOURCE: The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources

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