Thailand’s Cannabis Future Network warns parties against reinstating plant as narcotic

Photo Courtesy of AP Newsroom

The Cannabis Future Network in Thailand has called upon three alliance parties not to reinstate cannabis as a narcotic drug, referring to the decision as “getting the first shirt button wrong” and potentially leading to further issues. The network leader, Prasitchai Nunual, expressed his concerns on their Facebook fan page, stating that the ad-hoc committee responsible for discussing the removal of the drug from the list of narcotic drugs was established before the Thai General Election.

This committee included not only experts but also representatives from political parties such as the Move Forward Party (MFP), the Pheu Thai Party, and the Prachachart Party. These three parties were among the seven allies that signed a working agenda on Monday, May 22. Prasitchai finds their attempt to change their agenda on cannabis after the election, including the reinstatement of cannabis as a narcotic drug, contradictory and not in the best interest of the country. The post read…

“It is okay to go back on their words based on the committee’s earlier studies, but not based on public opinion or their political beneficiaries.”

Prasitchai further explained that a shift in cannabis policy based solely on public opinion could lead to a worse situation in the future. He recommended that the parties review the study results once more before considering reinstatement, reported Bangkok Post.

In addition, growers in Khon Kaen have also urged for discussions to take place before any changes are implemented.

Seangpirun Wongtawan, a cannabis shop owner in Khon Kaen, expressed her concerns about unclear legal regulations on the drug, making it challenging for owners to comply, especially regarding plant registration. She hopes that new regulations will focus more on the medical applications of the plant, as “growers have already invested large amounts in their products.”

Cannabis was decriminalized on June 9, 2022. Medical use, with patients requiring a prescription, has been made legal since 2018.

Last year, the Thai Food and Drug Administration officially removed the cannabis plant from the Category 5 narcotics list. Possession, cultivation, distribution, consumption, and sales of all cannabis plant parts are legal.

Cannabis extracts and products (including edibles, food supplements, cosmetics, etc.) containing THC of more than 0.2% by weight are still categorized as narcotics. Import and export of cannabis are still highly regulated. Recreational use of cannabis products is discouraged but legal.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.