Thailand News Today | No turning back on cannabis decriminalisations!

Thailand News Today

Thailand cannabis decriminalisation!

After a cannabis bill aimed at removing the decriminalisation of recreational use

and defining it for medicinal purposes was shot down this week in the House of Representatives,

Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul insists that re-criminalising the drug is out of the question.

Anutin, the leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, had initially pushed for the legalisation of cannabis in Thailand

but later backtracked after negative stories surfaced of people being harmed by the plant,

saying that the party only ever intended it to be made available for medical purposes.

This week, the bill blocked in Parliament was not because it over-regulated cannabis but because many felt the wording was too vague to quash recreational use strongly enough.

Opposition in rival the Democrat Party said loopholes and overly-relaxed rules allowed millions to register to grow, use, and sell cannabis, most likely not all for strictly medical use.

The Democrats and other political parties support reclassifying cannabis as a narcotic.

However, Anutin says it won’t happen, as the country already has Public Health regulations, such as regulations prohibiting smoking in public under nuisance smoking ordinances.

Anutin vowed to meet with Democrat leaders to find a compromise on their opposing views,

saying that it wasn’t a personal rivalry but a political disagreement.

The Public Health Minister, who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister,

says there’s no need to reclassify the plant as a narcotic until a total cannabis bill can be ratified,

as temporary laws already restrict problems like use by minors and pregnant women.

And, he argued, undoing the decriminalisation results would be disastrous, if not impossible.

He said, “If we reclassified cannabis as a narcotic, even temporarily, bringing back possible extended jail sentences and extensive fines.

Then do we have to put all previously released prisoners charged in marijuana-related cases in jail again?

Would we be chasing down the millions of Thais with one plant and throwing them in jail?

Or are we have to shut down every plantation in the country, regardless of usage or purpose, affecting over a million Thais?


Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

The Ambassador of the UK Embassy of Thailand in London, นายพิษณุ สุ วรร ณะ ชฎ,

will be the kingdom’s representative at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II today.

After allowing mourners to pay respect for four days at Westminster Hall, the coffin of Queen Elizabeth will be transported to the nearby Westminster Abbey at about 10.35 am today,

London time, 5.35 pm Thai time.

Yesterday, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ธานี แสงรัตน์,

announced that Thailand would pay homage to Queen Elizabeth and would send a representative to express condolences for the United Kingdom’s loss.

Queen Elizabeth visited Thailand twice in her lifetime. The first time she came with her husband,

the Duke of Edinburgh, where they visited the northern province of Chiang Mai on February 14, 1972.

In 1996 Her Majesty visited Bangkok and was hosted by King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand.

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh also hosted a Return Concert in deference to King Bhumibol Adulyadej,

Queen Sirikit and the Thai Royal Family’s members.


A ban on plastic scrap imports

A ban on plastic scrap imports is to roll out in phases over the next three years.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut Silpa-Archa, leads the subcommittee on plastic and electronic waste management.

At a recent meeting, they examined factories that used plastic scrap and considered their production capacity.

He insisted that the country must not be used as a trash bin for other countries’ garbage.

The plan is to roll out a full ban in three phases, starting next year.

The first step would be to measure the actual production needs of 14 major plants in the free trade zones and limit plastic waste imports to only what they can use in production.

Plants outside the free trade zone must get approval from the subcommittee before procuring any plastic scrap from abroad.

The second step would further phase out the shipping of plastic scrap to Thailand from other countries, reducing the total allowance of imports by 50%.


Bangkok’s small amount of green space

One of the causes of Bangkok’s relentless flooding is the small amount of green space that can be made into flood retention areas.

So as the country’s heavy rainfall continues to cause chaos, some experts suggest innovative solutions to the problem.

An associate professor at Chulalongkorn University says the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration needs to use incentives for landowners to offer their land for water retention.

The lecturer, สุจริต คูณธนกุลวงศ์, teaches at the Department of Water Resources Engineering.

In one example, สุจริต said the government could offer privileges to real estate companies

by increasing the sizes of buildings in limited high zones if the company provides water retention space.

Sucharit added that lands such as public parks should be converted into water retention zones in case of need.

He noted that his university converts green areas into water retention zones by keeping water for a while.

Another King Mongkut University of Technology professor said the government should focus more on climate change impacts.

The professor, อำนาจ ชิดไธสง, added that the government should strengthen weather-related agencies and for intelligent networks to collaborate and provide support.

This week, Bangkok Governor Chadchat Sittupunt said he planned to declare certain areas in the capital

that suffer from severe flooding as disaster zones and compensate victims. The governor yesterday reported

to the media that some districts in Bangkok were still under water from flooding.


A teenager risked his life to save a young boy.

A teenager in northeast Thailand risked his life to save a young boy who was electrocuted while wading through a flood.

The 12-year-old boy had been near a power pole near a school in Udon Thani province on Friday.

The teenager, a 19-year-old student อรรถชัย อาจอุดม, went in to rescue the boy and ended up suffering electric shocks as well.

Top Thai officials praised Atthachai for his heroic act. A government spokesperson said yesterday that acting PM Prawit praised the young man.

She said that Prawit has also ordered authorities to take steps to prevent electrical leaks from power poles.

Udon Thani governor Siam Sirimongkol visited Atthachai in the hospital yesterday. After thanking Attachai for his selfless compassion,

he gifted the student with a new mobile phone since Attachai had dropped his phone into the flood water.

The boy’s mother visited Atthachai to express her immense gratitude to him for saving her son’s life.

She said her son would have drowned if it wasn’t for Atthachai, and she thanked him for his “bravery and good deed.”

Thailand’s rain storms and subsequent floods are wreaking havoc across the kingdom. But with everyday heroes like Atthachai,

some situations are better.

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