Wed. May 29th, 2024

Why Thailand is outlawing cannabis only two years after legalising it

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May16,2024
Thailand will re-list cannabis as a narcotic by year-end, its prime minister says, in a stunning U-turn just two years after becoming one of the first countries in Asia to decriminalise its recreational use.

The move comes despite the rapid growth of the domestic retail sector for marijuana, with tens of thousands of shops and businesses springing up in Thailand in the past two years in an industry projected to be worth up to $US1.2 billion ($1.8 billion) by 2025.

What does Thailand’s Prime Minister say?

“I want the health ministry to amend the rules and re-list cannabis as a narcotic,” Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on social media platform X on Wednesday.

“The ministry should quickly issue a rule to allow its usage for health and medical purposes only.”

When was it decriminalised?

Cannabis was decriminalised for medical use in 2018 and recreational use in 2022 under a previous government, but critics say its liberalisation was rushed through, causing huge confusion about rules and regulations.

Why will it be re-listed?

Srettha’s comments followed a meeting with agencies involved in narcotics suppression, where he vowed to take a tough stand on illicit drugs and ordered authorities to deliver results and show “clear progress” in the next 90 days.

Drugs is a problem that destroys the future of the country.

Srettha Thavisin

“Drugs is a problem that destroys the future of the country – many young people are addicted,” he said.

What will the change mean?

He asked authorities to redefine what constitutes drug possession under the law, from “small amount” to “one pill”, to enable tougher enforcement by authorities.

Srettha’s government had earlier said it wanted to push out a cannabis law by year-end that would ban recreational marijuana and allow its use for medical and health purposes only.

Are there any critics of the move?

Prasitchai Nunual, secretary-general of Thailand’s Cannabis Future Network, said re-criminalising cannabis would be a bad move for the economy and deal a big blow to small businesses and consumers.
“Many people have been growing cannabis and opening cannabis shops,” he told Reuters.
“These will have to close down.”
If scientific results show that cannabis is worse than alcohol and cigarettes then they can re-list it as a narcotic.

“If cannabis is less harmful, they should list cigarettes and alcohol as narcotics too.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Why Thailand is outlawing cannabis only two years after legalising it”
  1. As an advocate for stricter drug policies, I support Thailand’s decision to re-list cannabis as a narcotic. It is crucial to combat addiction among the youth and ensure sound regulations are in place for its controlled use.

  2. Why is Thailand making a U-turn on cannabis legalization after just two years? What led to this decision?

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