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HomeTop StoriesThailand PM Takes Stand Against Recreational Cannabis, Supports Medical Usage

Thailand PM Takes Stand Against Recreational Cannabis, Supports Medical Usage

Thailand’s Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, has expressed his opposition to the recreational use of cannabis in the country, despite its controversial decriminalization in June 2022. The move, initiated under the previous coalition government, marked a significant shift from Thailand’s strict drug laws and led to the proliferation of cannabis dispensaries in Bangkok. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin emphasized that he supports only the medicinal use of cannabis, citing concerns about potential societal drug-related issues. He stressed the need for compromise within his coalition government and reiterated that the focus should be on the drug’s medical applications.

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of Thailand has publicly voiced his disapproval of the recreational use of cannabis in the country, despite its legalization for medical purposes. Thailand made headlines last year by removing specific components of the cannabis plant from its list of narcotics, a groundbreaking decision under the previous coalition government. This move led to a proliferation of cannabis dispensaries in the capital city, Bangkok, sparking discussions about the necessity of stricter regulations.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin emphasized his endorsement of cannabis exclusively for medicinal purposes, stating, “I don’t support the recreational use of cannabis.” He expressed concerns that unrestricted recreational use could potentially lead to broader issues related to narcotic drugs in society.

While underscoring his commitment to finding common ground for the benefit of the people through cooperation with the Bhumjaithai party, a significant component of his coalition government, Srettha acknowledged the importance of compromise. Bhumjaithai’s leader, Anutin Charnvirakul, had previously expressed intentions to advocate for pro-cannabis legislation in parliament, primarily focusing on medicinal use and consumer goods.

Srettha Thavisin had also expressed his opposition to recreational cannabis during his election campaign. The decriminalization of marijuana was initially viewed as an economic opportunity for Thailand’s tourism-dependent economy, aiming to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Last year, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce projected the potential market value of the cannabis industry to reach $1.2 billion by 2025. Nevertheless, critics and some dispensary owners have emphasized the need for further legislation governing cannabis use and sales.