Thai Public Health Minister urges public not to include marijuana in government’s plan to eradicate drug problems

PHOTO: PPTV

Bangkok –

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Wednesday, October 12th, urged the public not to include marijuana legalization as a part of the government’s plan to eradicate the drug problems in Thailand.

The Minister told reporters before attending a meeting to discuss urgent measures to solve the problem of drugs with the Prime Minister and Public Health officials that the related government agencies – including the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Medical Services, and the Princess Mother National Institute on Drug Abuse Treatment (PMNIDAT), would cooperatively work to seek solutions and solve the issue of drug abuse in the local communities.

When asked by reporters if there would be a review of the Cannabis and Hemp Act after the incident of the mass shooting in Nong Bua Lamphu, Anutin said that methamphetamine is a drug but marijuana is no longer a drug, so it was not the same thing anymore. Anutin held firm that he would not support any attempt to decriminalize cannabis as a narcotic drug, as suggested by some government opposition groups.

“Marijuana had already been removed from Category 5 of the narcotics drug list in June. What’s considered a drug was only an extract that contains more than 0.2 percent of THC. Please don’t include the plant with the government drug policy.”

Before the meeting, reporters also inquired to the Minister about the fact that he and other executives of the Ministry of Public Health not wearing masks today was a tactic to build confidence among the public, Anutin replied that the D-Day of the cancellation of the mask mandate was announced since October 1st and the Public Health members already received 5th dose of the vaccine.

“It’s been canceled since October 1st, isn’t it? And now we are in the open area and everyone was already vaccinated. Public health officials already had the fifth dose and there is no risk…but if we are indoors, like a meeting room, everyone already did an ATK test before going in. We must trust one another. If someone thought that they had suspicious symptoms, then they should wear a mask or something like this,” Anutin added.

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News from September 2020 to October 2022. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.