Anyone having more than one methamphetamine pill in their possession will soon be considered a drug dealer in Thailand, as a major anti-drug law amendment is underway, only awaiting a sign-off by the Public Health Minister and the Cabinet’s approval.
Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul stated that the old law, which stipulated that anyone owning more than 15 meth pills was considered a drug dealer had been outsmarted by drug dealers who only kept on themselves 15 pills at a time so that they would be viewed only as a user when caught.
However, Anutin stated that this trick would no longer work out when the new law was passed, adding anyone with more than one pill would be considered to have the intent to sell the pill and thus receive a harsher penalty as a dealer.
“The dealers try to circumvent the law. They only carry around 15 pills at a time and then go home to refill their stock,” Anutin stated, “However, with the new law, the dealer will not dare risk carrying even one pill because it is not worth it when they get arrested.”
The Committee on Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts is working on the law amendment, which will subsequently be forwarded to Anutin for a final sign-off before being proposed to the Cabinet to be published in the the Royal Gazette.
The change will then become effective.
Anutin, however, did not respond to public concerns that the new law will quickly make every prison overcrowded with drug dealers and that it would be easier for law enforcement to unethically plant drugs on someone in exchange for a bribe.
Though, he did say that it would be more difficult for drug dealers to operate and that fewer young people would fall victim to drugs.