On November 3rd, 2023, Dr. Kittisak Aksornwong, the ministry’s acting deputy permanent secretary, and other relevant officials held a meeting to discuss the criteria for methamphetamine possession.
During the meeting between medical officials and law enforcement agencies, every sector’s opinion was considered regarding the social issues to locals, rehabilitation, correctional systems, and other related issues. Initially, consensus was reached on the criteria for possession of methamphetamine 5 units or less would be considered a drug user and not a dealer.
Read about the Ministry of Public Health’s previous ministerial regulations that the possession of methamphetamine of 10 units or less would be considered criteria as drug users, not drug dealers.
Dr. Kittisak publicly stated that the criteria that those who possess 5 methamphetamine pills or less would be assumed to be drug users and it is convenient for police officers to classify between a drug user and a drug dealer.
However, despite the possession of 5 or less methamphetamine pills, police officers may still have the option to press charges upon further investigation proving those guilty of distributing illicit substances as a drug dealer.
“Scrutiny between relevant agencies needs to be discussed before presenting to the cabinet. Other criteria for various illicit substances would be considered further as well,” added Dr. Kittisak.
Those classified as drug users and not drug dealers would be offered rehabilitation programs versus punitive measures, unless they were found to be dealers, Thai officials have stated. It’s unclear, however, if this would apply to a foreign tourist caught with five or less pills.