On January 10, 2024, Dr. Tewan Thaneerat, the deputy director of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine (DTTAM), announced the progress of the Draft Marijuana Bill.
The draft has undergone eight revisions in the past three months and is now open for public feedback, emphasizing its potential benefits in medical use and economic contributions, said Dr. Tewan.
The proposed law provided opportunities for utilizing marijuana for medical, health, and economic benefits, distinguishing it from narcotics. However, strict regulations and licensing requirements are in place to prevent misuse, namely recreational purposes, and ensure responsible consumption, said Dr. Tewan.
Public feedback on the draft will be officially accepted from January 12th, 2024, or through the official website: www.dtam.moph.go.th. However, the deadline for public feedback is on January 23rd before being presented to the next cabinet meeting for further consideration.
Various activist groups such as the Network for Shaping the Future of Thai Cannabis and Chokwan Kitty Chopaka are also actively engaging in online discussions to shape the emerging legislation on January 11th before presenting the draft to the official, noted TPN.
After gathering public input, further discussions and adjustments will be conducted before presenting the final Marijuana Bill to the Cabinet for consideration. The focus remains on promoting medical, health, and economic benefits while addressing potential risks and ensuring compatibility with existing laws, said Dr. Tewan.
Dr. Cholnan Srikaew, the Minister of Public Health, clarified key points related to the draft Marijuana Bill, emphasizing the need for medical expertise in assessing marijuana use. The proposed law aims to control the use of marijuana and its extracts, particularly those with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of more than 0.2%, added Dr. Cholnan.
According to the draft Marijuana and Hemp Act by DTTAM, the draft legislation also outlines restrictions on advertising and marketing related to marijuana and its products. It prohibits sales to specific groups such as minors under the age of 20 and pregnancy, and restricts distribution in designated places such as public areas, religious sites, educational institutions, and other places to be announced by the Minister with the approval of the committee.
Strict regulations extend to the prohibition of driving under the influence of marijuana, and authorities are granted the power to conduct impairment tests.
The overall goal is to strike a balance between reaping the benefits of marijuana and safeguarding public health and safety, said the Ministry of Public Health.
This article originally appeared on our sister website The Pattaya News.