Thai Health Ministry Plans to Amend Controversial Methamphetamine Drug Possession Regulations, Reducing Legal Threshold to One Pill


On May 17th, 2024, the Thai Minister of Public Health Somsak Thepsuthin and relevant agencies held a meeting to review ministerial regulations stipulating the legal amount of narcotics and the amount of possession of illicit substances for consumption as a user, not distribution as a seller.

According to the ministerial regulations, effective on February 9th, 2024, specifying the quantity of narcotics and other psychotropic substances that were presumed to be in possession for consumption, not distribution, the Thai Minister of Public Health publicly revealed that it caused controversy among Thai society.

TPN previously covered the controversial five-pill methamphetamine regulation here.

It was reported that more than 67% of survey takers from the NIDA Poll disagreed with categorizing drug users into rehabilitation subjects. It was also misinterpreted by many people, according to Somsak.

In response to the complaint, Mr. Srettha Thavisin, the Thai Prime Minister, held a meeting on May 8th, to discuss the matters with relevant agencies. The Ministry of Public Health was ordered to amend the ministerial regulations suggesting a shift from “a small amount” to possession of “one pill of illicit substances” to establish clear legal standards and ensure effective enforcement between dealers and users.

Somsak added that the Ministry of Public Health had assigned a working group to review the ministerial regulations as it caused negative impacts on Thai society and local drug dealers found a loophole in the current ministerial regulations and sold illicit substances not exceeding five pills to evade arrest.

The meeting resolved to reduce the amount of amphetamine assumed to be a drug user to one pill and the pure substance not to exceed 20 milligrams. However, Somsak emphasized that people possessing one pill of amphetamine would be held guilty until proven they were not dealers. If the suspects were proven to be drug addicts, they would proceed to rehabilitation processing.

The Ministry of Public Health agreed to amend the ministerial regulations and set a time frame to change it of not more than three months.

Currently, it was in the process of listening to opinions from relevant agencies including civilians, public, and private sectors on the Ministry of Public Health website for 15 days before presenting it to a future cabinet meeting for deliberation, according to Somsak.

This article originally appeared on our sister website The Pattaya News.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.