Public Health Ministry Seeks Public Input on Cannabis Reclassification Amid Protests and New Drug Control Regulations

National —

At 9:45 AM on June 11th, 2024, Thai Minister of Public Health Somsak Thepsuthin addressed a proposal to review ministerial regulations regarding the legal possession limits of narcotics for personal use versus distribution.

The proposed amendment suggests reducing the threshold from five methamphetamine pills to one pill for defining a drug user. Under this new regulation, individuals found with more than one pill of amphetamines would be presumed guilty of intent to distribute unless proven otherwise. If identified as addicts, they would be directed to rehabilitation programs.

Somsak emphasized that these individuals would also be thoroughly investigated to trace the source of the illicit substances, holding drug sellers accountable. The proposed regulations will be deliberated by the cabinet, then presented to the Council of State for further scrutiny, and finally returned to the cabinet for consideration. The cabinet has approved the proposed regulations today (June 11th) in principle.

The entire process is expected to be completed within June, after which the final regulations will be publicly announced.

Additionally, Somsak responded to inquiries from the Thai national media regarding ongoing pro cannabis protests at the Government House. Protesters are demanding that the government use scientific methods to determine the future of cannabis regulation and prevent its reclassification as an illegal narcotic.

Somsak assured that both sides of the debate on cannabis reclassification would be considered to ensure fairness.

To gather public opinion on this issue, Somsak has instructed relevant government officials to collect feedback through this government website over a 15-day period. During this time, both supporters and opponents of cannabis reclassification can voice their opinions.

Ultimately, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, with approval from the Narcotics Prevention and Suppression Commission (NACC), will issue the final announcements regarding cannabis regulation. This decision can be made without further cabinet or Parliament presentation, ensuring a streamlined process.

Pro Cannabis protesters, meanwhile, would prefer the issue go to a larger vote or Parliament and focus on regulating, not criminalising, cannabis.

Cannabis supporters are currently holding a 24/7 protest in Bangkok and have pledged not to leave until the Thai government agrees to compromise and meet them in the middle, choosing to regulate cannabis use versus make it illegal once again.

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.