Thai Deputy PM Anutin Charnvirakul Questions Legal Implications of Cannabis Reclassification, Calls for Clarification

National —

On July 6th, 2024, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul responded to the Narcotics Control Board’s proposal to reclassify cannabis and hemp as narcotics.

Anutin reaffirmed Bhumjaithai Party’s stance that cannabis should be used for medical and economic purposes, not for recreation. Anutin questioned the rationale behind this reclassification, as it reverts to a previous status set by the same board during his tenure as Minister of Public Health.

Read our latest article about the Bhumjaithai Party’s advisor reaffirming commitment to cannabis benefits and warning against hasty reclassification.

Anutin expressed concerns about the legal implications for community-level cannabis growers and questioned how the Thai government would address the thousands released for cannabis-related offenses in 2022.

He emphasized that the current Ministry of Public Health Somsak Thepsuthin must find solutions for those affected by this decision and urged the Narcotics Control Board to clarify their reasons for reclassifying cannabis flowers and buds as narcotics.

Furthermore, he criticized the lack of comprehensive cannabis legislation, warning that future health ministers could easily reverse cannabis policies, leading to ongoing confusion. Despite respecting the new minister’s approach, Anutin maintained that the Bhumjaithai Party stands firm in avoiding public distress and is willing to cooperate if there are valid reasons.

Previously, the “Shaping the Future of Thai Cannabis” network, led by Mr. Prasitchai Nunual, and M.L. Rungkun Kitiyakorn, called for nationwide protests against the reclassification.

They plan to occupy Ratchadamnoen Avenue on the night of July 7th and march to the Government House on July 8th, urging the public to join in large numbers to fight for the return of cannabis to the people.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for five years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.