These include the Pheu Thai, Democrat, and Move Forward parties, all of which have made it plain what their positions are in advance of the election, which is likely to take place on May 7.
Sutin Klungsang, the deputy head of Pheu Thai, stated that his party only intends to allow the use of marijuana for medical and research purposes.
He declared, “We do not accept the usage of marijuana for recreational purposes and have always adhered to this stance.
Sutin said that Pheu Thai will take control of the Public Health Ministry and tighten marijuana laws if it were to lead the next administration.
As a member of the ruling coalition, Bhumjaithai Party currently serves as the Public Health Ministry’s director. Thailand has taken steps toward decriminalizing marijuana and promoting it as a cash crop for the underclass, among other things, with the party in charge of the ministry. Cannabis is increasingly utilized across the nation for a variety of reasons, including recreation.
More than 1.38 million persons had registered as cannabis cultivators in Thailand as of March 5. Yet, because the hemp and marijuana regulation bill is still pending in Parliament, there is no law governing the usage of cannabis.
Sutin added, “The executive branch [leadership] of the government should accept responsibility for the harm produced by this vacuum.
The Democrats, on the other hand, oppose the unrestricted commerce of marijuana, according to party MP Dr. Banyat Chetanachan.
The alliance in power also includes the Democratic Party.
He declared, “I believe that the proposal put forth by [Public Health Minister and Bhumjaithai leader] Anutin Charnvirakul promotes marijuana use for recreational purposes.
Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the opposition Move Forward Party, has even more stringent views on marijuana. He thinks marijuana ought to be reclassified as a drug.
He said, “We ought to abide by the Single Convention on Narcotic Substances of the United Nations.
In an effort to take advantage of the potentially lucrative market, cannabis plantations have proliferated all throughout the nation.
Cannabis has been included by several companies in food, cosmetics, wellness services, and other products.
Sutin promised to consider all effects when arguing for the exclusive use of cannabis in medicine and research.
“If it is possible, we will relist cannabis as a narcotic, but if that poses a significant issue, we will establish corrective measures and allow the impacted parties time to adjust,” he said.
Banyat of the Democrats stated that if his party is elected to office, he will request that the permanent secretary of Public Health and the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establish a center to evaluate all implications.
Afterwards, he continued, “we can ask the Narcotics Control Board to make a new decision based on the data acquired.
He believes that the current legal void has made the marijuana business susceptible to exploitation. He thinks the vacuum also provides a way for those running unscrupulous enterprises to hide their illicit riches.
“I believe that we should draft three new bills: one for medical marijuana, one for hemp use, and one for recreational marijuana use. Let the public discuss the final measure, said Banyat.
Pita, the leader of Move Forward, argued that despite regulations restricting marijuana’s uses, the general public should still have access to the drug’s health advantages. But, in order to safeguard the general populace, cannabis must unquestionably be classified as a drug.
According to him, the Public Health Ministry will be in charge of executing cannabis-related legislation if the drug is not classified as a narcotic.
Yet there would be a problem with it.
“Neither the Public Health Ministry nor its staff are equipped to manage this. Pita warned that if we delegate this task to the ministry, the laws won’t actually be upheld in daily life.
Nonetheless, the police and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board would be in charge of upholding the law if cannabis were to once again be classed as an illegal substance.
Pita points out that this action would hurt some marijuana-related firms. Thus, he said, the new administration should devise solutions to assist them, such as purchasing all of their cannabis supply for use in the medical sector.
Bhumjaithai tightens its grip
Bhumjaithai has sworn not to change its position on marijuana legalization, which it made the centerpiece of its electoral platform four years ago.
Cannabis is beneficial. It can be used for many things, including spurring economic expansion. Suphachai Jaismut, a party-list MP and the party’s registrar, promised voters that if they supported them this time, they would make sure that cannabis was not prohibited.
The Narcotics Control Board, which is presided over by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, authorized the removal of cannabis from the nation’s list of illegal drugs, according to Anutin. Thus there was no reason to turn around, he claimed. The election’s catchphrase is “Yes to Free Trade on Marijuana,” according to Anutin. Let’s use it for the economy, healthcare, and medicine.
Dr. Paisarn Dunkum, the secretary-general of the FDA, stated that items containing cannabis would need to be taken off the market if cannabis was once again added to the list of illegal drugs.
Now, cannabis is an ingredient in more than 2,200 health products, he claimed.
What people are saying
The Association of Researchers of Thailand has presented 6,000 signatures in support of marijuana legalization to Anutin. It claims that cannabis has medicinal benefits and that reclassifying it as a narcotic will waste the numerous prospects it presents.
On the other side, there are growing worries that marijuana use is now so pervasive that unintentional consumption may occur. Some businesses use cannabis as a component without disclosing this to clients, which puts customers who may have adverse reactions to the herb at risk.
Cannabis, according to a number of medical organizations and civic networks, ought to be outlawed once more before its recreational use gets out of control. According to estimates, up to 11 million Thais used cannabis recreationally last year alone after it was decriminalized. This encompasses using marijuana in beverages, foods, etc. in addition to smoking it. From 2021, the amount increased by more than 900%.
In order to assist the government in finding a solution, the public should express their opinions on the matter, according to Dr. Bundit Sornpaisarn, a researcher at the Institute for Medical Health Policy Research in Canada’s Center for Addiction and Mental Health.
“You should tell politicians exactly what you want. Indicate whether you prefer a medicinal marijuana program or a recreational marijuana policy, he urged.