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Move Forward-led govt’s policy on legalized cannabis – it’s complicated

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The new coalition government being formed by the Move Forward Party is set to reshape – if not reverse – Thailand legalization of marijuana.

As soon as the new government takes office, it will relist marijuana as a narcotic, according to Dr Wayo Assawarungruang, who sits on Move Forward’s public-health working panel.

“The move will enable the strict control of marijuana affairs,” said Wayo, who was elected as a Move Forward party-list MP.

“But we will of course also issue regulations to temporarily protect the interests of marijuana-related businesses that have sprung into operation legally. We will give them time to adjust to the new landscape.”

Backpedalling?

Cannabis had been banned in Thailand for decades under the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, before Bhumjaithai Party made legalization of the herb its core election policy four years ago.

Following the 2019 national vote, Bhumjaithai took control of the Public Health Ministry and began pushing for marijuana to be removed from the narcotics list. By the end of 2019, marijuana had been legalized for medical purposes.

Over the next three years, legal steps materialized paving the way for general use of marijuana. By late 2021, cannabis was no longer listed as a controlled substance under the Narcotics Code. The Public Health Ministry also issued new regulations to ensure that pot became fully legal, beyond just medical uses.

As a consequence, cannabis has become widely available in Thailand over the past year. In the absence of regulations governing its use, ganja shops and street stalls have mushroomed in cities, with some grocery stores now even stocking the herb. Cannabis is also being added to various commercial products including foods, beverages, and cosmetics.

source : www.thaipbsworld.com/move-forward-led-govts-policy-on-legalized-cannabis-its-complicated/

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