Thailand moves to ban recreational cannabis use

Thailand: Thailand is considering new legislation aimed at curbing recreational cannabis consumption, following its landmark decision to decriminalize the plant in 2022. The draft bill, published by the health ministry on Tuesday, seeks to outlaw the recreational use of cannabis, restricting its consumption exclusively to medical and health-related purposes, reported Bloomberg.

The proposed legislation will reverse the measures implemented by a previous government in June 2022, which led to the proliferation of marijuana-related businesses nationwide. The proposed bill includes fines of up to 60,000 baht ($1,720) for individuals using cannabis for recreational purposes, with stricter penalties for those involved in its sale.

The surge in cannabis shops and cafes, particularly in tourist areas and business districts, raised concerns, prompting the current government to address the issue.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who assumed office after the national election in May 2023, pledged during his campaign to limit marijuana use due to the perceived risks of addiction.

The legislation calls for tightened licensing rules on cannabis-related activities, requiring current businesses to obtain new licenses or permits or face significant penalties.

Sunil Kumar Dhangadamajhi

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