Thailand moves to eliminate cannabis

BANGKOK – Thailand on Tuesday became the first country in Asia to approve the de facto denomination of cannabis, although authorities have left a gray area around marijuana use.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced that the Drug Control Board approved the removal of cannabis from the Ministry’s list of controlled drugs.

The delisting of the ministry’s Food and Drug Administration will now need to be formally signed by the Minister of Health and take effect 120 days after its publication in the government’s official gazette. It follows the removal of cannabis – a plant that contains both cannabis and hemp – last month from the list of illegal drugs under Thailand’s Drug Law.

Police and attorneys contacted by the Associated Press said it was not clear whether possession of marijuana had been apprehended. A tangle of related legislation means that the production and possession of cannabis is still regulated during this time, rendering the legal status of recreational marijuana use in a gray area.

The measure of the Ministry of Health remains on the list of controlled drug parts from the cannabis plant that contain more than 0.2% by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient that causes addiction to users. .

In 2020, Thailand became the first Asian country to no longer produce and use cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Under changes made in 2020, most parts of the cannabis plant have been removed from the “Category 5” list of controlled drugs, but the seeds and buds, which have been implicated in the use of cannabis. recreational use, still retained. The proposal currently being made by the FDA removes all parts of the plant from the list.

Health Minister Anutin is the driving force behind the de-anonymization of cannabis. He is the leader of the Bhumjai Thai Party, a major partner in the country’s coalition government, and campaigned during the 2019 general election to legalize cannabis production to support farmers. The latest measure is also seen as helping to promote cannabis products as a major industry in Thailand.

Anutin last week said the FDA’s delisting “responds to the government’s urgent policy of developing cannabis and hemp for its medical and healthcare benefits, technology development, and income generation.” to the public.”

His party announced that on Wednesday it will propose in Parliament a draft Cannabis Act to clarify the legal status of cannabis.

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