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Thailand: Doctors call for immediate end to recreational cannabis use

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More than 850 doctors and alumni of the Ramathibodi Hospital Faculty of Medicine at Mahidol University in Thailand have issued a statement demanding an immediate end to recreational cannabis use, claiming it poses “a threat to the public health system”. and to the people themselves, in the short and long term, announced the Thailand PBS World. On the other hand, the Reuters reveals today that Thailand is already making a lot of money with post-legalization sales, “from milk to toothpaste”.

thailand radically changed its paradigm regarding cannabis, having opted for legalization, with the government authorize self-cultivation and distributing more than a million plants by its inhabitants. According to Reuters, the Thai cannabis industry could exceed $3 billion in the next five years.

The statement was signed by 851 doctors and states that the announcement by the Ministry of Public Health that it had removed cannabis and hemp from category 5 from the list of illegal substances, which came into force on June 9, resulted in widespread use of the plant. for recreational purposes, including by young people, without there being a policy on how to control their use,

According to the statement, the findings contradict claims that decriminalization was intended to increase public access to medical cannabis and stresses that “there are many scientific studies that show that cannabis has negative effects on the brains of young people”.

Health professionals also expressed their support for a network of academics and civil society organizations, which had already issued an open letter to the government asking for the suspension of the decriminalization of cannabis, having also requested hearings to allow all interested parties to participate. the development of a national cannabis policy and the launch of a campaign on the change.org platform, which has since been signed by thousands of people, to stop recreational cannabis use.

From life imprisonment to virtually total legalization
Thailand is unique in the world, having gone from highly restrictive and punitive policies for cannabis users to an entirely innovative approach, even allowing self-cultivation of up to six plants per person. The decriminalization of cannabis and hemp is the main policy of Bhumjaithai, the second-largest party in the government, led by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Concern over recreational cannabis use by young people stems from the fact that cannabis and hemp were decriminalized when amendments were made to the Narcotics Act to regulate the use of both plants and their extracts, but these amendments are still pending in Parliament.

To resolve the misunderstandings, albeit temporarily, the government issued a statement on June 16th, declaring that cannabis and its extracts are controlled substances, which in theory should prevent children under 20 and pregnant women from or breastfeeding to use them. The use of cannabis in public, including smoking, is also prohibited, but Thailand is now experiencing a new moment, catching up with countries and states that have already legalized its adult or personal use.

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