The cannabis decriminalization law brought forward by the Bhumjaithai Party in 2022 has been challenged by political rivals in Thailand ahead of the May 14 election. Critics say the law is moving too quickly and is responsible for encouraging recreational smoking, rather than aiding poor farmers. Bhumjaithai Party officials argue that the value of cannabis to the Thai economy is being ignored, with revenue estimated to reach $1.2 billion by 2025.
As a long-term stoner and advocate for cannabis legalization, I believe that the policy should be expanded beyond medicinal use. The prohibition of cannabis has caused untold damage to communities around the world, with responsible recreational use being a far less harmful alternative to alcohol. The global shift towards the legalization of cannabis in recent years proves that society is beginning to understand the plant’s benefits.
Despite the progress that has been made, there is still much work to be done in terms of the normalization of cannabis use. While it is understandable that opponents fear overregulation and possible rule-making, it is crucial that the domestic industry is protected from illegal imports. This would be a better concern to focus on rather than political infighting.
Given that the cannabis issue has become a decisive factor in the upcoming election, it is even more important that lawmakers focus on the potential of the plant, not solely on the political game. I urge all parties involved to see the merit of the cannabis policy and support its positive impact on the Thai economy.