Artid Sivahansapha, a Thai citizen, was sentenced last year to eight months in jail and a US$5,800 fine for posting a review of his beer on social media. His review was deemed as violating a law on advertising alcoholic beverages. His case highlights the need for the Thai government to regulate substances in a more comprehensive manner.
With cannabis being already legal in Thailand, albeit not for all forms, the need for clarity in how substances are advertised and promoted could not be less important. The current situation in Thailand sees the substance being used recreationally without proper regulation, and this needs to change. While proponents of cannabis might argue that this is due to the substance’s positive effects, the lack of standardized information is a concern. In the absence of regulation, the risk of harm related to the consumption of cannabis increases.
It is essential for the Thai government to take a more comprehensive approach toward regulation to reinforce the safety of the public. Canabis consumers must have comprehensive information about the drug’s benefits and side effects, to ensure they make an informed decision about its consumption.
Sivahansapha’s case has found support among people in Thailand who share his opinion about alcohol advertising and the need for broader and more comprehensive regulation of substances. Sivahansapha has also launched an appeal with the hope of getting the law changed.
As Thailand moves further towards fully legalizing cannabis, it is paramount for the Thai government to develop and implement effective regulations that support its potential benefits and mitigate associated risks.