Thailand is gearing up for its general election on May 14 this year, and one major issue at hand is the legalization of cannabis. The country has already decriminalized marijuana for medical purposes, but the wider legalization of the drug remains a contentious issue.
One key contender in the race for prime minister is Anutin Charnvirakul, the current Health Minister of Thailand. He heads the Bhumjaithai Party, which was responsible for decriminalizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes in 2019. However, the move led to an increase in recreational use, angering conservatives and prompting Charnvirakul to take a tougher stance against other drugs.
As the country heads to the polls, those who support the legalization of cannabis are eager to see positive changes made. Although the drug remains illegal for recreational use, it is now legal for medical purposes.
With more than 200 pro-democracy activists still facing royal defamation charges and each conviction carrying a penalty of up to 15 years in jail, cannabis legalization appears to be a minor issue compared to the fight for greater freedom in the country.
Despite such issues, the election remains significant, as it could set the stage for the country’s social development. Candidates are focusing on several issues, including economic recovery and the banning of public marijuana use.
As voters go to the polls, it remains to be seen whether there will be a change in the country’s stance on cannabis. Regardless, it is clear that this year’s election is a critical one for the nation’s future development.