The current medical cannabis policy in Thailand has shown great benefits to individuals when used responsibly and should be upheld by the incoming public health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul. In a statement given at the Public Health Ministry, Anutin expressed confidence that the “policy of cannabis for medical treatments” will not be discontinued by the new government. He further noted that the leader of the ruling Pheu Thai Party has publicly affirmed the inclusion of this policy in the government’s agenda.

Rather than abrupt changes, Anutin emphasized the importance of discussing any modifications to the policy among government members. He shared his view, stating, “The best thing we can do is have a law to control cannabis use.” Any considerations to reclassify cannabis as a narcotic should involve relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice, among others, according to Anutin.

Anutin, who will soon take on the role of Interior Minister, commented that he sees no inherent disadvantages in the current medical cannabis policy, apart from instances of improper drug use by certain individuals. The Public Health Ministry has already implemented regulations to regulate the use of cannabis, including the prohibition of public smoking and the restriction of minors from purchasing the drug. Additionally, individuals looking to open cannabis shops must obtain licenses, ensuring responsible distribution.

Concerning the issue of widespread availability, Anutin acknowledged that having numerous cannabis shops in urban areas, including those near schools, has led to criticism. This prompted the Pheu Thai Party to advocate for the reclassification of cannabis as a narcotic. However, the controlled and regulated nature of the medical cannabis policy aims to address such concerns and avoid any negative consequences.

In other news, the National Committee on Vaccines, chaired by Anutin, has agreed that local administrative organizations should be granted the authority to purchase influenza vaccines using their own budgets starting next year. Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong, the director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), revealed this decision. While the National Health Security Office and the DDC currently provide flu vaccines for those in need, including 12 million high-risk individuals, it does not cover everyone requiring a flu shot. Allowing local administrative organizations to procure vaccines independently aims to expand access further.

In conclusion, the medical cannabis policy in Thailand has demonstrated significant benefits when utilized correctly. Anutin Charnvirakul’s assurance that the new government will maintain this policy highlights a commitment to public health and well-being. By fostering an open discussion and implementing appropriate regulations, Thailand can continue to capitalize on the advantages offered by medical cannabis.

As a disclaimer, the opinions expressed in this article don’t reflect those of High Thailand.

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