The coalition Thai Democrat Party has threatened to withdraw the Cannabis and Hemp Bill proposed by coalition partner Bhumjai Thai Party because no amendments to the bill have been made.
The Democrat Party also stated that if the bill was not amended, they would push to make cannabis completely illegal in Thailand again by classifying it as a category 5 narcotic. Several Democrat members, led by Satit Wongnongtoey, Democrat MP for Trang province, said the Cannabis and Hemp Bill vetting committee ignored all concerns raised by the Democrats, the main government opposition Pheu Thai Party, and Chulalongkorn University medical personnel. Concerns included the reclassification of cannabis as a narcotic, the reinterpretation of cannabis use for medical purposes in households, and the regulation limiting the sale of cannabis smoking tools for recreational purposes.
“Because the vetting committee did not amend the bill, the Democrats must protect the public interest by voting against it because it is too lax,” Satit told the Associated Press.
He went on to say that Thailand is now seen as a capital of liberal cannabis by other countries, attracting cannabis tourism rather than medical tourism, in contrast to Anutin Charnvirakul, Public Health Minister and the main proponent of the cannabis and hemp bill, who originally stated that cannabis was only for medical use.Satit stated that cannabis could be reclassified as a Type 5 narcotic, which would make cannabis illegal again, forcing all cannabis shops to close and anyone possessing or using cannabis to face extensive jail time and fines.
“I implore the public health minister to reconsider the bill in order to prevent Thai society from becoming addicted to cannabis.” “This is not political, but it is for the sake of the country,” Satit told the press today, November 2nd, in parliament. Meanwhile, at the parliament today, Anutin Charnvirakul accepted a letter from supporters of the cannabis and hemp bills. The bill’s supporters argued that it should go into effect as soon as possible.
In response, Anutin stated that the Bhumjai Thai Party would do everything possible to get the bill passed. He claimed that the bill now has 95 sections, up from 45 before the vetting committee took concerns from other coalition partners and the opposition into account. Anutin urged other MPs to listen to the will of the people if they wanted to be good MPs.
“The Bhumjai Thai Party has done everything in our power.” We are not afraid of those who threaten to drop the bill because they are afraid we will gain popularity. “It is too late to try to stop the decriminalization of cannabis,” Anutin told his supporters and the press.