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Is Cannabis Going Up in Smoke?

As a passionate endorser of medical cannabis policy, Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul recently voiced confident assurance about its ongoing acceptance and practice in the imminent health ministry. The conversation ensued at the Public Health Ministry, where Anutin put forth that properly administered cannabis came along with considerable benefits for its users. Additionally, he communicated a profound assurance that the forth-coming government would not wholly put a plug to this policy on cannabis for medical treatments.

The incumbent leadership of the governing Pheu Thai Party, Anutin highlighted, still had the policy in their line of sight. Anutin underscored the necessity for changes to the policy, if any, to be discussed extensively amongst government members. In his view, the ideal way to proceed would be to enforce a law that regulates cannabis use.

He suggested that the determination of the forthcoming government to restore cannabis to the narcotics list should necessitate engagements amidst several relevant agencies. These comprise the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice, among others. Anutin, who awaits his elevation to the Interior Minister’s office in the incoming government, expects to be succeeded by Dr Cholnan Srikaew, the erstwhile Pheu Thai leader.

Upon introspection, Anutin expressed his satisfaction with the prevalent medical cannabis policy. He identified no negative aspects unless the drug was and is misused in some cases. He disclosed that the Public Health Ministry had put regulations in place to monitor the use of cannabis. These restrictions involve the prohibition of smoking cannabis in public areas and barring minors from procuring the drug.

An essential prerequisite for potential cannabis shop owners is to acquire a license, as covered by Bangkok Post. Anutin blamed the growing issues surrounding cannabis on the unabated mushrooming of shops in urban areas. The shops are ominously close to schools and creating an environment conducive to misuse. This prompted the Pheu Thai Party to advocate for a reconsideration of cannabis’s classification as a narcotic.

In related developments, Anutin, the chairperson for the National Committee on Vaccines, corroborates the proposal for local administrative organisations to buy influenza vaccines from their budgets, starting next fiscal year. Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, the Director-General of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), was the source of this information.

Dr Tares stated that the National Health Security Office, along with the DDC, extends flu vaccines to the most vulnerable, including 12 million high-risk individuals. However, the supply does not reach the demand scale for influenza vaccinations.

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