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Prasitchai Nunual Leads Protest: Advocates Urge Rigorous Study Before Relisting Cannabis as Narcotic in Thailand

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Cannabis advocates are stepping up their game, calling on the government to form a specialized committee before making any hasty moves to relist the plant as a narcotic. Leading the charge is Prasitchai Nunual, the passionate secretary-general of the Writing Thai Cannabis’ Future group. On a sun-drenched Monday, Prasitchai and his spirited team staged a protest near Government House, demanding a thorough study on the plant’s impacts on physical and mental health, society, and its therapeutic benefits compared to tobacco and alcohol.

Prasitchai argued that if cannabis is found to have no more detrimental effects than tobacco and alcohol, it should be governed by a dedicated law that regulates its usage. However, if the data suggests otherwise, he believes it should be controlled as a narcotic. Emphasizing transparency, he declared, “A committee should study the issue. The facts should be established and laid out for the public to see.”

The secretary-general also pointed fingers, asserting that the sudden shift in cannabis policy is a cunning maneuver by certain government elites to safeguard the interests of influential players poised to gain from the reclassification of cannabis as a narcotic, under the guise of protecting public well-being.

Controversy brewed last week when the Public Health Ministry’s committee overseeing illegal drugs voted in favor of reclassifying cannabis and hemp as narcotic drugs, sparing only their branches, leaves, roots, and seeds. With this move, cannabis buds and any substances with over 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will once again face criminalization.

Protesters didn’t stop there; on Monday, they vowed to reveal alleged connections between dominant financial groups and politicians, especially within the ruling Pheu Thai Party leadership. This tantalizing threat added another layer of intrigue to the already heated debate.

Meanwhile, in the picturesque Phimai district of Nakhon Ratchasima, another battle is being fought. A community enterprise, headed by Thongchai Posawang, is urging the government to lend a hand to small-scale cannabis businesses reeling from the government’s failure to elevate the plant to a new cash crop status. Thongchai, a leader in the medical cannabis growth community, shared that despite a memorandum with the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, the venture has been fraught with high costs and disappointing returns, leading to significant financial losses.

Thongchai’s anxiety is palpable as he questions the future of cannabis farming, wondering if farmers will still be permitted to cultivate the plant. He voiced the concerns of many when he asked, “We’d like to know what measures the government has in store to help the farmers who fell for their campaign words. Will the government allow farmers to grow cannabis for medical use and research after this?”

Established in 2020, Thongchai’s community enterprise drew more than 230 farmers into its fold, all of whom are now left grappling with an uncertain future. The stakes are high, and the questions loom large as the debate over cannabis in Thailand continues to ignite passion, controversy, and suspense.


  1. Anna B July 8, 2024

    This protest sounds like a desperate measure from people not caring about public health. If cannabis is harmful, let it be classified as a narcotic!

    • Herbalist123 July 8, 2024

      Desperate? It’s called standing up for what you believe in! Tobacco and alcohol are way worse in my opinion.

      • Anna B July 8, 2024

        Standing up doesn’t justify harm. We need clear evidence—if it’s bad, it should be controlled.

      • Joey July 8, 2024

        Evidence is key, but let’s give cannabis a real chance. It’s shown to have medicinal benefits!

  2. Dr. Samuel K July 8, 2024

    Rushing into reclassification without thorough research is irresponsible. We shouldn’t make decisions based on panic or propaganda.

  3. Kelly July 8, 2024

    Considering how much revenue cannabis can generate, it makes no sense to criminalize it again. Look at how well Colorado is doing because of legalization.

    • Paul July 8, 2024

      Revenue is one thing, but we can’t ignore potential social issues. More studies are definitely needed.

  4. GreenWarrior July 8, 2024

    The government is just protecting big pharma interests! It’s always about money, never about what’s right for the people.

    • Realist_Rob July 8, 2024

      Look, not everything is a conspiracy. Maybe the government just wants to be cautious.

    • GrowerDude45 July 8, 2024

      Seeing is believing—connect the dots and see who benefits from criminalizing cannabis.

    • GreenWarrior July 8, 2024

      Exactly! It’s no coincidence influential players benefit from this move.

  5. Sandy July 8, 2024

    The farmers who were encouraged to grow cannabis are in a tough spot now. It’s really unfair.

  6. IvyLover July 8, 2024

    Prasitchai is a hero for standing up! The government shouldn’t play with people’s livelihoods this way.

    • Mark L July 8, 2024

      True, but heroes sometimes exaggerate. Let’s wait for the facts from the committee they’re demanding.

    • IvyLover July 8, 2024

      Waiting could ruin lives already dependent on the current policies. Action is needed now!

  7. SecMark July 8, 2024

    Transparency is key here. If the government has nothing to hide, why not appoint a committee and disclose the findings?

  8. Greg H. July 8, 2024

    It’s a shame to see so much effort directed towards cannabis when there are bigger issues affecting Thailand.

  9. DrGanja July 8, 2024

    Prasitchai’s point about a dedicated law for cannabis is spot on. Treating it like tobacco saves public health without criminalizing users.

    • Sam July 8, 2024

      Comparison to tobacco is fair only if the effects match; need those studies first!

    • DrGanja July 8, 2024

      Exactly, hence the call for thorough research before rushing to conclusions.

  10. Jenny Lee July 8, 2024

    The impacts of cannabis on mental health should not be underestimated. Some studies show it can lead to anxiety and depression.

  11. OptimistTom July 9, 2024

    With proper regulation, cannabis can be a boon for medical use. We should explore all possibilities before dismissing it.

    • SkepticSam July 9, 2024

      Medical use is one thing, but who ensures recreational use won’t cause issues?

  12. Benny July 9, 2024

    Government decisions should be based on solid evidence. If the reclassification is backed by data, so be it.

  13. EcoFriendly87 July 9, 2024

    The environmental impact of cannabis farming is another angle to consider. Is it sustainable in the long run?

    • FarmerJoe July 9, 2024

      As a farmer, I can say cannabis is less water-intensive than many legal crops. It’s very sustainable with the right practices.

    • EcoFriendly87 July 9, 2024

      Good to know, thanks for the insight. Sustainability practices should indeed be part of the discussion.

  14. Prof. Clark July 9, 2024

    A policy based on rigorous scientific study would balance potential benefits and harms and guide proper usage.

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