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Prasitchai Nunual Leads Rally Against Cannabis Reclassification: Advocates Demand Fair Regulations

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Cannabis enthusiasts are gearing up for a long-standing rally against the Public Health Ministry’s plan to reclassify the plant as a narcotic next month. This news was made public by Prasitchai Nunual, the secretary-general of Writing Thai Cannabis’ Future Network, after a rather heated meeting with Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin on Wednesday ended abruptly as the group’s representatives decided to walk out.

In the prelude to the meeting, the advocacy group called on the minister to champion legislation that would control the use of cannabis and establish a committee to explore whether a specialized cannabis act is necessary. The absence of such an act would subject cannabis use to the rigorous provisions of the Criminal Code, which imposes stringent penalties for cannabis-related offenses.

Mr. Prasitchai underscored the necessity for the ministry to abandon its reclassification plans unless it can be demonstrated that legalizing cannabis is detrimental to public interests. An hour into the exchange, Prasitchai and his colleagues exited the discussion, accusing Minister Somsak of being intransigent and unwilling to entertain compromises, according to an inside source.

Before storming out, Mr. Prasitchai alerted that no fewer than 10,000 patients dependent on cannabis-based traditional medicine might seek justice from Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. He argued that by restoring the plant’s status as a narcotic, these patients would be denied access to crucial medication. Additionally, individuals would be prohibited from cultivating cannabis in their backyards for personal medical use if Minister Somsak’s plan moves forward.

Should the reclassification proceed, cannabis cultivation would be restricted to large-scale operations intended solely for medicinal and research purposes—endeavors usually requiring significant financial investment. Critics argue that this move would effectively place control of the industry in the hands of big businesses. Mr. Prasitchai pointed fingers at a particular financier, reputedly with close political ties, who might be eyeing such lucrative ventures.

He took a firm stand against alarmists disseminating baseless claims and wild stories about individuals losing their mental faculties due to cannabis use. The network pledged a temporary retreat but promised to converge on July 8 near Government House for a prolonged rally demanding fair cannabis regulations that benefit the people.

Meanwhile, Minister Somsak revealed that at least two ministerial regulations would be necessary to specify which parts of the cannabis plant should be considered narcotic substances and outline legal avenues for cultivating cannabis for medical and research purposes, both requiring appropriate licenses.

He categorically ruled out the recreational use of cannabis. “That’s where the problem lies. People smoke weed in public areas, and the smell bothers those around them,” commented the minister.

Opas Karnkawinpong, the permanent secretary of public health, echoed the minister’s plan to ban private cultivation of the plant for personal use, adding another layer of controversy to this ongoing saga.


  1. Jane Doe June 13, 2024

    Restricting cannabis to large-scale operations is clearly a ploy to benefit big businesses. They just want to shut out the small, personal growers!

    • clinical_trials123 June 13, 2024

      It’s not about business, it’s about safety. Large-scale operations are regulated, ensuring consistent product quality and mitigating health risks.

      • HerbalMan June 13, 2024

        Consistent product quality? Give me a break! It’s about government control and profit, plain and simple.

      • Jane Doe June 13, 2024

        Exactly, HerbalMan. Personal use has historically been safer than corporate greed.

    • Susan L. June 13, 2024

      Yes, and what about the patients? They need access to affordable medicine, not overpriced products from big pharma.

  2. Joe S. June 13, 2024

    Cannabis should be legalized for recreational use too. Adults have the right to make their own choices.

    • ConcernedParent June 13, 2024

      Are you serious? Legalizing cannabis for recreation will just lead to increased usage among teens and public health issues.

      • Joe S. June 13, 2024

        Plenty of places have legalized it and haven’t seen the apocalypse you’re predicting. It’s time to move forward.

  3. Dr. Adams June 13, 2024

    Public health should come first. Reclassifying cannabis as a narcotic is a step in the right direction for controlling misuse.

    • GreenWarrior June 13, 2024

      How does criminalizing it help? It just drives users underground and creates more problems.

      • Dr. Adams June 13, 2024

        Regulation, not criminalization, is key. But reclassification could set clear parameters for safe use.

  4. Nate June 13, 2024

    Why can’t we just allow people to grow their own cannabis? It’s a plant, for goodness sake.

  5. Mary F. June 13, 2024

    More regulations mean more red tape for legitimate cannabis-based medicine. The patients are the ones who suffer.

    • legalbeagle June 13, 2024

      True, Mary. Regulatory red tape often stalls innovation and medicine availability.

    • BigTobacco21 June 13, 2024

      Patients shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get their medicine; we need a more straightforward legal pathway.

  6. rastaman June 13, 2024

    Minister Somsak is just against it because he can’t profit from people’s backyard plants.

    • Kelly June 13, 2024

      Accusations without proof don’t help the cause. Let’s stick to facts and data.

    • plantlover June 13, 2024

      But it’s a known fact that big business controls these decisions. Small voices are ignored.

  7. CommunityNurse13 June 13, 2024

    Cannabis needs regulation, but prohibiting private cultivation is too extreme. We need balanced policies.

    • Jake W June 13, 2024

      Balanced policies are key, but without proper enforcement, it could still be a public health risk.

  8. SavvyCitizen June 13, 2024

    This is just another classic case of government intrusion into personal rights.

    • PolicyMaven June 13, 2024

      Not really. Governments have a responsibility to protect public health, but they need to do it smartly.

  9. Tanya June 13, 2024

    The proposed regulations are a smoke screen. They’ll just drive the industry into the hands of a few wealthy investors.

    • Greg P June 13, 2024

      It’s like deja vu with the pharmaceutical industry all over again.

    • sustainable_farms June 13, 2024

      Exactly right, Greg. We need policies that support local growers, not just big businesses.

  10. Vimal R. June 13, 2024

    Why is everyone so against some form of regulation? We need a controlled system to avoid misuse.

    • CannabinoidKing June 13, 2024

      Controlled use is fine, but this seems like over-regulation. There’s no middle ground here.

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