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Thailand’s Cannabis Legislation Protest: Advocates Rally Against Relisting as Narcotic

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Police stood guard as passionate cannabis advocates gathered to voice their dissent against the government’s controversial plan to relist the beloved plant as a narcotic. On that crisp Monday morning, the energy was palpable as the throng of protesters vowed to continue their demonstrations until a satisfactory law regulating the plant was passed.

Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin appeared unruffled by the gathering of these fervent advocacy groups outside Government House. They were led by the dynamic Prasitthichai Nunual, a key representative of the People’s Network for Cannabis Legislation in Thailand. As the sun rose on Sunday, around 300 militants for the green cause assembled, ready to oppose the blacklisting and prepared for an extended rally.

Addressing the media on Monday, Mr. Somsak acknowledged the protesters were merely exercising their constitutional right to be heard by the nation’s senior government figures. However, he pointed out that the prime minister had yet to issue any special directives concerning the protest or the contentious cannabis issue. Despite the looming uncertainty, the Pheu Thai minister was optimistic, reiterating the commitment to allow medicinal use and bolster the economy through cannabis.

Mr. Somsak assured that business operators dependent on cannabis would be given ample time to adjust to minimize any adverse impacts of the relisting. When queried about the necessity of a bill to regulate cannabis use in the face of potential relisting, he diplomatically stated that discussions were ongoing and citizens must adhere to current regulations until changes were implemented.

Flashback to 2022—the year cannabis was triumphantly decriminalized—thanks to the Bhumjaithai Party’s flagship campaign ahead of the 2019 election, leading to widespread jubilation among cannabis supporters. However, this victory was bittersweet, as it arrived before the necessary legislation to control and regulate its use, sparking concerns about its abuse, especially among the youth.

During the previous parliament, a cannabis and hemp bill, sponsored by the Bhumjaithai Party, had successfully cleared its first reading but was later shot down in the second. Now, with the Pheu Thai-led government eyeing the relisting of cannabis as a narcotic drug, rumors swirled that the need for a specific regulatory law might evaporate.

Yet, Mr. Prasitthichai and his fellow warriors were undeterred, determined to stay put until the cherished law to regulate cannabis use was actualized. “But if the government insists on reversing the decision, we’re demanding a public consultation process be established. After all, it’s no worse than tobacco or alcohol and boasts medicinal properties,” Prasitthichai passionately argued.

In a twist of political theater, Bhumjaithai Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul added fuel to the fire. He urged the government to lend an ear to both sides of the debate. When asked about the Public Health Ministry possibly restricting only certain parts of the plant, like flowers, he deftly redirected the question back to the public health minister, leaving the door wide open for further discussion.


  1. Mary A. June 10, 2024

    It’s ridiculous that the government would consider relisting cannabis as a narcotic. This is a step backwards!

    • JerryD June 10, 2024

      You just want to smoke weed legally. It’s not safe and it’s going to hurt our youth.

      • MedicalMary June 10, 2024

        Actually, cannabis has many medicinal benefits. It’s not just about getting high.

    • Ethan P. June 10, 2024

      Agreed, Mary. We need regulations, but relisting it as a narcotic is the wrong move.

      • JerryD June 10, 2024

        Regulations are meaningless if kids can still get their hands on it.

    • Mary A. June 10, 2024

      Exactly, Ethan. Thoughtful regulation is the solution, not prohibition.

  2. GrowerJack June 10, 2024

    The government is shooting itself in the foot economically by relisting cannabis.

    • Sarah L. June 10, 2024

      How so? Explain your point.

    • GrowerJack June 10, 2024

      Cannabis can boost our economy with jobs, taxes, and new businesses. Relisting it kills that potential.

  3. Kathy M. June 10, 2024

    There’s no way cannabis is worse than alcohol or tobacco. Look at the scientific evidence!

    • OldSchoolTom June 10, 2024

      The government doesn’t always follow science. Unfortunately, politics plays a big role.

      • Derek F. June 10, 2024

        True that. It’s all about who has power and influence in the government.

    • ScienceGuy June 10, 2024

      Fully agree, Kathy. Research shows that cannabis can be beneficial, especially medically.

  4. NinaS June 10, 2024

    I’m worried about the youth. Cannabis is not harmless and could lead to bigger problems.

    • Dr. Pinoy June 10, 2024

      Limiting access to youth through smart regulation can help. No need to relist it as a narcotic.

    • Alex T. June 10, 2024

      Exactly. We should treat it like alcohol or tobacco, not overreact and relist it as a narcotic.

  5. Bob June 10, 2024

    Protests like these are important. People should have a say in the laws that govern them.

  6. CannabisLover123 June 10, 2024

    Thailand decriminalized cannabis for a reason. Medicinal uses are undeniable and the economy standpoint is solid.

    • Mario June 10, 2024

      I think Thailand should set an example for other countries by keeping it legal and well-regulated.

      • Anya June 10, 2024

        Totally agree. We’ve seen success stories in other places. Why not Thailand?

    • Steve R. June 10, 2024

      Let the people decide through a public consultation. Isn’t that what democracy is about?

      • Mario June 10, 2024

        Exactly, Steve. Everyone should have a voice on this issue.

  7. GreenThumb73 June 10, 2024

    What about the livelihoods of those who depend on cannabis farming and businesses? They’re not being considered.

    • PragmaticPaul June 10, 2024

      A phased approach might help, giving businesses time to adjust. We need to think about all stakeholders.

    • GreenThumb73 June 10, 2024

      A phased approach is better, but relisting still feels like the wrong direction.

  8. Jenny C. June 10, 2024

    If there are concerns about abuse, why not focus on education and responsible use instead of making it illegal again?

    • HopefulHelen June 10, 2024

      Exactly. Education is key. People need to be informed about both the benefits and risks.

    • ConcernedCitizen June 10, 2024

      Education alone won’t be enough. We need strict regulations too.

  9. JohnD June 10, 2024

    The government’s approach seems too heavy-handed. There’s a middle ground that benefits everyone.

  10. EcoWarrior June 10, 2024

    It’s insane to protest a plant with so many potentials. We should be embracing cannabis!

    • SkepticSam June 11, 2024

      Potential doesn’t mean it’s safe for everyone though. There need to be controls in place.

      • EcoWarrior June 11, 2024

        I never said no controls, Sam. Smarter regulations, not outright bans.

  11. Alan B. June 10, 2024

    I stand with the protesters. The government should focus on real issues, not trying to undo progress.

  12. Observer42 June 11, 2024

    What’s the point of decriminalizing cannabis if it can just be taken away again with the stroke of a pen?

  13. Sara M. June 11, 2024

    Thailand could become a leader in cannabis reform. Reversing course now would be such a waste.

    • FutureThinker June 11, 2024

      Absolutely. This could be a missed opportunity for Thailand to innovate and lead.

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