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Thailand’s New Methamphetamine Law: Stricter Regulations on Drug Possession Spearheaded by PM Srettha Thavisin

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Speed pills are displayed at a media briefing in Samut Prakan on Feb 8, 2024. (File photo)

The cabinet has greenlit a groundbreaking law that stipulates anyone caught with more than one methamphetamine tablet will be deemed an offender and stripped of the option for rehabilitation, according to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. This decision was made during the cabinet’s weekly meeting on Tuesday, approving the draft regulation presented by the Public Health Ministry.

Previously, the law dictated that possession of five or more meth tablets would result in legal action. However, the new rule lowers this threshold significantly, making individuals caught with more than a single tablet legally liable as offenders.

This shift stems from the Public Health Ministry’s proposal to abandon the controversial provision that considered individuals possessing between one and four tablets simply as drug addicts needing rehabilitation. Critics argued this created a loophole, allowing offenders to avoid potential prison sentences.

Mr. Srettha, who spearheaded the cabinet meeting, expressed that if a person is caught with just one tablet—or the equivalent of no more than 100 milligrams of meth—they would be regarded as first-time offenders, thus eligible for rehabilitation.

The draft regulation will now move to the Council of State, the government’s legal advisory body, for thorough examination.

Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin elaborated before the meeting that the one-tablet rehabilitation rule has a stringent condition: individuals must demonstrate that the drug was obtained for personal use and not for resale. Failure to prove this will result in prosecution.

Once the Council of State completes its review, the draft will be sent back to the cabinet for final approval, which Minister Somsak anticipates could be concluded within the month.

The minister emphasized that the new one-tablet rule aims to create a clear division between addicts and drug dealers. In line with this crackdown on the drug trade, any assets acquired through drug money—including those passed on to others—will be confiscated.

Moreover, the law provides for rewards to be given to officials involved in the investigation and prosecution of drug-related cases, as well as to informants, offering further incentive for diligent work in combating the narcotics trade.


  1. John Doe June 11, 2024

    I think this new law will unfairly criminalize drug addicts rather than helping them.

    • Mike123 June 11, 2024

      That’s the point, people need to face consequences to change their behavior.

      • Sarah M June 11, 2024

        But don’t you think rehabilitation works better than prison for addicts?

      • John Doe June 11, 2024

        Exactly, Mike123. The focus should be on treatment, not punishment. Addiction is a disease.

    • Laura A June 11, 2024

      What about those who use it rarely and would want to change? They need support, not jail time.

  2. GrowerJoe June 11, 2024

    This should’ve happened ages ago. Tougher laws will help clean up the streets.

    • Dr. Amy R June 11, 2024

      I disagree. Research shows that stricter drug laws can increase overcrowding in prisons without solving the root of the problem.

      • GrowerJoe June 11, 2024

        Do you live in these areas? You have no idea how bad it is. We need action now.

    • Ben June 11, 2024

      I’m all for stricter laws if it helps, but are there any plans to increase addiction services alongside this?

      • GrowerJoe June 11, 2024

        I think that’s part of what they’re trying to do with the rehabilitation option for first-time offenders.

      • Ben June 11, 2024

        I hope so, otherwise it’s just going to create more problems.

  3. Mary Poppins June 11, 2024

    So what happens if someone is framed? This could lead to innocent people being targeted.

    • TomBL June 11, 2024

      That’s always a risk, but the law says they need to prove personal use. It’s not an automatic jail sentence.

      • Laura A June 11, 2024

        But how do you prove it? It’s your word against theirs.

      • Mary Poppins June 11, 2024

        Exactly, it could lead to a lot of injustices.

  4. Eduardo June 11, 2024

    The government should focus on education and prevention rather than punishment.

    • Dr. Amy R June 11, 2024

      Agreed. Governments tend to opt for the punitive route because it’s politically easier, not because it’s more effective.

  5. Rahul J June 11, 2024

    Those caught dealing should face the full force of the law. No sympathy for drug dealers.

  6. Andrea G June 11, 2024

    I hope this doesn’t disproportionately affect poorer communities.

  7. Life4Sure June 11, 2024

    Will this new law even make a difference? Most drug users will just be more discreet.

    • Mike123 June 11, 2024

      It’s not about making them hide, it’s about deterring new users from starting.

    • Life4Sure June 11, 2024

      That’s wishful thinking. People always find ways around the law.

  8. Tina B. June 11, 2024

    It’s easy to say harsh penalties work until someone close to you gets caught up in it.

    • John Doe June 11, 2024

      Totally agree. It’s different when it happens to someone you care about.

  9. Sam T June 11, 2024

    By lowering the threshold, they’re turning more regular users into criminals.

    • Eduardo June 11, 2024

      And by doing so, they could be ruining more lives. This approach lacks compassion.

  10. ksenia92 June 11, 2024

    Well, as long as they can prove it’s for personal use, there’s no issue, right?

    • Sarah M June 11, 2024

      That’s easier said than done. It’s a huge burden of proof on the user.

  11. Pauline S. June 11, 2024

    It’s interesting to see how this will play out, especially with the rewards system for officials.

  12. Larry D June 11, 2024

    Rewards for officials could lead to corruption and unjust incriminations, wouldn’t it?

    • Tina B. June 11, 2024

      Good point. It might incentivize unethical behavior among law enforcement.

  13. Sophia G June 11, 2024

    I can’t see this ending well. Poverty and lack of education are root causes, not just the drugs themselves.

    • Dr. Amy R June 11, 2024

      Absolutely. Solving the problem requires a multi-faceted approach.

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