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Consideration Needed for Potential Cannabis Recriminalization

Consideration Needed for Potential Cannabis Recriminalization

Deputy Government Spokesman Karom Phonphonklang, a member of the Bhumjaithai Party, expressed concerns about the potential reclassification of cannabis as a controlled narcotic, effectively recriminalizing it. He noted that many sectors oppose this move and emphasized the need for careful consideration.

Mr. Karom highlighted the numerous benefits of cannabis when properly regulated and urged the Ministry of Public Health to conduct a thorough evaluation of the overall impact since its legalization in 2022. He warned that reclassifying cannabis could have severe negative consequences, especially for businesses that have heavily invested in the industry. “We must be cautious,” he stressed. “Cannabis has both medicinal and economic value. With careful management, it can do more good than harm.”

When asked if the reclassification would create a conflict within the coalition government, Mr. Karom acknowledged that each party has its policies. However, he noted that the final decision on cannabis reclassification rests with the Pheu Thai Party, which holds the most seats in parliament. He assured that the Bhumjaithai Party “will not stay silent” on the matter.

On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister and Bhumjaithai Party Leader Anutin Chanvirakul also addressed the reclassification concerns. He called for careful consideration of the legalization U-turn, warning that making cannabis illegal again could collapse an industry worth billions of baht, lead to tens of thousands of job losses, close thousands of businesses, and criminalize millions of cannabis users overnight, subjecting them to extensive criminal sentences and hefty fines.

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