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Thai medical organisations ask government to rethink cannabis legalisation

The Medical Council of Thailand, along with 16 other medical organisations and royal colleges, have signed a petition seeking to limit the use of cannabis to medical purposes and firmly opposing its use for recreational purposes.

They claim that the current policies, which do not consider cannabis to be a dangerous or illegal drug and allow people to grow and use cannabis for treatment by themselves, are causing problems which will lead to negative consequences in the near future.

Therefore, they have offered five suggestions on the use of cannabis and its extracts for medical treatment, which are:

  • The use of cannabis for medical treatment must be based on empirical evidence
  • Cannabis must be of high quality and must be used under Thailand’s Drugs Act, to protect patients who are being treated with such plants. Any cannabis or its extracts used for treatment must not contain any contaminants.
  • Doctors and pharmacists must be trained on how to use cannabis and its extracts
  • All patients must be screened and evaluated before, during and after treatment with cannabis.
  • Government authorities, such as the Thai Food and Drug Administration, should also regulate the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

They also reiterate that the use of cannabis strictly for medical purposes is for the benefit of all parties, oppose the use of cannabis for recreational purposes and seek the strict reinforcement of the cannabis-related policies to prevent the use of cannabis for recreational purposes.

Thailand decriminalised the use of cannabis and hemp on June 9th this year, which has led to a boom in cultivation, sales and use. Regulations have been issued to ban the smoking of cannabis in public, to bar the substances from schools and sales to people aged under 20 and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Recreational use is popular, despite the authorities discouraging it.

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