The Medical Council of Thailand has warned against the use of cannabis in food or snacks, saying it is unnecessarily increasing the load on hospital emergency services.
The council wrote in its Facebook account on Wednesday that since June 9 many consumers of cannabis had suffered acute illness, hallucinations, and hurt themselves and others. It referred to the decriminalisation of cannabis on June 9.
“The load on emergency rooms has increased unnecessarily,” it said.
The council warned against the use of cannabis as an ingredient in food and snacks for all consumers.
“Do not add cannabis or hemp to food or snacks for people to consume,” the council wrote.
Cannabis also had long-term negative impacts on brain growth and development in children. Cannabis must not be used by pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers or people aged 25 years or younger due to to the harm it causes to young brains, it said.
The council also seriously advised people not to use cannabis for recreation, saying use of cannabis buds would cause serious deterioration of users’ health.
The council disagreed with the use of cannabis as the first choice for the treatment of illness. Cannabis should be the last resort if other standard medications could not treat the illness, it said.
Cannabis could not cure an illness, and could be used only to relieve symptoms temporarily, the Medical Council said.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said his Bhumjaithai Party had a policy of cannabis decriminalisation during its past election campaign.
As the party won 40-50 House seats and entered the government it could not discard the policy, he said.
Mr Anutin, the Bhumjaithai Party leader, said the policy was being implemented successfully and people had started to understand that the policy was aimed at contributing to medicine and promoting health.
“The people who understand us are giving us moral support,” said Mr Anutin, who is also a deputy prime minister.
He said that cannabis use for recreation was an abuse and organisations were informing people of proper use.
Smoking cannabis in public and sale of cannabis to people aged under 20 years, pregnant women and breast-feeding women was illegal, with offenders liable to fines and/or imprisonment, Mr Anutin said.
Cannabis growers were required to register because the government prohibited cannabis imports. Growers should think carefully before deciding to cutivate cannabis if their family had children, he said.
Registration facilitated authorities’ investigation into cannabis abuse, Mr Anutin said.