The Thai government will urgently move a bill to ban the recreational use of cannabis, the health minister said on Tuesday, after the kingdom decriminalised the drug in 2022.
Cannabis was taken off the list of banned narcotics in June 2022 under the previous government, which included the pro-legalisation Bhumjaithai party.
The move prompted hundreds of cannabis dispensaries to sprout around the country, particularly in Bangkok, provoking concern from critics who urged the need for tighter legislation.
On Tuesday, the kingdom’s health minister said the new bill — which bans the recreational use of cannabis — will be proposed to the cabinet meeting next week.
“The new bill will be amended from the existing one to only allow the use of cannabis for health and medicinal purposes,” Chonlanan Srikaew told reporters.
“The use for fun is considered wrong.”
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who took office last August, has frequently voiced his opposition to the recreational use of the drug and said it should only be allowed for medicinal use.
There was fresh pressure from the public last weekend after attendees of British rock band Coldplay’s shows in Bangkok complained on social media saying “the entire concert smelled like marijuana”.
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