Majority support medical marijuana use: Poll

Majority support medical marijuana use: Poll

A majority of people think that marijuana should be legalised for medicinal purposes, according to an opinion survey carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted on Aug 16-17 on 1,250 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country to gauge their opinions on the "use and harm" of marijuana.

Most of the respondents - 68.24% - said they had heard that marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes; 31.36% said they hadn't heard that, and 0.40% were uncertain or had no comment.

Asked whether a law should be enacted to legalise the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, 72.40% agreed, saying that such a law has already been passed in some countries; 24.96% disagree, reasoning that the law could allow uncontrollable use of marijuana, which could lead to an increase in crime; and 2.64% were uncertain or had no comment.

Asked whether they think Thai authorities would be able to control the use of ganja for medicinal purposes if there is such a law, a slight majority - 54.32% - believed they would be able to do so; 38.72% thought otherwise, saying that the law should include measures to prevent its use for non-medicinal purposes; and 6.96% were uncertain or had no comment.

Asked to provide suggestions on how legalisation of marijuana use for medicinal purposes would be implemented, 53.12% said the law should limit the use of marijuana in some places only, such as hospitals; 36.46% said the law should only allow cultivation of marijuana in certain areas; 29.04% said the law should be strictly enforced and violators should be subject to heavy penalties; 19.92% said people should be educated about the benefits and risks of marijuana use; 8.88% said the medical marijuana law used by other countries should be adjusted for Thailand; and 6.88% said free trade in marijuana for medicinal purposes should be allowed.

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