Hundreds start 256km walk to support medical marijuana

Hundreds start 256km walk to support medical marijuana

Marchers begin the Cannabis Walk Thailand in Phichit province on Tuesday. (Photo by Sitthipoj Kebui)
Marchers begin the Cannabis Walk Thailand in Phichit province on Tuesday. (Photo by Sitthipoj Kebui)

About 1,000 people started a long walk from Phichit province to Suphan Buri province on Tuesday to raise funds for research and development into medical applications for marijuana -- and to call for the general public's right to grow it as a medical herb.

Daycha Siripatra, a researcher on using marijuana oil for medical treatment, led the marchers -- including representatives of health and alternative medicine organisations -- as they set off on their 256-kilometre-long Cannabis Walk Thailand from Wat Pah Vachirabhotiyan in tambon Thai Nam of Phichit's Pho Thale district on Tuesday morning. The 20-day walk is set to finish at Wat Bang Pla Mor in Muang district of Suphan Buri on June 9.

The first day of the walk covered 13 kilometres and ended at Wat Mai Mongkol Thung Krathang in Bung Na Rang district of Phichit.

Apart from raising funds to develop the production of marijuana extract for medical treatment, the march is aimed at raising public awareness of the medical benefits of marijuana. The marchers called on the state to allow ordinary people to grow marijuana as a medical herb, instead of limiting that right to a few organisations. Public discussions led by people knowledgeable about the medical use of marijuana are planned along the route. 

Mr Daycha founded the Khaokwan Foundation, the organisation that became famous for giving free marijuana oil to cancer patients -- and for the legal charges levelled by the Narcotics Control Board. Wat Wat Bang Pla Mor and Wat Pah Vachirabhotiyan, where the march began on Tuesday, were Mr Daycha's primary distribution centres. 

Among the marchers on Tuesday were Arthit Ourairat, president of Rangsit University, Adm Charnchai Charoensuwan, president of the Thai Traditional Medical Council, and Rosana Tositrakul, director of the Thai Holistic Health Foundation.

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