A majority of people agree with the removal of cannabis from the Category 5 narcotics list, saying the plant can be used for economic gain and medical purposes, but are still concerned it can be inappropriately used by children and youths, according to an opinion poll.
The survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll. was conducted on June 13-15 by telephone interviews with 1,310 people aged 15 and over of various levels of education, occupations and incomes throughout the country.
Asked how they viewed the removal of cannabis from the drug list, a move which has legalised cultivation and use of the plant with conditions, a majority - 58.55% - agreed with it. Of them, 34.81% strongly agreed, saying it is an valuable plant that can generate income and be used for medical purposes. Another 23.74% were in moderate agreement, saying the plant is more useful than harmful.
On the other side, 41.45% were in total disagreement - with 24.98% saying it is harmful to children and youths and the government has not been able to control its use. Another 16.56% were in moderate disagreement, saying use of ganja is hazardous to health.
Asked whether they worried about improper use of cannabis among children and youths, 42.44% said "yes", a lot; 29.62% said "yes", to a certain extent; 16.95% were not at all worried; and 10.99% were somewhat concerned.
Asked how Thai people would use marijuana in the future, 34.05% chose medical purposes; 31.15% recreational purposes; 22.21% for use in food and drinks; and 12.59% for various commercial products.
Asked about their experience with cannabis, 67.02% said they had no experience with it at all, while 32.98% (432 respondents) said they had some experience with it.
Of those with experience, 30.56% said they smoked marijuana; 21.06% used it for medical purposes; 6.94% had cultivated the plant; 1.39% had produced cannabis-based products for commercial purposes; and 0.23% had been involved in the trade of it.