Chadchart frets over schoolkids using weed

Chadchart frets over schoolkids using weed

Says shops shouldn't sell to youngsters

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt chats with students during a bakery class at Wichutit School in Din Daeng district on Thursday. The governor was inspecting progress in City Hall's campaign to ensure schools in the capital are free of cannabis and other addictive plants. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt chats with students during a bakery class at Wichutit School in Din Daeng district on Thursday. The governor was inspecting progress in City Hall's campaign to ensure schools in the capital are free of cannabis and other addictive plants. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

Keeping young people away from cannabis, hemp and kratom requires the help of businesses near schools, says Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt.

He was speaking at Wichutit School in Din Daeng district, one of 437 schools run by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) that are being piloted as educational outlets free of the formerly narcotic plants.

The plants' removal from the narcotics list has triggered concerns that cannabis, especially, could be abused by young people and find its way into schools.

The governor said the decriminalisation of the three plants, which are now widely available, could harm students.

His visit to Wichutit School also took him to adjacent Prachasongkroh Road where some shops were selling cannabis leaves.

Mr Chadchart said he has asked the school to produce pamphlets and put up banners educating students about the potential harmful effects of the plants. Also, City Hall's thessakij inspectors will conduct checks to stop them being smuggled into schools.

He insisted schools can keep plants off their premises but the more pressing concern was nearby shops that sell cannabis.

However, the businesses have cooperated by not letting youngsters enter. "I have [them] to thank for lending a hand," the governor said.

Mr Chadchart said while the legalisation of cannabis may stimulate the economy, it could only benefit certain groups.

He said kratom is now being sold freely around some schools, which have a responsibility to teach students about its addictive properties.

"In fact, kratom may not be any less harmful than cannabis," he said.

In the meantime, Mr Chadchart is pushing ahead with a project to procure safety helmets for young students who ride pillion on motorcycles to school.

He said a survey showed 70% of the 270,000 young students attending BMA-run schools come to school on motorcycles but do not wear helmets.


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