'We didn't legalise weed for fun': Bhumjaithai MP
An MP for the Bhumjaithai Party, which successfully campaigned for the decriminalisation of cannabis, took to Facebook on Tuesday to express concern at reports that people have been caught using the drug for recreational purposes in public places.
Bhumjaithai party-list MP Suphachai Jaismut on Tuesday stressed in his post that the party has only ever supported the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
He said party policy is to promote the health of people and economy and recreational use of the drug did not fall under that remit.
In his capacity as chairman of the House Scrutiny Committee on the Cannabis and Hemp Bill, Mr Suphachai said the issue will be among those considered prior to the Cannabis and Hemp bill's passage through the House next month.
"The party stands by its will to promote cannabis for medical use, and the Ministry of Public Health will keep issuing regulations to control its use. We have laws to oversee growing the plants and have never ignored the potential for misuse of the plants in public," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on June 16 signed an announcement to classify cannabis as a legally controlled plant and doctors can use its extracts for the treatment of patients.
Those aged over 20 years old will be able to possess and transfer the plants, although their use in public is not allowed.
Equally, children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are not allowed to be found in possession of the plant.
The offence carries a maximum term of a year in jail and a fine of up to 20,000 baht or both.
Meanwhile, Jeerapat Panthavee, secretary-general of the Court of Justice's Office of the Judiciary, issued an announcement to prohibit people and state officials against using cannabis for recreational purposes near state offices.
Mr Jeerapat has instructed directors from relevant agencies including the regional justice court to monitor their officials to ensure they abide by Public Health Ministry regulations aimed at minimising any ill effects caused by cannabis or hemp smoke.
The affiliated agencies of the office will be able to consider punishing violators, he added.