Patients 'will suffer' if pot law nixed

Patients 'will suffer' if pot law nixed

The Bhumjaithai Party has warned that a large group of patients who use cannabis as a form of treatment in traditional medicine will be impacted if the plant is reinstated on the narcotics list, party spokesman Paradorn Prissananantakul said yesterday.

He was responding to moves by opposition parties and Dr Smith Srisont, a member of the Medical Council, to have the Administrative Court withdraw the June 9 ministerial announcement that saw cannabis no longer classified as a banned substance.

They are seeking a return to the guidance issued in 2020, which also allowed the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, following widespread reports of an uptick in the recreational use of the drug in recent months.

Mr Paradorn pointed to the economic boost afforded by those who are now growing and selling various strains of the plant for medicinal and commercial purposes.

"I want those who objected to the decriminalisation of the plant to realise that such a move will have an impact on millions of people who registered to cultivate cannabis at home," said Mr Paradorn.

"The draft cannabis and hemp bill to be reviewed by the House will resolve the matter," he said.

He also urged Dr Smith not to exploit the differences in political parties' policies regarding cannabis to sway the elections of council members.

Meanwhile, Watcharapong Kuwijitsuwan, secretary to the public health minister, said those who are most alarmed are the millions already growing cannabis in the hope of increasing their incomes, or for self-treatment.

"Many foreign countries are also gradually delisting cannabis," said Mr Watcharapong.

He backed a suggestion by National Farmers Council (NFC) chairman Prapat Panyachatrak who said all stakeholders should exchange knowledge rather than hamper the progress of the policy.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told the media that relisting the plant as an illegal narcotic would require further revision of the law. He instead suggested tougher regulation of its use without amending the current law.

If the announcement is withdrawn, the plant would once again be classed as a Category 5 narcotic substance.

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