'Intent to supply' meth law to be stepped up: Anutin
published : 2 Feb 2023 at 06:05
newspaper section: News
writer: Apinya Wipatayotin
The Ministry of Public Health's committee on drug rehabilitation will proceed to amend a ministerial regulation and charge anyone who is found in possession of more than one tablet of a methamphetamine pill with the offence of dealing in illegal narcotics.
The move comes after Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Sunday the ministry would be revising the law and taking legal action against any wrongdoers.
Mr Anutin said the committee's investigation shone a light on the extent of the meth problem in the nation and concluded measures had to be stepped up to keep it under control.
"The committee will amend the ministerial regulation today and send it to me for my signature. The ministry will later send it to the government for official acknowledgement. The new law will take effect after it is announced in the Royal Gazette," Mr Anutin said.
He added it would be up to the police to enforce the law, and they will decide whether suspects are treated as drug users or drug dealers based on the evidence at hand and their own discretion.
He further noted the committee would look into details of how to provide effective medical treatment for drug addicts, based on the logic that their numbers are likely to swell quickly once the law takes effect.
Meanwhile, Dr Amporn Benjaponpitak, chief of the Department of Mental Health, said the number of addicts is rising due to the cheaper price of speed pills on the black market. There are now around 800,000 patients registered as methamphetamine addicts receiving medical treatment, she said.
"Unfortunately, the problem is that a third of them have dropped out of the programme," Dr Amporn said.