Cannabis use for recreational purposes should be totally banned, and parts of the plant with a high content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) should be reinstated as narcotics on the list of narcotics, according to Dr Rasmon Kalayasiri, director of the Centre for Addiction Studies.
Dr Rasmon said this in support of Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew's idea to amend the draft bill on cannabis and hemp proposed by his predecessor Anutin Charnvirakul. The bill was voted down by the past House of Representatives.
Before the bill was tabled for House deliberation, a ministerial regulation was issued to remove cannabis and hemp as Category 5 narcotics from the list of narcotics under the Narcotics Act.
Dr Rasmon said she supported Dr Cholnan's idea to alter the draft bill so that cannabis and hemp can be used for medical and health purposes only. The draft would ban them from being used for recreation, would exclude a proposal to permit the growth of 15 cannabis plants per household, and to reinstate flowering parts of cannabis with a high THC content on the list of narcotics.
She said medical personnel have no objection to using cannabis for medical pruposes. But they have found more people becoming sick from using cannabis for recreation, especially children.
Studies conducted between 2019-2022 showed the use of cannabis among youths aged 18-19 increased 10 fold from 0.9% to 9.7%, although receational use is prohibited by the law. This indicated the existing law is ineffective, she said.
Because of this, there should be a law to specifically control use of cannabis and hemp and to completely ban them from being used for recreation, Dr Rasmon said.
While there is no such law for the time being, there should be an announcement to reinstate cannabis parts with high THC content on the list of narcotics, she added.
Dr Rasmon Kalayasiri