Govt adjusts rule on meth possession

Govt adjusts rule on meth possession

The Public Health Ministry said on Friday that a person who possesses no more than five methamphetamine pills will be regarded as a drug user, not a dealer. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The Public Health Ministry said on Friday that a person who possesses no more than five methamphetamine pills will be regarded as a drug user, not a dealer. (Bangkok Post file photo)

A person who possesses no more than five methamphetamine pills will be regarded as a drug user, not a dealer, the Public Health Ministry says, citing the conclusion of a discussion on the matter by related stakeholders.

Dr Kittisak Aksornwong, the ministry's acting deputy permanent secretary, told the media on Friday that the amount was set based on well-rounded information on economic, social and health issues.

Previously, those who possessed 10 pills or less were to be considered drug users. Now, a person who has more than five pills may be classified as a dealer if the designation is approved.

He said the experts had a long discussion about the matter and initially concluded that a person in possession of five meth pills or less could be considered as a drug user who needs medical treatment.

The decision was made based on information from the Department of Mental Health, Food and Drug Administration, police and related agencies.

Citing medical information from Ramathibodi Hospital, he said that consuming over 55 miligrammes of methamphetamine can make users develop SMI-V (Serious Mental Illness with High Risk of Violence).

The conclusion will be submitted to the public health minister for approval, he said, adding public hearings will be held before it is sent to the cabinet for approval. If approved, an announcement will be made by the Office of the Council of State as a ministerial regulation.

The ministry has invited academics, anti-drug agencies and related departments to come up with a definitive figure of how many meth pills a person can possess before he or she is considered a dealer.

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