Survey: 80% Of Thai People Want Marijuana To Be Illegal Again

88,961 people are backing the government's draft proposal to place the plant back on Thailand's narcotics list.

Cover image via New Straits Times & REUTERS (NST)

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A survey shows a strong majority of 80% of people back the Thailand government's decision to recriminalise marijuana

The survey was conducted by the Thai government through its Food and Drug Administration to understand the public's sentiments on the psychoactive plant.

According to the Business Times, 88,961 people, or 80% of the 111,201 people surveyed, are backing the government's draft proposal to give the psychoactive plant a "category five" label on the country's narcotics list once again.

The survey was conducted between 11 to 25 June this year.

Image via EPA (NST)

The U-turn to recriminalise marijuana comes two years after Thailand decriminalised the plant on 9 June 2022

Back then, Thailand made it legal for people to grow marijuana plants at home and sell the produce after it was legalised for medicinal purposes in 2018.

The decision was reportedly made to spur the country's agriculture and tourism industry.

Thailand also became the first Southeast Asian nation to decriminalise marijuana in a highly popular but controversial move.

Despite the move, people can still be fined and jailed for up to three months under the country's Public Health Act if they're caught smoking marijuana in public.

However, it appears under the new draft regulation, it would be illegal to consume marijuana recreationally again, regardless of location.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin now wants marijuana to only be limited for medical and health purposes by 1 Jan 2025

Citing a study by the Center of Addiction Studies at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok Post reported that marijuana usage increased by 10 times among young adults.

With marijuana dispensaries mushrooming across the country, the government raised concerns about the social and health implications of the plant on the country's youth.

The pressure to decriminalise the plant grew when Coldplay performed its concert in February this year. Many attendees complained that the smell of marijuana was prevalent during the entirety of the concert.

In a report by Bloomberg, Thailand's Health Ministry also revealed that the decriminalisation efforts saw medical marijuana expenses rise by six times.

Image via EPA (NST)

Hundreds of marijuana advocates and businesses have taken to the streets to protest the Thai government's shift in policy

However, the government claimed that business operators have no issues with the draft proposal.

Those who do, according to Thai Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin, are those who use marijuana recreationally.

That said, the government will still have to analyse public feedback before giving the draft proposal to the Narcotics Control Board for their green light.

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