Decha Siriphat
Decha Siriphat

Anutin joins activist Decha’s fight over cannabis

national April 08, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

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BHUMJAI THAI party leader Anutin Charnvirakul yesterday posted on his Facebook Page that he would post a bail for noted agriculturalist Decha Siriphat and his colleague, who were last week charged with illegally possessing marijuana.

“I will take responsibility for posting a bail and fight for justice for Khun Decha and Khun Pornchai,” Anutin said on his page, where he also shared a post calling for donations to support Decha’s fight.

Anutin, whose party campaigned for free access to marijuana, and is now being wooed to join a coalition of the next government by major parties, said the party executive was already in contact with Decha’s staff.

He said the party would push for a legal amendment to the current narcotics drugs law to free marijuana, in keeping with his party’s campaign. 

Newin Chidchob, once the party’s heavyweight, who in recent years has distanced himself from politics, also launched a hashtag #SaveDecha on his Facebook Page, LungNewin.

Police on Thursday raided Decha’s rice variety development centre, Khao Khawn Foundation, in Suphan Buri province. 

Police allegedly found evidence of marijuana-growing when they raided a rice strain development centre in Suphan Buri’s Muang district on Thursday.

The 30-strong police and Army team searched the centre in tambon Sa Kaew in Muang district and allegedly found 200 marijuana plants along with five bags of marijuana seeds, some dried and powdered weed products as well as 22 litres of marijuana liquid. The five workers at the centre were taken to the Sa Kaew precinct for questioning. 

Police said they would summon Decha when he got back from his overseas trip. Alternative Farming Network, Decha’s alliance, said he had been experimenting with marijuana and given some marijuana oil to patients with cancer to bring them relief from pain without taking any payment. 

Prapat Panyachartraksa, chairman of the National Farmers Council, said he disagreed with the police action as the law should not be enforced blindly and without taking intention into account.

In this case, Decha was experimenting with marijuana with an intention to produce medicines to help cure people without taking any benefits out of it, he said. The law itself has a provisional clause, giving people who possess marijuana before it takes effect 90 days to report their possession to the authorities, and the amnesty period was still on. 

Decha’s alliances, including the network and BioThai, are mobilising funds to help him in the upcoming legal battle.