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175 professionals certified to prescribe cannabinoid medicines

175 professionals certified to prescribe cannabinoid medicines

THURSDAY, May 09, 2019
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Folk doctor decha among those officially qualified to dole out medical marijuana

THAILAND HAS certified its first batch of professionals to prescribe marijuana-based medication.
The Medical Services Department yesterday released the names of 175 individuals who have successfully completed the two-day training on the use of medical marijuana.
A source revealed that 192 had attended the training, but only 175 had passed it. The successful participants in this session will become the first to qualify for prescribing marijuana-laced medication. 
Dr Pramote Stienrut, deputy director-general of the Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, said yesterday that the list included pharmacists and practitioners of modern medicine as well as those in the traditional and applied Thai medicine fields. 
“And there is just one folk doctor, Decha Siriphat, on the list” Pramote said.
Decha, who leads the Suphan Buri-based Khao Kwan Foundation, recently made the headlines after police raided his organisation and arrested his aide last month for having marijuana in possession. The foundation has been prescribing medical marijuana to patients for many years. 
After the aide’s arrest was reported, several respectable figures and organisations came forward in Decha’s defence and vouched for his good intentions and abilities. 
Decha was not charged as the Office of Narcotics Control Board took into account that amnesty was being offered to those who possess or use marijuana until May 21. 
Earlier this year, the government began the process of legalising medical marijuana in response to findings that the herb could be useful to patients battling various diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. 
Food and Drug Administration’s secretary-general Dr Tares Krassanaira-wiwong revealed yesterday that more than 8,500 people have already applied for amnesty.
“If you have been using marijuana for health conditions, come forward to apply for amnesty,” Tares said. 
“If you have not yet started using it, there is no need to rush. Wait for a bit as relevant parties are preparing to provide safe and effective medical marijuana.”
According to law, only professionals who have successfully completed training certified by the Public Health Ministry will be allowed to prescribe medical marijuana. The first round was held late last month.
Applications for the second round of training on May 23-24 will be accepted from 8.30am today. The third round will be held on June 13 and 14.