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MONDAY, September 26, 2022
Doctors’ call to halt ganja legalisation rejected by MPs commission

Doctors’ call to halt ganja legalisation rejected by MPs commission

MONDAY, July 25, 2022

A Parliamentary commission has vowed to speed up consideration of the cannabis usage draft act but dismissed doctors’ fears that legalisation is damaging children’s health.

More than 850 medics at Ramathibodi Hospital have joined a campaign to halt legalisation until controls on cannabis usage – especially among children – are implemented.

House of Representatives’ commissioners vetting the draft usage act said the campaign was in line with their own duty to maintain social order, especially by protecting children.

However, commission chairman Supachai Jaisamut claimed cannabis legalisation had not yet affected society and children. Supachai is a member of the Bhumjaithai Party, which made legalisation the core of its election campaign.

"However, the commission will accelerate consideration of the draft cannabis-hemp act for completion as soon as possible," he said. He added that the draft should be finalised by the end of this month before being presented to the House.

Commission spokesman Panthep Puapongphan said the Public Health Ministry had implemented controls including measures to prevent businesses from processing cannabis without permission and selling the herb to children.

He also said the number of people hospitalised for cannabis intoxication was only 33 this month – an 81.66-per-cent drop from the 180 patients in June.

"This shows cannabis-legalisation rules set by the Public Health Ministry and related agencies are effective," he said.

He urged people to have faith in the government, adding that “unlocking” cannabis enabled people to use the herb for medical benefits.