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SUNDAY, September 25, 2022
Urgent executive decree needed to control ganja consumption: senator

Urgent executive decree needed to control ganja consumption: senator

TUESDAY, June 28, 2022

The government needs to urgently issue an executive decree to control the use of marijuana because the panel vetting the Public Health Ministry’s regulation bill was dragging its feet, a senator said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Senate debate, Senator Somchai Sawangarn pointed out that it would be too late if the government waits for the regulation bill to be enacted. He also pointed out that the vetting committee had met four times, yet it has not touched on any details of the bill in its deliberation.

“If we wait for the bill to be enacted, the decriminalisation of ganja usage without a law to regulate will have a severe impact on society,” Somchai said.

He backed his concerns by citing a recent report from the Royal College of Paediatricians, which said that six children between the ages of three and 17 had been treated for badly reacting to cannabis-spiked cookies.

He said the children ate the cookies without knowing they carried cannabis because there was no warning label in the packet.

Hence, Somchai advised the government to use the bill on ganja usage drafted by Palang Pracharath MP Phansiri Kulanartsiri as a key draft for issuing an executive decree.

“I’m not opposed to the decriminalisation of marijuana for medical use,” Somchai said. “But I’m against the free use of ganja without a law to regulate it. At least it should be made a controlled substance like solvents were to prevent ‘glue sniffing’ by teenagers.”

He added that he has checked out some convenience stores and found that many cannabis-spiked products are openly available.

“Though the stores have put up warning signs that pregnant women and youngsters below the age of 18 should not use these products, the easy availability worries me,” he added.