New law will not cover recreational use of cannabis: House panel chairman
The chairman of a special House panel vetting a cannabis-regulation bill on Thursday urged vendors "not to make sales too obvious" during the transitional period before promulgation of a new law.
Bhumjaithai Party-list MP Supachai Jaisamut, chairman of the panel vetting the marijuana and hemp regulation bill, said once the new law is enacted, no one will be allowed to sell ganja for recreational use.
The MP was referring to reports that vendors have been seen openly selling marijuana wrapped in cigarette paper along Khaosan Road for tourists to buy and smoke.
Police have admitted there is no law for them to take legal action after marijuana was delisted from the Category 5 Narcotics List.
Supachai said he had learned that some vendors opened shops to sell marijuana in cigarette form, with buyers arriving at the shop from dawn to late at night.
“When the new law is enacted, this practice cannot go on because all marijuana-based goods must first be approved by the authorities. However, we are in a vacuum period right now and we cannot control it,” Supachai admitted.
He is requesting the Chana Songkram police to monitor Khaosan Road activities to prevent such trade.
“And I would like to call on those who are selling it to make it less obvious. Please move back to the appropriate places instead of making it too obvious,” Supachai reiterated.
“During this vacuum period, I would also like to ask society and families to join hands [to prevent the buying and sale of marijuana for recreation] as I don’t want to see the appropriate use of marijuana disrupted because of these practices.”
Supachai said he would try to have the vetting of the bill done within next month so that it can be sent back to the House for the second and third readings in early August.
The bill is aimed at allowing marijuana and hemp to be used for medical purposes and for making cash products, not for recreational use, he made it clear.
The bill has been drafted based on public opinions from all sectors so that the new law brings about benefits for the country, Supachai said.
“The issues that have been happening now, including the sale of marijuana in cigarette form, would be adapted under the new law so that society is protected as much as possible,” he said.
Regarding the concern that some food shops are mixing cannabis ingredients into meals without informing buyers, Supachai said the shops must comply with an earlier announcement by the Health Department that requires all shops to inform consumers beforehand that marijuana has been used in the dishes.