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Amnesty underway for users, possessors of cannabis

Feb 14. 2019
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By THE NATION

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THE AUTHORITIES are taking concrete steps towards granting amnesty to those who use or have cannabis in their possession if they report to the authorities within a given time frame.

The Drug Committee approved three draft legislations for amnesty yesterday. 

If these drafts become law, even possessors of cannabis, who are not patients or research units, will be pardoned. 

“We have already passed the draft regulations, but there are still many steps left. The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] will have to put these drafts through public hearings and gather opinions for further review,” FDA secretary-general Tares Krassanairawiwong said yesterday.

He was speaking after chairing a meeting with the Drug Committee, during which the green light was given to several draft subordinate laws yesterday. 

The approved drafts included three announcements designed to grant amnesty to government agencies, private firms, community enterprises, practitioners of traditional Thai medicine, research organisations, patients and everybody else who use and possess cannabis. 

“They must report within 90 days once the announcement goes into effect,” Tares explained. 

Under Thai law, cannabis is an illicit drug and possession or use of it is punishable by a fine and/or a jail term. 

However, the Kingdom is currently in the process of allowing the use of medical marijuana, and several subordinate draft legislations are being prepared to facilitate the enforcement. 

According to plan, patients who use marijuana for health reasons will be allowed to continue using the drug after they register themselves for amnesty and till the medical-marijuana system is introduced. 

Marijuana is believed to be useful for patients battling Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stress, chronic pain, and nausea related to chemotherapy.

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