More than 60% Thais support relisting marijuana as a drug: NIDA poll

SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2024

The majority of Thais support the government’s plan to put cannabis back on the national list of Category 5 narcotics, an opinion survey has found.

The survey by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA Poll) found that 60.38% per cent of the respondents “totally agreed” with the plan and 15.27% “rather agreed” with it.

The survey was carried out nationwide among 1,310 respondents, at least 15 years old, on May 14-15.

NIDA Poll said 14.5% of the respondents “totally disagreed” with the relisting of marijuana as a drug and 8.93% “rather disagreed” while 0.92% of the respondents had no comment.

Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin said on Monday that marijuana would be put back on the Category 5 drug list within this year.

Cannabis was decriminalised in Thailand on June 9, 2022 with a direction of the Public Health Ministry removing it from the Category 5 drug list as recommended by the Office of Narcotics Control Board.

However, public smoking and sale to children and pregnant women have been banned. The ambiguous usage terms and possession limit of cannabis have been subject to debate ever since.

▪︎ When asked what they think about marijuana:
53.74%: It is a narcotic but it is also useful.
33.59%: It is a narcotic with no useful use.
11.60%: It is not a narcotic.
1.07%: Not sure.

▪︎ Asked whether they think the government should compensate marijuana growers and businessmen after it is relisted as drug:
46.95%: No compensation should be given
35.03%: Compensation should be given to marijuana growers and businessmen
10.08%: Compensation should given only to growers
2.06%: Compensation should be given only to businessmen.
5.88%: No comment.

▪︎ Asked about the kind of policies the government should enact over marijuana:
74.58%: Ganja use should be allowed for medical purposes
19.39%: No policies should be enacted to support growing or making of ganja products
10.53%: The government should issue policies to support legal ganja products
7.40%: The government should issue policies to allow general people earn income from ganja
3.21%: Government should issue policies to support recreational use of ganja.
0.99%: No comment.

NIDA Poll said 68.93% of the respondents had never used ganja and 31.07% had somehow used it.