TUESDAY, April 23, 2024

Democrats unveil election vow to stop free sale of cannabis

Democrats unveil election vow to stop free sale of cannabis

The Democrat Party is launching its election campaign with a vow to scrap the blanket legalisation of ganja – a policy championed by its coalition partner Bhumjaithai at the 2019 election.

The party had listened carefully to public opinion and found people wanted to end the free sale of marijuana, Democrat assistant secretary-general Chanin Rungsaeng explained.

“Children and youths can easily buy ganja to smoke,” he said, adding that this had sparked widespread worries.

He said the Democrat Party only supported using cannabis for medical purposes.

“We don’t agree with the use of ganja for recreational purposes, which is now happening,” Chanin said.

“We will switch off this channel by drafting a new law to control ganja sales. Sales will be allowed only with doctor’s prescriptions to protect children and ease the worries of parents.”

In June last year, the Bhumjaithai-controlled Public Health Ministry kept the party’s 2019 election pledge to decriminalise hemp and cannabis by removing both plants from the narcotics list.

However, decriminalisation has led to complaints by some parents and doctors of widespread use of cannabis for recreational rather than medical purposes.

Democrat opposition led to delay of Bhumjaithai's bill to regulate its marijuana and hemp use, and the draft is expected to lapse as the House's tenure is ending next month.

Another core Democrat election policy is community banks set up with 2 million baht to offer low-interest loans for local SMEs.

If elected, the party will also push to waive online sales tax for community enterprises and shops and it would negotiate with food delivery platforms to reduce its fee on food shops from 30% to 20%.