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‘One pill’ rule for yaba users who want to avoid jail time

Twitter/Thai PBS

The Thai cabinet has given the green light to a new law that specifies that anyone found with more than 1 methamphetamine (“yaba”) pill on them will be considered an offender with no right to rehabilitation in lieu of jail time.

According to PM Srettha Thavisin, anyone found in possession of only a single pill (no more than 100 mg of methamphetamine) will be considered a “first-time offender” with a right to rehabilitation.

The PM says the new law proposed by the Public Health Ministry has been approved in principle and will now be checked by the Council of State, the legal arm of the government.

The move is seen as part of the government’s general ‘crackdown on drugs’, following moves to re-criminalise and reign in the use of cannabis after two years of decriminalisation.

The health ministry proposed its draft regulation on the methamphamine in response to criticism of a previous law that stipulated that anyone in possession of 5 or more pills would be considered an offender. Critics said this offered a loophole to drug dealers with fewer than 5 pills, who would avoid a prison sentence.

Thailand’s health minister Somsak Thepsutin says the new law does carry a condition, which is that anyone found with 1 pill in their possession must prove they acquired it for their own consumption and not to sell it. Anyone unable to prove this will face prosecution.

According to the minister, the new law is intended to differentiate between drug addicts in need of rehabilitation and dealers or drug traffickers. He adds that any assets acquired through the proceeds of drug crime, including those left to others, may be seized.

In addition, the law stipulates that rewards may be given to officials who investigate and compile illegal drug prosecutions, along with informants.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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