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Phuket’s cannabis supporters deliver letter to the provincial office

PHOTO: From The Phuket Express

Operators from the Phuket Cannabis Association have delivered a petition to the Phuket Provincial Health Office in Phuket Town against the Thai government’s plan to reclassify cannabis as an illegal narcotic.

The Thai Prime Minister has directed ministers to consider relisting cannabis as a ‘narcotic,’ which would effectively ban its possession and use for consumers.

Before the May 2023 election, all parties, including Bhumjaithai— which initially pushed for cannabis delisting in 2019— promised to restrict recreational cannabis use after the election.

According to The Phuket Express, on Wednesday, more than 50 protestors, led by Mr. Assadet Nongsang, gathered at the provincial head office in Phuket Town. They carried signs reading ‘Cannabis Must Not Be Made a Narcotic.’

A similar protest and petition was delivered to the Public Health Ministry in Bangkok yesterday, supported by up to 100 cannabis proponents.

The Phuket group yesterday handed a formal letter to Provincial Deputy Director Mr. Somsuk Somprateep, urging the government to keep cannabis off the narcotics list and to support the Cannabis Act, which would regulate cannabis as a herb, with restrictions on use by minors and pregnant women.

“Cannabis operators are worried after Thai PM Srettha Thavisin advocated for the reclassification of cannabis as a type 5 narcotic illegal drug. We estimate that the country will lose more than 100 billion Baht if this plan moves forward, and thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs,” said Mr. Assadet.

“We have waited for the final hemp and cannabis laws that have been debated for several years, but now the government has suddenly said that cannabis will be placed back on the narcotics list, making it illegal again and turning millions of people into criminals overnight.”

“Cannabis businesses across Thailand will do everything in their power to peacefully protest this proposal and seek more rational compromises.”

Phuket Provincial Deputy Director Mr. Somsuk has confirmed that there are at least 1,500 cannabis operators in Phuket.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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