Buddhist Temple Left Empty After Monks Fail Drug Tests

Buddhist temples in Thailand have been quieter than usual recently after several monks failed drug tests.

Agence France-Presse report A total of four monks, including the abbot of a temple in Bunsamphan district of Phetchabun province, tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday.

Boonrath Tinthaptai, an official of the Central District of Thailand, said: Said Agence France-Presse said after the four monks were sent to drug rehabilitation clinics, “the temple is devoid of monks, and nearby villagers are concerned that they will not be able to accumulate merit.”

“Benefits are when worshipers donate food to monks as a good deed. Boonlert said more monks will be sent to the temples so that villagers can perform their religious duties. According to the Drug and Crime Office, Thailand is a major transit country for methamphetamines coming from Myanmar’s troubled Shan state via Laos, where tablets are sold on the streets for less than 20 baht (about $0.50). Authorities across Southeast Asia have made record seizures of meth in recent years.” Agence France-Presse report.

The temple raid comes at a turbulent moment for the country and its drug law enforcement.

In June, Thai lawmakers passed a bill to remove cannabis from the list of banned substances, making the country the first country in Asia to decriminalize cannabis.

But the new law has created ambiguity and frustration among government officials.

The new law legalized the cultivation of both cannabis and hemp, but also opened the door to restaurants serving food and drinks containing THC.

These cannabis cafes have sprung up across the capital Bangkok in recent months, much to the chagrin of Thai officials.

Thailand’s Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said in the summer, when asked whether recreational pot use would be allowed, “it’s no.” There are still restrictions under the law governing consumption, smoking or use.”

But cannabis cafés are a boon to the country’s tourism industry, and foreign tourists are eagerly awaiting buzz in the Southeast Asian state.

It also drew backlash from the Thai government.

“We don’t welcome tourists like that,” Anutin said in August.

After the new law was passed in June, Anutin said the aim was to never open it to recreational use.

“Thailand will promote a medicinal cannabis policy,” Anutin said at the time. “If [tourists] There is no problem if it is for therapeutic purposes or health-related products, but if you hear that cannabis or marijuana is legal and want to go to Thailand… [or] Coming to Thailand to smoke joints freely, it’s wrong. Dont come. If you come to this country for that purpose, I will not welcome you.”

The country’s doctors are also against the new law. In July, more than 850 of her doctors in Thailand signed a petition calling for stricter rules and restrictions.

“Cannabis was removed from the Department of Public Health’s narcotics list on June 9, but no policies have been initiated to control the use of cannabis for personal pleasure,” the doctor’s spokeswoman said. said. [legal] This direction makes cannabis more accessible to children and teenagers. ”

“The government and related departments should stop threatening people’s health as soon as possible,” the doctors said.

“The use of cannabis for medical purposes should be governed in the best interest and safety, as the government has insisted from the beginning,” the group said.

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