A proposed bill that would bring greater restrictions on cannabis use in the country was withdrawn by Thai lawmakers on Wednesday.
Bloomberg report The lawmakers “voted 198 to 136 in the House, withdrew the bill and sent it back to the drafting committee for further revision late Wednesday.”
The bill “passed its first reading in June and is intended to give the government more control over the industry” and “could be reintroduced in November.” According to Bloomberg.
“This bill promotes cannabis, not regulates it, and leaves room for cannabis use to deviate from medical to highly recreational.” As quoted by Bloomberg“I worry that children and people will smoke and become addicted.”
The proposed bill follows the Thai government’s June decision to decriminalize marijuana, making it the first country in Asia to do so.
The new policy has opened several cannabis cafes in the country’s capital, Bangkok, much to the dismay of government officials.
Last month, Thailand’s Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakl issued a blunt message to travelers looking to visit Thailand casually.
“We don’t welcome tourists like that,” Anutin told reporters at the time.
The new decriminalization law removed cannabis from the country’s list of banned substances, but officials such as Anutin argued at the time that it should not be construed as legalizing recreational cannabis use.
“No,” Anutin said in June. “There are still restrictions under the law governing the consumption, smoking, or use of cannabis products in non-productive ways.”
“we [have always] We emphasized the use of cannabis extracts and raw materials for medical purposes and health,” continued Anutin. “There was never a moment when we thought about using cannabis from a recreational point of view or advocating for people to use cannabis in ways that might irritate others. “
He added: “Thailand promotes medical cannabis policy. [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.”
But perhaps unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what happened in the months since the new law was enacted.
Reuters reported last month Despite the “explosive increase in recreational use” of the new measures, “government officials are concerned about the adverse health and productivity effects often associated with the drug’s uncontrolled use.” apart from,[s]I tried to dissuade him. ”
That sets the stage for members of Congress to get around the new law this week.
Bloomberg has details On the bill that expired Wednesday: “Political parties opposed to the cannabis bill in its current form threaten to vote against the bill unless the revised version cracks down on recreational smoking. They also said households with up to 15 Opposition to the bill was also seen as a political battle ahead of general elections due to be called by March. The passage would give another victory to Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul’s Bhumjaithai party, which spearheaded the drafting of the bill and led the liberalization of cannabis as part of its campaign promises during the 2019 general election.”