Thailand decriminalised the growing, sale, possession, and use of cannabis last month with very few rules or regulations in place to manage the newly legalised drug. Politicians soon announced that they had thought the legalisation would be used mainly for medical purposes, and never intended for it to be a legal recreational drug. Now government officials are taking steps to rein in the widespread popularity of cannabis, with a new resolution to ban all forms of cigarettes that use cannabis extract.
The National Tobacco Products Control Committee put forth the resolution, which would ban the sale not only of electronic cigarettes or vapes that use cannabis extract but also traditional cigarettes and cigars using the drug, including joints. The ban would severely kneecap the recreational use of cannabis, which has run rampant with about a million people getting a certificate to grow, sell, or use the plant, and shops and stands selling joints and other cannabis products springing up all over the country, especially in tourist areas.
Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul chaired the meeting where the decision was made. The Ministry of Public Health will now formalise regulations, to create new guidelines for the ban on cannabis-infused cigarettes or e-cigarettes, the latter of which would also fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society as well as police forces.
Anutin commented to reinforce that the government and the Ministry of Public Health have always been against the recreational use of cannabis and that the original draft bill that led to the decriminalization of the drug never explicitly mentioned the idea of recreational drug use is permitted.
While it is still illegal for minors, sensational stories of children getting access to cannabis products and people suffering seemingly extreme maladies as a result of consuming the newly legal plant have poured across Thailand media and social media.