Thailand’s upcoming general election on May 14th has brought the issue of cannabis legalization to the forefront. Last year, Thailand legalized the possession, cultivation, distribution, consumption, and sale of cannabis. However, with the national parliament being dissolved before a Cannabis Act could be enacted, the issue has grown more divisive politically and throughout the community.
The Bhumjaithai Party, which successfully pushed for legalization and campaigned on the issue in the 2019 elections, has come under fire from opposition parties and some of its coalition partners in government. The opposition Pheu Thai Party has expressed concerns that recreational use of cannabis poses a threat to society, especially young people. As such, they only support the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
Satit Wongnongtoey, a lawmaker from the Democrat Party which is a coalition partner of Bhumjaithai Party, has also expressed concerns about decriminalizing cannabis without proper legislation. He has vowed to address this issue after the election and stated that his party only supports its medical use.
It remains to be seen how this issue will play out after the election and what stance each party will take on cannabis legalization moving forward.
Sources: : “Thailand’s move to legalise cannabis emerges as election issue with some parties expressing concerns” – Channel News Asia (https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/thai-general-election-marijuana-weed-cannabis-farmers-political-parties-divisive-topic-3472641/) : “Thailand heads into polls with burning cannabis issue in limbo” – Reuters (https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-heads-into-polls-with-burning-cannabis-issue-limbo-2023-02-23/)