Thai Agriculture Official Backs Legalizing, Growing Medical Marijuana

Introducing cannabis cultivation will be unprecedented in Thailand. Forty percent of Thais work in agriculture, 16 million of them as rice farmers by one estimate. (Image via Wikipedia)
Introducing cannabis cultivation will be unprecedented in Thailand. Forty percent of Thais work in agriculture, 16 million of them as rice farmers by one estimate. (Image via Wikipedia)

An area for marijuana cultivation has been reportedly designated by Thailand’s Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), but plans are still unclear.

In an attempt to catch up with the trend sweeping the western world, Thailand’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Wiwat Salayakamthorn said he agreed with the idea of legalizing and growing marijuana for medical research and medicinal use, The Bangkok Post reported on Sunday.

Salayakamthorn said cannabis should be seen as a herbal plant, beneficial for drug manufacturing after the National Farmers Council (NFC) egged on the Thai government to legalize marijuana cultivation for medical research and use.

“Marijuana holds medicinal properties,” he said, adding “there have been many studies on the use of this in the medical field, and it has been long been accepted that kratom, opium, and marijuana can be used in the production of medicines.”

Salayakamthorn called for a study on the potential medical and monetary benefits in cultivating marijuana.

He also highlighted the need for Thailand to compete with countries like China, which exports herbal medicine to the rest of the world.

“Today, many laws govern which medicines can be produced in Thailand. Besides, some international trade agreements also limit our freedom to produce our own drugs,” he said.

Land for Marijuana Cultivation?

Meanwhile, NFC president Prapat Panyachartrak on Monday said the council discussed designating an area for marijuana cultivation with the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

The area was was 5,000 rai of land on a military compound in Sakon Nakhon, where marijuana plantations could be easily monitored and regulated.

However, Sakhon Nakhon’s governor Witthaya Chanchalong dismissed that his province had such plans. He also said that heard nothing from the government on this plan.

In Thailand, marijuana is listed as a class-5 narcotic under its Narcotics Act. Possession, cultivation, and transport of up to 10 kg cannabis may result in a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison or a fine.

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