Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Thailand’s cannabis turnaround is a cautionary tale

It turns out you can have too much of a good thing.

Last week, Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin ordered a reversal of the country’s historic cannabis policy, saying the plant should soon be reclassified as a narcotic and its use limited to medical and health purposes. The decision comes two years after former Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha’s government decriminalized the drug in the wake of the pandemic. His goal? Bringing tourists back to Thailand requires capitalizing on the multibillion-dollar medical marijuana industry and helping farmers in need grow a cash crop.

The Prime Minister’s announcement should come as no surprise: the new government has been weighing its options for some time. The cannabis experiment did not go as planned. It won’t be easy to eradicate it, but the kingdom must persevere and try to regulate this sector – even if the consequences are painful. Ignoring it will affect the country’s youth and social harmony – ultimately the industry only benefits corporations, not poor farmers.



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