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Cannabis legalization in Thailand has been criticized

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One thing is true about cannabis legalization no matter where it occurs: Nobody gets it right the first time — and there are always plenty of critics. This was true in every US state that legitimizes. This is true for Canada. This is almost certainly the case in Europe, although lawmakers here are wary to support most moves forward on the legalization front in “trials”. This is now also seen in Asia, where Thailand became the first country in the region to legalize the plant and begin drafting formal legislation to regulate the burgeoning local cannabis industry.

While Thailand may be welcomed internationally as The first Asian country to adopt cannabis reform. However, the new policies are being castigate In some quarters particularly locally, as well as by faulty logic seen elsewhere.

There are two main contention issues. The first is that critics criticize the government’s decision to go ahead with cannabis reform at all – albeit of the medicinal kind. The second is that the government should have moved more slowly and considered the consequences of legalization, filling in loopholes along the way.

One of the most public results of the country’s moves to legalize cannabis this year, other than the global publicity Thailand has received for the donation A million cannabis plants Or the release of cannabis prisoners, is to launch a public relations campaign warning tourists that cannabis is not widely legal in the country.

And this is all before the official bill to legalize medicinal use was passed into formal law.

Buyer’s remorse in Thailand?

Thailand may have proceeded with reform a little differently than Western countries so far, but the arguments against reform seem remarkably similar, regardless of the geography in which they occur.

The first, inevitably, comes from the well-established medical profession. Despite government assurances that they are implementing reforms in medical rather than recreational use, Thai doctors have raised familiar concerns elsewhere. In particular, cannabis can “trigger” mental health problems. This is especially ironic given the history of the plant here. Historically, cannabis was used in Thailand, as in other countries, for both medicinal and religious purposes.

The second wave of criticism is coming from critics who worry that changing the law will damage Thailand’s reputation agricultural exports. Namely, whether this biomass will be used for animal feed. There is also significant irony in this attack, including the presence of a recent Thai study that appears to indicate that chickens fed hemp with up to 0.4% THC seem to need fewer, if not any, antibiotics because they are raised for meat.

The stigma remains universal

No matter how far cannabis reform has come in the past decade, situations like the one now unfolding in Thailand are a stark reminder of how far legalization efforts still have to go.

The positive news is that the sudden change in Thailand’s heart toward cannabis is already pushing other countries in the region (such as Indonesia) to re-examine their own approach to cannabis.

In other words, Thailand’s greening is particularly devastating in a region that has so far resisted modern cannabis reform, and still has some of the toughest anti-cannabis laws on the books anywhere in the world. In many parts of Asia, one can still be sentenced to life in prison if not the death penalty for “crimes” that are considered relatively minor offenses to cannabis elsewhere.

China, the world’s largest producer of cannabis, is of course watching all the mentioned developments closely. At the United Nations, the country is still lobbying against removing cannabis from a Schedule I drug. At home, even possession of unauthorized cannabis seeds is a serious crime.

Regardless, the remarkable progress in Thailand, as well as the unconventional approach to implementing reform we see here, is just another welcome sign that, regardless of critics, the great cannabis revolution continues unabated, even in this part of the world.


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