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Over 850 Doctors in Thailand Protest Pot Legalization

If Thailand’s transformation from a nation with one of the strictest set of drug laws to a place with legal cannabis seemed like too much, too soon—you’re not alone. A reckless marijuana law is causing concern among doctors across Thailand. It does not protect children or teens.

Smith Srisont is President of Forensic Doctor Association of Thailand. He posted this document. Change.orgThai, with a list requesting the government. “Turn off the vacuum state of cannabis” the post reads. The “vacuum” is the way the document describes the lack of regulatory controls compared to systems seen in place in other countries. In the past, Srisont had helped to determine dangers from other substances such as Kratom.

Over 851 doctors signed the petition, which was posted in Thai, but it should be noted that all 851 signees are doctors and alumni of one single school—the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University in Ratchathewi, Bangkok. However, the school is considered the country’s most respected medical establishment.

According to the document, studies have shown that marijuana could impact the brain growth and health of teenagers and children. The document added that with legalization on the agenda, the move now threatens the healthcare system and Thai people’s health, both in the short- and long-term.

“Cannabis was removed from the Public Health Ministry’s Narcotic list on June 9, but no policies have been launched to control the use of cannabis for personal pleasure,” a spokesperson from the group stated. This is the reason why there has been no legislation. [legal] direction makes cannabis more accessible for children and teenagers.”

Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was accused Tuesday, by the Opposition party, of deliberately creating a “legal vacuum” in Thailand, in which there is no law to enable control of the use of cannabis, hemp, or extracts following decriminalization of cannabis in the country last month.

Thai Media Fears

After legalizing cannabis, fear-inducing articles were also published in the country. Thai PBSAccording to reports, 9 children became ill after unsupervised cannabis use. It was also reported that a 6-year-old child ate cannabis-infused snacks and “fell into a stupor,” while a 15-year-old boy with a known history of depression attacked people with a knife after smoking two joints.

A group of doctors and alumni were invited to sign on their behalf. They also announced that they had an ongoing campaign. Change.orgFor the public to cast their vote. Campaign target was 15,000 people. The campaign reached more than 10,800.

“The government and related departments should stop threatening people’s health as soon as possible,” the document reads at the end. “The use of cannabis for medical purposes should be under control for the best benefits and safety as the government claimed from the first place.”

Doctors in Thailand raised concerns about cannabis’ potential to cause mental problems months ago. People are also concerned about the impact of the new law on Thai agricultural exports. The biomass could be used as animal feed.

Some changes were too big for the people of the county. On the bright side, it’s having a lasting positive impact as well. Thailand’s sudden change of heart towards cannabis is prompting other countries in the region such as Indonesia to re-examine their own approach to cannabis.