Thai lawmakers plan fresh push to tighten use of cannabis

Thailand's legislators will renew a push for an overarching law on the use of cannabis for medical and research purposes, a senior lawmaker said on Wednesday, more than a year after the narcotic was legalized without proper regulations.

Last year, Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to decriminalize cannabis, but in the absence of specific measures, the government had to hastily issue rules to prevent its unchecked use, particularly among children.

The new law will target an industry projected to be worth up to $1.2 billion over the next few years, with cannabis shops having sprung up across the capital, Bangkok, and tourist hot spots, such as the resort island of Phuket.

"Cannabis will be - double underline - for medical purposes and research," said Saritpong Kiewkong of the Bhumjaithai party, which spearheaded the decriminalization and is now the second largest component of Thailand's 11-party coalition government.


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