Deputy Prime Minister Comments on Cannabis Reclassification Poll


Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, addressed the recent announcement by Somsak Thepsuthin, Minister of Public Health, to organize a 15-day public opinion poll from June 11th-25th on whether cannabis should be reclassified as a narcotic. The Ministry of Public Health will use the feedback to make a decision on the matter.

Anutin, who is also the leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, stated that he respects the Ministry of Public Health’s process and will not interfere. He emphasized the importance of gathering public opinion in a democracy. However, he noted that complex scientific issues require careful consideration of expert input alongside public opinion.

He explained that the decriminalization of cannabis allows public access with regulation, whereas reclassifying it as a narcotic would restrict access, highlighting the nuanced nature of the issue.

Anutin was the proponent in the legalization of cannabis — the key campaign promise of the Bhumjaithai Party — in the previous administration.

Anutin concluded that while public opinion is essential, complex policy decisions should be made by elected representatives considering the nation’s best interests. He trusts that the Minister of Public Health understands these principles.

Minister Somsak revealed that in the first two days of the online opinion poll, more people opposed reclassifying cannabis as a narcotic than supported it. Some public representatives insist that a law regulating cannabis use is a better solution than reclassification.

The preceding is a press release from the Thai Government PR Department.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for five years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.