Thailand moves towards reclassifying cannabis as ‘soft drug’

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Under the new classification, cannabis, along with other category 5 substances such as magic mushrooms and opium plants, will be subjected to less stringent regulations.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin has announced that Thailand is moving towards reclassifying cannabis as a soft drug. This change, intended to be completed within the year, follows the legalization of cannabis on June 9, 2022, while maintaining prohibitions on its public use and sale to minors and pregnant women.



Under the new classification, cannabis, along with other category 5 substances such as magic mushrooms and opium plants, will be subjected to less stringent regulations.

The reclassification is part of a broader plan to update the ministry’s regulations after cannabis’s previous designation as a narcotic. These adjustments are designed to allow cannabis use under specific conditions, such as medical prescriptions, traditional Thai medicine, and scientific research, with an overarching goal of preventing misuse and protecting vulnerable populations.




In addition to his announcement, Somsak discussed the complex issues surrounding the possible reclassification of cannabis in the same category as tobacco and alcohol, indicating that while this idea is appealing, it poses practical challenges. The minister also mentioned that the reclassification as a soft drug could support future legislative efforts to potentially remove cannabis from the narcotics list entirely, pending public consensus on its legalization. (NNT)