Thailand recently legalized cannabis for medicinal use, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that cannabis-based medicines should be included in universal healthcare and social security lists to ensure their safety and affordability for people who need them.
Speaking at a seminar on Friday, FDA secretary-general Tares Krassanairawiwong touted the benefits of allowing cannabis into Thailand’s universal healthcare and social security systems, but cautioned against moving blindly toward full legalization reports Bangkok Post.
“It would mean that every person could use safer cannabis-based drugs,” said Krassanairawiwong. “Plant-based drugs on the universal healthcare and state welfare list are safer because they must have guaranteed that the ingredients come from standardised harvesting and are free from heavy metal contamination.”
Krassanairawiwong said that the pros and cons of legalization need to be studied and discussed to minimize the impact on Thai children and culture.
Thailand currently classifies cannabis as a Category 5 narcotic, and recreational consumption is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine. Cultivating and trading marijuana can result in a 15-year jail sentence and a fine of up to 1.5 million baht ($46,990).
Secretary-General Krassanairawiwong did not say when the Public Health Ministry might add cannabis medicines to the universal healthcare package and social security system lists.