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Drug laws tightened after cannabis decriminalisation

21 Jun 2022. After becoming the first Asian country to decriminalise cannabis, Thailand has been forced to quickly change laws after loophole made it legal for children to purchase the drug, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Immediately after the growing and consumption of cannabis in food and drink was legalised on 9 June, businesses up and down the country began openly selling marijuana with restaurants offering cannabis-infused dishes and people taking to social media to share baked goods they had made using the drug.

While a draft cannabis bill is currently going through parliament, the central government has been issuing new rules as a reaction to the huge rise in cannabis sales and to try and bring back some order. One of the new rules that came into effect and was published in the Royal Gazette, forbids smoking cannabis in public as well as its sale to people under the age of 20, pregnant women or mothers who are breastfeeding, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Critics of the legalisation have said that the government rushed into the legalisation without passing a law to make sure the substance was regulated.

"There are no control measures other than word of mouth," lamented Mana Nimitmongkol, head of the Anti- Corruption Organisation (Thailand).

"We legalised cannabis for medical use and for health. Usage beyond this is inappropriate... and we need laws to control it," said Thailand's health minister Anutin Charnvirakul.