Survey finds most say ‘no’ to regulated cannabis use

MOST Thais are against the Public Health Ministry’s Bill to regulate the use of marijuana, hemp and related products, a recent survey found.

The opinion poll, conducted by the Southeast Asia Study Centre of the Open Cyber University of Korea (OCU Poll) from Sept 21 to 23, covered 1,218 respondents from across the country. The results of the survey were released on Saturday.

The draft, labelled simply “marijuana and hemp” Bill, was proposed by the Public Health Ministry which is under the Bhumjaithai Party. If enacted, the Bill will regulate the use and sale of cannabis and hemp products after both plants were removed from the list of Category 5 narcotics in early June.

The Bill was sent back to an ad hoc House panel for review after the Democrat Party joined the opposition in voting against it. Democrat MPs voiced concerns that the Bill would promote the recreational use of marijuana.

Though the survey results show that up to 87.27% of the respondents disagree, the question may have been too ambiguous. It is not clear if those who said “no” to “do you agree with the free ganja Bill or not?” actually disagree with the Bill or recreational use of marijuana.

Meanwhile, 10.92% chose “yes”, while 1.81% chose “no comment”.

In response to using marijuana for medical purposes, 88.01% chose “yes”, while 10.34% disagreed and 1.65% had no comment.

For the third question, which asked if they think the “free use” of ganja will turn young people into addicts, up to 80.79% said “yes”, 17.82% said “no”, while the rest had no comment.

When asked how they think the “free use” of ganja will affect Thailand’s image, 15.68% said it would boost the image, 71.02% said it would damage the image and 13.30% had no comment.

As for whether letting people grow marijuana at home for sale would improve people’s livelihood, 29.15% said “yes”, 70.53% said “no”, and 0.32% chose “no comment”. — The Nation/ANN

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