Thailand's revised regulation on narcotic possession to be effective next week

- The Nation/ANN

BANGKOK: The Public Health Ministry expected the Council of State to soon approve the draft ministerial regulation on narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances, specifically regarding the minimum quantity a person should possess to be subjected to investigation, so that the ministry could announce it before June 18.

“The new regulation should take effect before next Tuesday, in time for the start of the extraordinary parliamentary session [on June 19],” Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin (pic) said on Wednesday (June 12).

“This way, any issues related to the regulation can be discussed in the parliament meeting.”

The Cabinet meeting on Tuesday had approved the draft with key details, including revision of the quantity of amphetamine drugs that a suspect should possess to face charges of possession for consumption.

Under the new rule, the threshold will be reduced from not more than five tablets, or 500 milligrams, to not more than one tablet – 100 milligrams.

Those who possess more than one tablet or 100 milligrams will face charges of possession for sale under the proposed new rule.

The ministry said the new regulation aims to mitigate the impact of drugs on society and close a loophole that enabled drug dealers to escape legal prosecution for possessing drugs for sale instead of consumption.

“The new regulation is in line with the government’s policy of treating drug users as patients to efficiently provide them with necessary treatment and help them re-enter society with support from their families,” ministry spokesperson Treechada Srithada said.

“The government aims to rid Thailand of narcotics and build a better future for our children,” she said.

“The new regulation will be an absolute measure to tackle drug problems and will enjoy similar success like during the Thai Rak Thai administration [2001-2006], which saw many drug users return to their families and dealers stopped their illegal operations.” - The Nation/ANN

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