Medical Marijuana to Full Legalization? One Thai Political Party is Fighting the Fight

In the run-up to Thailand’s first election since the 2014 military coup on March 24, the Bhumjai Thai political party has made full legalization of marijuana their number one issue.

The party’s leader, Anutin Charnvirakul, states the recent legalization of medical marijuana is not enough, and full legalization is the right policy.

“Marijuana is not a drug that should be illegal–it’s that simple,” Anutin said. “Unlike alcohol and cigarettes, marijuana has great health benefits such as treating cancer, Alzheimer’s and insomnia.”

Despite marijuana being strictly prohibited in the country and few political parties ever daring to take the full legalization stand on pot, Bhumjai Thai is not cowering away from the issue.

Nearly all of their campaign signage proudly features a marijuana leaf.

And after seeing Thailand become the first Asian country to legalize cannabis for medical use in December, Bhumjai Thai is hoping that medical weed can be the perfect stepping stone for full legalization.

Instead of letting big pharmaceutical companies reap the fruits of marijuana production, their platform calls for fully legal home growing, which they argue will economically empower Thai farmers in rural areas all over the Kingdom.

Bhumjai Thai’s policy would allow households to grow up to six weed plants that state agencies would then purchase.

“A perfect example is the growing of sugar cane,” local weed advocate Julpas Kruesopon said. “Basically, the farmers grow it, then send it to a lab for extraction, then they sell it to the market and it’s pure profit sharing. I think it will be similar to that.”

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