House of Representatives Votes To Withdraw Cannabis and Hemp Bill

The House of Representatives has decided to remove the Cannabis and Hemp Bill from its agenda, with lawmakers saying its content is loose and potentially risky to young people’s health.

In a 198-136 vote with 12 abstentions, most MPs expressed deep concern over cannabis’ removal from the narcotics list.

Before the House of Representatives meeting began, the Democratic Party threatened to vote against it if the body proceeded with the bill. In addition, it called on the Public Health Ministry to review the policy announcement and reinstate cannabis as a narcotic.

A group of Democrat MPs led by Satit Wongnongtaey, Pimrapee Panwichatkul, Sakhon Kiewkhong, and Issara Seriwattanakul expressed the party’s views on the Cannabis and Hemp Bill.

According to Mr. Satit, it was discussed extensively at the meeting, as reports of cannabis users falling sick or becoming mentally ill and violent after the policy was announced raised concerns.

The Democratic Party hoped that the Public Health Ministry would present effective measures to guarantee that cannabis is used only for medical purposes, the MP added.

However, Democratic MPs who reviewed the bill’s content found that there were still loopholes. A provision allows the general population to register to grow cannabis plants, which could lead to recreational use of cannabis and harm society, Mr. Satit went on.

“We would like the committee vetting the bill to withdraw it for review so that it could be amended in line with an altered version of the Ministry of Public Health’s announcement,” he noted.

Mr. Satit also stated that the Democratic Party would vote against it if the House continued the bill’s deliberation.

The Bhumjaithai Party, which sponsored the legislation, opposed the decision. Spokesman Paradorn Prisnananthakul said the bill had been reviewed by a House committee and was about to be sent for second reading consideration.

Addressing concerns that cannabis might be available too freely or “out of control,” Mr. Paradorn stated that the bill had been designed to define how the plant could be used safely, especially for medical treatment.

According to Bhumjaithai Party’s spokesman, abandoning the bill could create a loophole regarding cannabis consumption, as it aims to provide clear guidelines for its use.

Members of Parliament can still raise objections during the second reading, and corrections can still be made if flaws are found, Mr. Paradorn insisted.