Legal Weed in Thailand: A Victory for Wellness & Rationality
Impressive pro-cannabis talk from Thailand's Health Minster.
Since I began writing about cannabis in Thailand, I have always expressed, and harbored, doubts about the words and actions of the ones who were crafting the policy. Now that The Act is out in the open, it must be said that the Thai Health Minister’s remarks on June 9th were unique in candor and frankness.
Hat’s Off to Thailand’s Health Minister
This clip includes Health Minister Anutin’s remark: “We’ve wiped away the stigma. It’s been washed away like removing a tattoo. Don’t let it come back.”
How many political leaders can you think of who are this forward-thinking on cannabis in society? I cannot think of one. In the US, state leaders where weed has been legalized talk only about taxes and overcrowded jails, if they speak at all. Most stay silent. Others object and fumble with inarticulate versions of the very stigmas that the Thai Health Minister derides.
The idea of a state official boasting of removing the stigma of cannabis is unprecedented in the way it takes a stand. The Minister of Health stood at the podium and said, in effect, those who cling to the demonization of cannabis are wrong. His view barrels past the lukewarm, “the voters have spoken” soundbites we have grown accustomed to in the West.
After all, it is the stigma of cannabis that holds legalization back. Junk science that claims to find a “pot psychosis-violent behavior connection” is still mentioned by politicians and pundits pandering to low-IQ voters. The Health Minister of Thailand was having none of it!
He asserts that cannabis is medicine, that Thai weed is medicine.
Notice too in the clip how the Minister’s proposition that “we have wiped away the stigma” is set in the context of frank, common sense talk about cannabis abuse: “Don’t sit at home smiling and getting nothing done.”
That can happen. Especially when minors consume weed, which they should not do. Which is why it is illegal for them to do so. Thailand’s is a balanced approach that avoids extremes and embraces common sense.
Thailand is the first nation in Asia to legalize weed, which makes it likely that the Kingdom’s rational approach to explaining the role of cannabis in society will migrate to other nations that are currently following in its footsteps.
Could Asia’s late embrace of cannabis provide a level of enlightenment that the West, in its polarization and its posturing, has been unable to obtain? We will have to wait and see.