Long march to campaign for freer access to medicinal cannabis starts tomorrow
Civic groups, campaigning for fewer restrictions on the use of cannabis and its products for medical purposes, will begin a long march from Thailand’s northern province of Phichit to Bangkok tomorrow.
The march will be led by Mr. Decha Siripat, a pioneer in the medical use of cannabis and president of the Khao Kwan foundation, and will be joined by Dr. Arthit Urairat, former House speaker and rector of Rangsit University.
Dr. Arthit said he would join the march at the starting point at Wachiraphothiyarn monastery, in Po Thalay district of Phichit province, because he wants to support the campaign to have cannabis removed from the Category 5 list of narcotic drugs and recognized as medicinal herb.
Although cannabis is not a panacea, he said it contains important substances that can save lives at low cost, making it accessible to all people.
He also accused the government and bureaucrats of erecting obstacles to prevent easy access to medicinal cannabis to protect the vested interests of corporations, who wish to monopolize the production of medical cannabis.
Dr. Arthit asked, being fully aware of the people’s wish for easy access to medicinal cannabis, why did the Palang Pracharat not respond, because they could have received many more votes in the March 24th general election.
Meanwhile, Mr. Prapat Panyachartrak, president of the National Farmers Council and former natural resources and environment minister, said that a special law should be drafted to regulate cannabis, hemp and Krathom (an addictive plant popular in the southern provinces).
He said the council had received assurance from some parties that they would support the idea for the special law.