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Instead of Re-Criminalization How About Regulation?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing re-criminalization or regulation. The reason I am making this video is there has been a lot of talk recently about the Cannabis situation here in Thailand especially sort of the legal environment dealing with cannabis. It really has been something of an interesting thing to watch because it was just fully decriminalized a few weeks back and then there has been some kind of popular blowback on this; different factions have different views on what should be happening with this. The reason I thought of making this video I was reading a recent article in the Pattaya Mail, that is, the article is titled: Opponents of Marijuana pull out all the stops. Quoting directly: "Those who want to recriminalize cannabis in Thailand are having a field day.” Quoting further: “There are rumours of people dying or being hospitalized after consuming marijuana, whilst a vehicle accident in Jomtien was attributed to the weed within minutes of the crash. Schizophrenia, psychosis and depression are alleged to be another by-product of legalization." Now look I am no medical expert. I don't know anything about depression or schizophrenia having been a byproduct and yeah certainly anything that intoxicates you, there could be a car crash, there could be ramifications in a traffic sense etc. I mean it is why any intoxicant, it is illegal to drive under the influence of it.

That being said, I have got to say there is kind of an element of Reefer Madness and for those who are unaware of what that is, it is a very old movie from the United States that was sort of brought to kind of create a bunch of hysteria surrounding this whole thing not dissimilarly to the kind of seeming hysteria we are seeing with respect to this whole issue here in Thailand as of late. While I do get it that there are a number of folks out there who are very concerned about this, I myself am too, and issues surrounding children, minors coming into contact with this, consumption thereof, I mean these are issues that really need to be sussed out but I think people are kind of failing to see the bigger picture here, which is one this has kind of already happened. The decriminalization has occurred and to turn around and try to re-criminalize something, I think that's a pretty tall order. I think someone was quoted as saying "once the Tiger is in the jungle, it's pretty hard to get him back.” There was an article I was reading in connection with this where somebody seems to have said that. What we would say back in Kansas is "once the horse has bolted, there's nothing to do about it." I mean it is already out.  

Could this have been planned a little better? It looks to me like it could have been. I think it would have probably been pretty prudent to have a regulatory scheme in place before decriminalizing so the folks could have a framework for dealing with this. As it has been, it has been kind of a free-for-all. Now meanwhile where does that leave things? Well it remains precarious. We have discussed this at length. Things going on in the privacy of people's homes that does not seem to be the police's primary issue. But yeah going back to the point of this video, I don't think re-criminalization is the issue. In fact I think really policy on this issue has been mishandled frankly for decades. I think, I have said before and I'll say it again, narcotics intervention in a law enforcement sense, I would much rather see that carried out in the context of things like methamphetamine and heroin much, much more than these cannabis products whatever they may be, even the illegal stuff. While no one should be committing any illegal activity, I'm not condoning anything, but do I think that police resources, time and resources should substantially be quite honestly wasted on this overall issue? No I really don't. I would much rather see police out there trying to interdict heroin shipments or methamphetamine shipments than dealing with this. That being said, yeah, there does need to be a regulatory structure and there needs to be laws in place regarding minors and things of this nature. People need to be aware of what they are consuming, there was some talk of that. People were making food and things with it and they need to make that aware on their menu; I think that is probably a good idea but overall, the notion of re-criminalizing this, I don’t think that is a good idea at all. I think what we just need to do here in Thailand is go ahead and get the regulatory scheme in place, people need to abide by the regulations and we move on from there.