Weed Treatment Costs Jump to B20bn: Ministry

Cannabis plant

Introduction: Cannabis-related treatment costs in Thailand have surged significantly, reaching 20 billion baht last year, according to the Public Health Ministry. This drastic increase from the previous 3 billion baht highlights the growing impact of cannabis use on public health. Minister Somsak Thepsutin expressed concern about the rising costs and the associated health risks. Let’s delve deeper into the reasons behind this escalation and its implications for society.

The Rising Costs and Health Concerns

1. Increased Usage and Budget Allocation

The decriminalization of cannabis led to a surge in its usage among the population. As a result, the government’s annual budget for treating patients under the universal health care program saw a significant jump. Specifically, the budget allocated for treating patients who used cannabis increased from approximately 3 billion baht to 20 billion baht in just one year. This substantial rise has raised alarm bells within the health ministry, prompting a closer examination of the impact of cannabis use.

2. Effects on Mental Health and Brain Development

Research conducted in the United States revealed concerning effects of cannabis use on brain development, particularly among children. Children who used cannabis experienced an eight to nine-point drop in IQ. The plant’s psychoactive compounds, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can adversely affect brain function. The findings underscore the need for caution and awareness regarding cannabis use, especially among young individuals.

Cannabis plant

Government’s Response and Future Measures

The Thai government organized a public hearing involving youth, medical professionals, and civil society networks to address the issue. Minister Somsak Thepsutin emphasized the urgency of reclassifying cannabis, particularly cannabis buds, as a narcotic by the end of the year. Currently, only cannabis extracts with more than 0.2% THC are classified as narcotics. The goal is to mitigate the health risks associated with cannabis use and protect the well-being of citizens.

As cannabis shops continue to proliferate nationwide, it is crucial to raise public awareness about responsible cannabis use. Misunderstandings surrounding its legality have led to community-grown cannabis and inadvertent misuse. The government’s efforts to reclassify cannabis aim to address these concerns and safeguard the health of teenagers and children. However, striking a balance between regulation and accessibility remains a challenge.

By Benjamin Parker

Benjamin Parker is a seasoned senior content writer specializing in the CBD niche at CBD Strains Only. With a wealth of experience and expertise in the field, Benjamin is dedicated to providing readers with comprehensive and insightful content on all things CBD-related. His in-depth knowledge and passion for the benefits of CBD shine through in his articles, offering readers a deeper understanding of the industry and its potential for promoting health and wellness.

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