Thai Health Ministry under scrutiny for drug user-dealer regulationLegacy

The Public Health Ministry faces a 30-day deadline to substantiate its regulation that categorises individuals holding five methamphetamine pills or 10mg of crystal meth or less as mere drug users, not dealers. This demand comes from the Office of the Ombudsman, which is considering cancelling the ministry regulation.

The secretary-general of the Office of the Ombudsman, Police Lieutenant Colonel Keirov Krittateeranon, expressed a keen interest in understanding how the regulation is going to tackle social disobedience, as previously claimed.

Police Major General Vichai Sangprapai, the former deputy commander of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, initiated this review. He filed a petition against the regulation with the Office of the Ombudsman, arguing that it contravenes Thailand’s constitution and could cause more harm than good.

According to Pol. Maj. Gen. Vichai, this regulation could potentially enable addicts to become dealers, leading to increased social harm, including crime and disorder. He fears that corrupt police may exploit the regulation, accepting bribes to ignore the quantity of drugs in possession, leading to dealers being classified as users in need of rehabilitation rather than imprisonment.

Furthermore, he argues that the regulation may not assist in drug suppression and does not reduce the prisoner population, as it could increase crime rates by allowing drug users to go free. Emphasising the need for more effective anti-drug regulations, he noted that meth pills induce hallucinations and aggression, regardless of the quantity consumed.

He pointed out that, on average, each police station in the country deals with five meth-related violence cases daily. He questioned the effectiveness of treating drug users as patients, considering the ongoing violence. He also critiqued the absence of government data on drug relapse post-rehabilitation, reported Bangkok Post.

“The health ministry regulation is dangerous, and I will fight it with all my might.”

Pol. Lt. Col. Keirov indicated that if the Ombudsman agrees with Pol. Maj. Gen. Vichai’s petition, which calls for the regulation’s cancellation on the grounds of its opposition to the constitution or other laws, the case will be referred to the Administrative Court for a decision. He confirmed that the Office of the Ombudsman will notify the Ministry of Public Health about this matter within the 30-day timeframe.

The story Thai Health Ministry under scrutiny for drug user-dealer regulation as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Mitch Connor