Thailand’s Justice Minister Looks to Possibly Decriminalize Yaba Saying War on Drugs Not Working
BANGKOK – Thailand’s Justice Minister Gen.Paiboon Koomchaya has suggested that the highly addictive methamphetamine, known as ya ba in Thailand, should be taken off the dangerous drugs list.
Speaking on Wednesday, Gen.Paiboon said the current approach was not working, the Bangkok Post reported.
Paiboon said jailing small-time traffickers and users did more harm than good as they might become more serious criminals. Saying the government had tried to arrest producers of drugs and precursors, efforts to crack down on narcotics have to date led to the arrests of traffickers and users in such large numbers that jails become overcrowded.
Gen Paiboon said while admitting that his idea had yet to be studied thoroughly, it is impossible to eliminate narcotics, there should be a proper way to live with them.
In any case, society should consider the option and compare to to the free trade of liquor, cigarettes and coffee, which are also addictive products with neurological impacts like methamphetamine, the justice minister said.
The Office of the Narcotics Control Board is studying if present laws impose too harsh punishments on drug traffickers and abusers, he added.
Some health experts recently warned that delisting methamphetamine from the category of dangerous illicit narcotics could increase the improper use of the drug. However, they support the idea of rehabilitating drug abusers instead of jailing them.
Koomchaya claimed there were 1.3million drug addicts in Thailand, some 250,000 of whom had been jailed for their habit back in 2014
Two years ago, Koomchaya claimed there were 1.3million drug addicts in Thailand, some 250,000 of whom had been jailed for their habit.
Even then he was advocating looking at different ways to combat the problem.
‘The world also agrees that imprisonment is not the answer to convince drug convicts to give up the habit,’ he told people gathered at the launch of a rehabilitation program, The Nation reported.
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