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Councilman urges freer pot research – Bangkok Post

The National Farmers Council wants the Bhumjaithai Party to push for marijuana research to be conducted freely, among other proposals.

Council chairman Prapat Panyachartrak on Tuesday arrived at Bhumjaithai’s headquarters to submit a set of four proposals to the party.

Mr Prapat, a former natural resources and environment minister, said he wanted to see progress in the “liberalisation of marijuana cultivation” being pushed by Bhumjaithai as its election campaign promise.

He proposed that research into marijuana, hemp and kratom be conducted freely under regulations set by the Public Health Ministry.

He said research should be allowed rather than prohibited.

Marijuana has potential as a new cash crop and can be used for medicinal purposes, Mr Prapat said.

Another proposal is to set up a 50-billion-baht fund to promote the planting of perennial trees such as teak and Burma padauk.

Mr Prapat also suggested the National Farmers Council be separated from the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry so it can work more independently.

The other proposal is to cultivate oil palms as an energy crop to produce biodiesel B20 and B100 for farming machinery, Mr Prapat said, adding that he wanted Bhumjaithai to support these proposals if the party becomes part of the government.

Legalising marijuana is a big issue in Thailand, a nation that always treated marijuana strictly as a narcotic until last year when the National Legislative Assembly approved a law allowing the plant to be used for medical purposes.

Marijuana legalisation has offered new hope to the country’s medical industry. Political parties such as Bhumjaithai even promised that if elected, the party will legalise marijuana, a platform which has lured the party many supporters.

Currently, the law permits the use of marijuana in medical research, and the plants may be farmed and harvested in a strictly controlled environment.