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Supreme Administrative Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Former Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul Over Cannabis Legalization




BANGKOK – The Supreme Administrative Court has delivered a decisive verdict, bringing an end to a high-profile lawsuit aimed at the former Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, concerning the legalization of cannabis in Thailand. The court's ruling comes as a significant development, following a previous dismissal of the case by the Administrative Court, effectively removing it from the legal landscape.

Dr. Smith Srisont, President of the Forensic Physician Association of Thailand, and six opposition Members of Parliament from the previous administration were the plaintiffs responsible for initiating the legal proceedings against Anutin and two others. They alleged that the removal of cannabis from the national list of narcotics violated the law.

However, the Supreme Administrative Court has halted the cannabis lawsuit, citing a crucial reason for its dismissal – the plaintiffs' lack of direct victim status. The court made it clear that the plaintiffs do not qualify as direct victims of the cannabis legalization, thereby extinguishing their right to pursue this case any further.

Anutin Charnvirakul has long been a staunch advocate for cannabis legalization and played a pivotal role in its decriminalization. Following the reclassification of cannabis as a non-controlled substance, its legal cultivation and sale faced minimal regulation and oversight, leading to criticism from some quarters. Nevertheless, Anutin remained resolute in his stance, dismissing attempts to recriminalize the herb as outdated.

In a statement last year, Anutin firmly declared the debate over cannabis as settled, even as opponents pushed for its reclassification as a Type 5 narcotic under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board. Anutin emphasized that the legalization of cannabis is primarily for medicinal purposes and does not pose an increased risk of illegal use by minors.

Last week, Anutin reiterated his unwavering commitment to the current medical cannabis policy and called for its continuation under the incoming health ministership. He maintained that when used appropriately, cannabis offers substantial benefits to its users.

This verdict from the Supreme Administrative Court solidifies Anutin Charnvirakul's position as a key figure in the ongoing discourse surrounding cannabis legalization in Thailand, and the outcome is expected to have far-reaching implications for the future of cannabis policy in the country.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.