Thailand Upgrades Cannabis Regulation to Effectively Protect Children from Drug Abuse Harm

by | Jul 22, 2023 | Cannabis Legislation | 0 comments

The Cabinet recently approved the formulation of a ministerial regulation with a focused objective of safeguarding children at risk of drug abuse, particularly concerning substances such as kratom, cannabis, and hemp. The primary purpose of this regulation is to shield children from potential harm to their cognitive and physical development. Proposed by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, this amendment builds upon the 2006 ministerial rule that identifies children vulnerable to engaging in criminal activities. The updated regulation specifically targets children who engage in recreational use of kratom, cannabis, hemp, or related products, thereby classifying them as “at-risk” individuals. This new classification empowers officers under the 2003 Child Protection Act to provide enhanced protection and support for their welfare.

Understanding The Objectives Of The Regulation

The main thrust of the new ministerial regulation is centered around the protection of children who are susceptible to the misuse of substances like kratom, cannabis, and hemp. By identifying these children as at-risk individuals, the government aims to prevent potential harm to their mental and physical well-being. Deputy Government Spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek highlighted the importance of safeguarding children’s intellectual and physical development, which can be adversely affected by drug abuse during their formative years.

Addressing Behaviors and Interventions

The regulation, proposed by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, specifically targets children involved in recreational drug use. By doing so, the authorities can now intervene more effectively in providing protection and support to this vulnerable group. It serves as an amendment to the existing 2006 ministerial rule, which previously defined children at risk of engaging in criminal behavior.

The proposed regulation equips officers under the 2003 Child Protection Act with two main courses of action. Firstly, they can place the identified at-risk children in welfare or development and rehabilitation centers. These centers are designed to provide a structured environment aimed at helping children overcome their drug misuse issues and reintegrate into society positively. Secondly, the regulation allows the option of entrusting the at-risk child to the care of a willing guardian. In this scenario, the child may or may not be assigned a child protector, depending on the specific circumstances and the child’s needs.

Preventing Harmful Behaviors and Criminal Acts

To prevent further harm or potential involvement in criminal activities, certain conditions may be applied to the at-risk children. These measures are designed to create a safe and conducive environment that discourages inappropriate behavior and association with individuals who could lead them astray. By imposing restrictions on entering places that may encourage drug misuse or associating with negative influences, the regulation aims to protect children from harmful influences.

The Role Of The Department of Children and Youth

Once the regulation is implemented, the Department of Children and Youth, operating under the Social Development Ministry, will issue a regulation from the National Child Protection Committee. This secondary regulation will outline comprehensive strategies for safeguarding the welfare of children who engage in substance misuse involving kratom, cannabis, hemp, or their derivatives.


In conclusion, the recently approved ministerial regulation represents a critical step towards protecting children at risk of substance misuse in Thailand. By focusing on substances such as kratom, cannabis, and hemp, the regulation aims to shield children from potential harm to their intellectual and physical development. With clear provisions for interventions, this regulation empowers officers to take appropriate action in the best interests of these vulnerable children. Additionally, by imposing conditions to prevent harmful behaviors and criminal acts, the government aims to create a safer environment for the affected children.

The collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the Department of Children and Youth, and the National Child Protection Committee are vital in ensuring the successful implementation and enforcement of this regulation. Through continuous monitoring, evaluation, and improvement, the government can strive to provide comprehensive support to at-risk children, ultimately paving the way for a brighter and safer future for the next generation.

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Enrico Bratta

Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.


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Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.