Weed liberalization was dealt another blow in the court of public opinion today after photos spread of children smoking from water pipes on a Pattaya beach.
Cannabis opponents are seizing on recent images of two children toking on bamboo bongs to condemn the now six-month old de facto legalization of marijuana and slam its political sponsors.
“I understand that now ganja is free, but shouldn’t we have boundaries? Don’t ignore it. I pity these children. These kids, their future is still far away,” said Kritiwat Matrong, who said he happened along the children smoking what smelled like weed and publicized his encounter online.
The two young smokers told Kritiwat that they were 9 and 10. One said that he didn’t have any parents, while the other boasted his dad was in the military. A third kid did not smoke but did nothing to intervene despite Kritiwat’s pleas.
Kritiwat, 35, proceeded to call the authorities, saying it was damaging to not only the country’s tourism industry but also the youths’ health.
Drug addiction plagues Thailand’s population of homeless youth, though it’s usually associated with more harmful behavior such as huffing glue to get high.
He posted the pictures on social media with the hashtag #HasOurCountryGoneTooFar? Soon, anti-weed advocates and conservative media picked up the images.
“I don’t want to live here anymore. Whoever proposed the marijuana policy must take responsibility for society,” Paisan Khongplub in reply to the images shared online.
Many have reshared the images along with condemnations of Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the architect of cannabis liberalization.
“Send this to Anutin to show what he accomplished,” Teung Leo wrote in a reply on a news page sharing the photos.
“This is medical marijuana for you. Ruins society,” Jay Thongsima wrote.