Thailand law and policy update

4 October 2012

It is estimated that between one and three million people use drugs in Thailand. As a major trafficking hub, Thailand experiences significant drug-related crime and imprisonments for narcotics-related crimes make up nearly 70% of sentences, with over 175,000 arrests in 2010 alone. Seizures of narcotics and psychotropic substances in recent years continue to increase in both volume and quantity.

Over the past thirty years, Thailand’s approach to drug policy has been overwhelmingly one of criminalization and punishment instead of treatment and care. Despite advocacy, changing norms, and international pressure, the situation in Thailand remains little improved. This review examines and analyzes existing laws and policies which affect drug policy and harm reduction in the country as well as recent events and changes in policy which affect the drug policy and harm reduction movements in Thailand.

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