Legalization of Marijuana in several countries
The tide is progressively moving in favor of marijuana legalization worldwide. Amsterdam was once the city most associated with marijuana-related legal laws, but numerous nations are now following in its footsteps—both with the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, to certain extents. The majority of these countries are western countries, including Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, the United States, and others.
Thailand recently became the first Asian country to legalize marijuana. The process of legalizing marijuana has been a discourse for years in Thailand. There are several stages that are passed, as evidence that the process reaps the prolonged pros and cons.
In 2018, the government approved the usage of medical marijuana. On Thursday, 9 June 2022, the government officially removed marijuana from its narcotics list under Thailand’s Narcotics Act.
Difficulties in implementation
This policy is quite complex; there are several sources that state differences in the implementation of marijuana legalization policies in Thailand.
According to Bloomberg, the government stated that the decriminalization of marijuana use is intended for medical purposes only. The government has repeatedly sought to discourage recreational use, though that may prove to be difficult in its enforcement, as there is no formal legislation against it.
Another source reported that marijuana is legal in Thailand only if it contains less than 0.2 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a biochemical compound in the cannabis plant.
Some sources say that although it is legalized, it is forbidden to smoke marijuana in public places. This activity has the potential to result in severe sanctions, such as 3 months of imprisonment and a fine of 25,000 Baht.
As there currently is a gray area in the legalization process, the potential for marijuana abuse cannot be ignored. Marijuana is the most frequently detected drug in workplace drug testing.
Challenges in implementing policies in the work environment
The marijuana legalization policy is also a challenge in the work environment, especially for jobs that offer public services. Employees who use marijuana at work can potentially lead to fatalities.
The abuse of marijuana can affect depth perception, reaction time, coordination and other motor skills, as well as sensory distortion. For certain high-risk jobs, such as the operation of machinery, driving a forklift, or product delivery using vehicles, these effects can be deadly.
Moreover, there are limitations in determining the presence and usage of marijuana because the drug has been shown to impact each individual differently. Drug testing for employees is therefore both essential and beneficial to companies.
Apart from the derivative policy that was made following the legalization of marijuana in the Land of White Elephants, ideally, work environments should be free from the effects of the usage of marijuana and other narcotic substances.
Integrity Asia is committed to helping you create an effective and drug-free workplace by providing trusted drug testing solutions. We screen for drugs commonly tested for in a standard workplace and for specific requirements.
Despite the legalization of marijuana, if detected during drug testing of candidates, we will still inform the potential employer. From there, the decision to hire the candidate lies in the employer’s hands. The results of the drug testing can also be taken into consideration for the job position the candidate applied to, where the potential employer can determine whether the candidate really is fit for the role.
Remember: Ensuring a safe and drug-free workplace is equal to protecting your business and employees!