The global cannabis landscape is undergoing rapid transformation as countries worldwide reevaluate their stance on this once-stigmatized plant. In this journey, we’ll explore the latest updates from Brazil and Thailand, as well as delve into HRI’s Report on Foreign Aid.
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In Brazil, the cannabis conversation is heating up. The country recently hosted its inaugural “ExpoCannabis” in Sao Paulo, against the backdrop of a national debate on decriminalizing personal marijuana use. This international fair brought together cannabis enthusiasts, featuring DJs, guest speakers and an array of cannabis products. Notably, attendees gathered in a spacious outdoor area, freely consuming marijuana.
Organizers expected around 20,000 participants over the three-day event. The goal? To showcase the diverse capabilities of the cannabis plant, extending beyond pharmaceuticals to sectors like food and beverages, construction, textiles, and biofuels, as emphasized by event organizer Larissa Uchida.
Thailand’s Stance on Cannabis
Turning our attention to Southeast Asia, Thailand has witnessed notable changes in its cannabis policy. The country decriminalized cannabis last year, with a strong focus on medical applications. While Thailand’s newly-appointed Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, voiced his opposition to recreational cannabis use, he said he supports medical marijuana use. The Thai cannabis industry is on the cusp of significant growth, with projections indicating a value of $1.2 billion, primarily driven by medical purposes, as reported by Reuters.
Additionally, Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Cholnan Srikaew, is spearheading efforts to establish strict regulations on cannabis, emphasizing its use exclusively for medical and health-related purposes. A committee has been formed to review a bill aimed at governing the industry and potentially prohibiting recreational use. According to The Thaiger, the final decision rests with the cabinet, which will consider the committee’s findings.
HRI’s Report on Foreign Aid
Beyond these developments, a recent report by Harm Reduction International (HRI) highlighted a different facet of the global cannabis landscape. The report, titled “Aid for the War on Drugs,” exposes how wealthy nations, including the United States and Europe, have redirected substantial foreign aid towards funding the global war on drugs, rather than addressing pressing issues like poverty, healthcare, and education.
Over the past decade, 30 donor countries collectively spent $974 million on “narcotics control,” with some of these funds even reaching countries that impose the death penalty for drug-related offenses. HRI’s call to action urges governments, especially the U.S., to reconsider how they allocate their limited aid budgets to avoid contributing to policies that harm drug users, reported Marijuana Moment.
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