Main Article Content
The objectives of this research were to survey the situation of cannabis possession for medical use according to the Narcotics Act, No. 7, B.E. 2562 (2019), and to explore the perceptions and expectations related to the law on cannabis possession and medical cannabis among patients, the general public and competent officials in Surat Thani province. The cannabis possession forms from all patients submitted to the Surat Thani Provincial Public Health Office during February to May 2019 were reviewed. Thirty purposively selected respondents including patients, the general public, and competent officials were invited to participate in in-depth individual interviews. A total of 767 patients needed to use cannabis for relieving their symptoms or disease treatment. Approximately 80% of patients were male with an average age of 44.13 years (4–92 years). They had several cannabis forms in house, including oil extracts (59.84%), cannabis plants (57.11%), and dried cannabis (32.72%). Major symptoms or diseases were declared for cannabis possession including headache or migraine (38.85%), insomnia or stress (37.16%), and cancer (13.43%). In addition, most respondents received misinformation on cannabis from several channels which led to increasing use of cannabis without indication, cannabis addiction, and illegal possession. Therefore, relevant government agencies should hastily launch related measures such as increasing public education focusing on both risks and benefits of cannabis and illegal cannabis advertising control.
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