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Thailand Lowers Meth Possession Threshold for Drug User Classification

Under a new Cabinet resolution passed today, individuals found with one methamphetamine tablet (commonly known as yaa baa) or 100mg of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) will be classified as drug users, instead of the previous threshold of five yaa baa tablets or 500mg of Ice.

Deputy government spokesman Karom Pholpornklang stated that the reduction in the quantity threshold for these narcotics aims to address the proliferation of small-scale drug dealers. The change follows a ministerial regulation that took effect on February 9, which originally set the possession limit at five yaa baa tablets or 500mg of Ice for personal use. This regulation faced significant public scrutiny, leading to calls for its reassessment.

Karom emphasized that the new threshold will treat possession of one yaa baa tablet or 100mg of Ice as a minor offense, focusing on rehabilitation rather than severe punishment. However, the evaluation of the offender will consider their overall behavior and the severity of their addiction.

Thailand has recently experienced a surge in yaa baa influx, primarily smuggled through its porous border with Myanmar. Hill tribe armed guards, linked to ethnic minority groups in Myanmar, are largely responsible for this trafficking.

Anti-narcotics and security sources in Thailand indicate that the intensifying civil war in Myanmar, involving government troops and rebel forces, has led to increased production and smuggling of inexpensive yaa baa pills into Thailand. These activities are believed to fund the ongoing conflict in Myanmar.

Present at the meeting were officials from various departments, who highlighted the urgent need for revised measures to combat the drug influx and support affected individuals through enhanced rehabilitation programs.

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