Unkept Promises: 'Law on the Books' and High Risk Populations in Thailand
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Corey S. Davis
Network for Public Health Law
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law
September 4, 2009
This assessment reviewed and analyzed Thai law relevant to injection drug use by examining laws concerning drug control, drug use, access to health care and privacy of medical information. It identifies and reproduces relevant sections on the constitution, statutes passed by the national, regional or local legislature, administrative regulations with the force of law and relevant decisions interpreting these laws or regulations.
The assessment finds that Thai law criminalizes the possession of extremely minor amounts of drugs, forcing users to carry very small quantities and ultimately leading to difficulty in drug users attaining “highs” through less hazardous methods of administration such as oral intake and encouraging a shift to riskier methods, particularly injecting drug use. The penal regime under the Thai narcotics laws and related enactments prescribes severe punishments, makes all offences under it cognizable and non-bailable, and also gives wide powers of search, seizure, and arrest to the police.
Further, under the existing narcotics law, there is a presumption of guilt against the possessor of any drugs or apparatus for the manufacture of any drugs. The penal regime also makes any attempt or abetment punishable with the same severity as if the offense was actually committed.
This review reports and analyzes these laws, together with recent amendments that recommend a less punitive drug control regime.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 60
Date posted: September 21, 2009
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