Bhumjaithai touts pot policy

Bhumjaithai Party has put up attention-grabbing election posters calling for unrestricted growing of marijuana, and expansion of cannabis as 'a new cash crop'.

The Bhumjaithai Party has hit the campaign trail in Bangkok by proposing marijuana as a new cash crop for the country, said the party's MP candidate, Sawai Chotkasupha.

The party -- whose strongholds are located in the Central Plains provinces outside of Bangkok -- organised a campaign rally in Bangkok's Rat Burana and Thung Kru districts on Sunday.

Mr Sawai said the party has been well-received in the capital, as it offers an election manifesto that caters to urban voters.

Bhumjaithai's campaign messages include the legalisation of ride-hailing mobile applications, the promotion of work-from-home schemes, as well as "digital home schools", which will allow students to study remotely from home.

The party also wants to open more public co-working spaces across the city.

Mr Sawai, whose constituency overlaps both Rat Burana and Thung Kru, said the party's campaign message that stood out the most is the liberalisation of marijuana cultivation for medicinal purposes.

He also said the public response to the idea is on the upswing. "We've been out meeting people every day to spread our party manifesto, and people are really keen on the idea of marijuana as a cash crop," he said.

"More and more people are beginning to understand that cannabis isn't just a narcotic -- that it also has medicinal purposes, especially for the treatment of certain cancers."

The official Bhumjaithai website has extensive details on the party's 'free marijuana' policy.

Mr Sawai also said research has found that a single marijuana plant is capable of producing up to one kilogramme of medicinal extract. "If the rules on marijuana cultivation are relaxed, the extracts could generate about 70 billion baht for the economy," he said.

A source close to Bhumjaithai said that out of the party's campaign banners placed along the city's streets, banners which advertises the loosening up of marijuana planting rules captured the most attention from the public.

Bhumjaithai spokesman Settapong Malisuwan said the party is trying to cover as much ground as it could in the election campaign while still touting the main issues.

As a medium-sized party, Bhumjaithai is aiming to win enough MP seats to be considered as a core coalition partner in the next government -- a goal that was announced by its leader, Anutin Charnvirakul.

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