The Bangkok Post reports

PHETCHABUN: Rocker Yuenyong “Ad Carabao” Opakul criticised the Public Health Ministry’s stance on marijuana in a jam-packed concert attended by more than 3,000 of his fans.

“The Public Health Ministry is stupid,” the frontman of the band Cabarao told his fans at the concert, held in Muang district on Friday.

Yuenyong, who has advocated marijuana liberalisation, lambasted the ministry for “dragging its feet” by not allowing people to grow cannabis for medical purposes.

Mr Yuenyong is reported to have researched the use of marijuana for medical use at the Khaokwan Foundation, a civic group that advocates the use of cannabis extract oil to be administered to cancer patients free of charge.

Mr Yuenyong told his fans that his perception of “ganja” or cannabis had changed from once viewing it as an addictive drug to a plant that can cure diseases such as cancer.

His earlier views were reflected in a song released in 1982 that warned of the dangers of marijuana. The lyrics say ganja smokers will eventually “die under the ganja tree”.

“That was the only side I thought about 37 years ago,” the singer admitted. “Times have changed and now the world and all Thais know ganja is not an addictive drug and instead it is medicine.”

Critics have raised questions about why the Public Health Ministry let only authorised growers and institutes to harvest cannabis.

Mr Yuenyong’s view is in line with that of the Bhumjaithai Party, which made liberalising marijuana a major plank in its election campaign platform.