The problem with Yabba. New poll reveals how people think

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A majority of people believe if ya ba or methamphetamine pills are made available at a low price the number of users in Thailand will definitely increase, according to an opinion survey by National Institute for Development Administration or Nida Poll.

The poll was carried out on Sept 6-7 on 1,250 people aged 18 and over of various levels of educations and occupations throughout the country to compile their opinions on ways of solving the drug problems.

Asked about their opinions on penalties on ya ba users, a majority or 59.36% said they should be subject to both a jail term and rehabilitation treatment; 25.76% thought they should not be punished but should undergo treatment and rehabilitation; 9.36% said they should be punished with a jail term only; and, the rest had no comments.

Asked whether they are confident it would be an effective measure if ya ba users are defined by law as sick persons and they voluntarily undergo rehabilitation, 33.68% said they were not confident at all; 32.56% not so confident; 14.56% rather confident; 10.56% very confident; and, 8.64% uncertain.

Asked what they think about the number of methamphetamine users if ya ba pills are made available at a low price, a high majority or 75.28% believed the number would go up; 13.68% thought the number would remain unchanged; 5.36% said the number would eventually drop for psychological reasons; 4.0% had no comments; and, 1.68% said emphasis should be placed on suppression and law enforcement.

On the opinion to allow some drugs to be used legally for medical purposes, 49.20% of the respondents disagreed; 38.48% said they agreed with using krathom leaves as medicine; 38.16% agreed with turning marijuana into a medicinal herb; and, 15.60% agreed with allowing use of methamphetamine for medical purposes.

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