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Recently, 31 monks were defrocked because they failed urine drug tests. The monks were from the Ban Mo district of Saraburi province. Most Buddhist groups denounce the use of drugs as causing “heedlessness” and have been said to “hinder the path to enlightenment.”

It was reported that the monks will be welcomed back eventually if they prove that they have abstained from drug use. An official who wished to remain anonymous said that the monks had been “secretly gathering in the temples and most of them are drug users or people involved with drugs.”

Recently, Thailand has been the center of controversy and scandal when it was found that the country’s Buddhist clergy was linked to alleged drug use, gambling, and visiting prostitutes.

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