Marijuana in Thailand: The latest on the country’s cannabis laws
The Land of Smiles has more to smile about as Thailand makes significant changes to its cannabis laws. Thailand is the first country in Asia to decriminalize marijuana, starting 9th June 2022. Through a unanimous vote, the Narcotics Control Board approved the Ministry of Public Health’s draft announcement to delist cannabis as a controlled drug under the Thai Narcotics Act. In this Pacific Prime Thailand article, we explore the latest on marijuana in Thailand.
Is marijuana legal in Thailand 2022?
Yes, starting Thursday marijuana is legal in Thailand. In the past, asking if weed was legal in Thailand would have raised eyebrows. However, Thailand has recently changed its tune and the answer is not as straightforward as it once was.
On January 25th, 2022, cannabis lovers rejoiced as Thailand became the first country in the Asian region to decriminalize the plant. This is quite the contrast to other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore, where possessing large amounts of marijuana can lead to the death penalty. According to the latest announcement, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) will remain in control over extracts that contain over 0.2% by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive ingredient that causes people who use marijuana to get high.
The latest rules and regulations for smoking weed legally in Thailand
Given that marijuana will no longer be illegal in Thailand starting June 9th, 2022, health authorities have urged the public to smoke on private property. Otherwise, they could get arrested for causing an “odor-based nuisance.”
The Department of Health sent orders to related agencies about the “inappropriate use” of cannabis and a warning that it could lead to arrests and will be charged for causing public nuisance under health laws. People who indulge in smoking cannabis can also face arrest if a nuisance case is filed against them. After the first warning, repeat violations will be fined THB ฿2,000 and a month in jail.
There is no limit on the potency of cannabis. However, creating secondary products such as hashish or oils with a potency of over 0.2% will be condemned. The parliament is yet to pass a bill that would forbid creating any such secondary substances.
The future of marijuana in Thailand
Decrimilazing weed would free smokers from legal anxiety; prisoners would be granted amnesty and released after June 9th. Note that drug convictions count for a large share of Thailand’s overcrowded jails. We will have to wait and watch how the new act will help the country in the long term, but for now, people in the Land of Smiles are waiting for the big day with a big smile and, obviously, a lighter!
What the delisting of cannabis means
Some people wonder what delisting marijuana means if it cannot be smoked recreationally. Essentially, the delisting of cannabis from the Narcotics Act allows for the plant to be more widely used for medical and scientific purposes. It permits the use of cannabis in medical and various health-related products as well.
Cannabis is an ingredient that has been prevalent in Thai traditional medicine for centuries. Until the 1930s, medical marijuana was legal and used to relieve pain and help with fatigue. Just two years ago in 2020, Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalize marijuana production and use it for medical purposes.
Even though smoking recreationally was not possible, growing marijuana at home is another story. Thai people can grow weed at home, but it has to be for personal use only (and therefore in small amounts). Those who are interested in growing on their own must first register with the authorities. It is worth noting that it remains a grey area as certain regulations and laws still apply.
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In her free time, she’s likely to be writing poetry and prose, geeking out on her latest interests, reading, or practicing yoga.
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