Pattaya’s numerous recreational cannabis outlets that have spent a fortune on appearances and interior design are fearing their future. The Pheu Thai party, which is the leading contender both in Chonburi province and nationally to head the next government, has promised for years to recriminalize cannabis as a narcotic. Although most parties in Thailand want to keep the ganja joints open, elections are still up in the air, and the cannabis industry is on a slippery slope. The UTN party is opposing Pheu Thai and has invested heavily in pro-cannabis Pattaya sentiment to benefit from widespread business concerns about making recreational use of the weed illegal once again. However, other competing parties wish to keep the industry alive, and those are the Bhumjaithai party, which piloted the decriminalization through the Thai parliament, and the Palang Pracharath Party, headed by deputy prime minister General Prawit Wongsuwan. As a long-term stoner supporting legalization, the article’s opposition to cannabis comes with no valid responsibility to the industry. Supporters of marijuana recreational use say it is less harmful than cigarettes and is a boost for international Thai tourism. Opponents claim that the majority of Thai citizens are against liberalization, and youths are being lured into unsavory practices when it comes to cannabis use. It is worth noting that, last year, the health ministry introduced a parliamentary bill to regulate access to and the use of weed, but it remains stuck in the committee and has become lost in the runup to the general election. Public smoking of marijuana remains illegal, including Pattaya, which might explain why most weed outlets appear quiet on the inside. Thus, motorbike taxis are delivering weed to customers’ homes. Pattaya’s investments in Puff Haven, High Noon Harvest, Grateful Growers, and Beautiful Buds are going down the drain, given the uncertainties brought about by the forthcoming election. All eyes are on the future of Pattaya’s green industry, and its fate will be sealed in the following weeks.
As a disclaimer, the opinions expressed in this article don’t reflect those of High Thailand.
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