Since the liberalization of marijuana on June 8, 2022, it has been a month, and we can probably assume that Thailand is not imploding.
In reality, despite the usual turmoil that follows any significant legal change, both Thais and foreigners are adhering to the new cannabis regulations pretty effectively. The most frequent is, of course, whether cannabis will ever be made formally legal for recreational use. If not, some people may wonder, what is the point?
As of right now, the Thai Ministry of Public Health has emphasized that cannabis is strictly only to be used for medical purposes. However, nobody has really been detained for choosing to use cannabis thus far, at least not that we are aware of. The Public Health Ministry’s three subsequent instructions may also offer a useful preview of what lies ahead for marijuana in Thailand.
1. Those who cause a disturbance by smoking cannabis or hemp could receive a fine of up to 25,000 baht, up to three months in jail, or both penalties. Yes, the smoke, not the action that came before, is what puts a person in trouble. Technically, the police must also receive a formal complaint. This prohibits smoking in public, in theory.
2. Those who own restaurants and wish to use cannabis in their food must first notify their patrons or post a warning notice indicating that cannabis is an ingredient.
3. According to the Promotion and Protection of Thai Traditional Medicine Wisdom Act, cannabis and hemp are now recognized as “restricted herbs” that are significant for the economy, merit further study, and would be encouraged for long-term use. This forbids kids and young people from using the medication without a doctor’s prescription because it is a restricted herb.
Since the final directive was issued to prevent turbulence that might arise while we wait for the Cannabis and Hemp Bill to be finished, we can probably assume for the time being that marijuana will have a bright future in Thailand.
After a month of decriminalization, cannabis is also becoming incredibly popular very quickly. According to a survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or NIDA, more than 32.98 percent of respondents have used cannabis, which on a national level equates to over 18.8 million people.
60.65 percent of those surveyed claim to have consumed cannabis by food or drink, 30.56 percent through smoking, 21.06 percent through medical use, and 6.94 percent through planting. The number of persons who registered to grow marijuana in their homes has now surpassed 980,000.
This bolsters the notion that Thailand has the potential to develop into a major global center for medical cannabis.
However, there have also been some cautions about cannabis usage for recreational purposes, as stated in a statement by Dr. Kiattipoom Wongrachit, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health.
Officers will keep a watch on anybody who break the law by selling or using marijuana recreationally.
The best we can do for now is attempt to be extra cautious and wait until the Cannabis and Hemp Bill is passed to see what happens next because the statement seems ambiguous regarding the results of doing so or the potential penalties.
Other laws that have been passed thus far have generally been sensible bans on marijuana in places like schools, military bases, offices of the government, police stations, and for pilots.
Without a concrete completion date, the Cannabis and Hemp Bill is still being discussed.