Is it legal to smoke marijuana in Thailand?

10 November 2022

Thailand's deputy prime minister has announced that Thailand does not encourage tourists coming to the country just to smoke marijuana, just two months after decriminalizing the drug.

" We don't welcome that type of tourist," Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told the media when asked on August 17th about the issue of foreigners coming to Thailand to use cannabis, for recreational purposes.

Mr. Anutin made a statement in response to a sharp increase in marijuana use for recreational purposes, following the legalizing of marijuana for medical use, in the country.

Although marijuana has been legalized, Thailand still prohibits the recreational use of cannabis and prohibits preparations containing more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC - the stimulant found in cannabis).

Fines can be up to 706 USD or even up to 3 months in prison for smoking marijuana in public places. Recreational use will be subject to a sentence in line with Thai law.

Despite this, many establishments still sell cannabis in special areas, attracting locals and tourists to partake. Until now the actual use of this plant remains a matter of serious controversy.

There are two opposing views in Thailand. While many people think that the decision to legalize marijuana brings many disadvantages and inconveniences, there are still people who support this decision and actively suggest proposals.

Yada Pornpetrampa, the owner of a food stall for three decades in Khaosan road, Bangkok, said that since June 9, when the law was changed, cannabis products have been widely sold on the famous tourist street,  She’s concerned that Thailand's image will be adversely affected by this.

She also shared, the behavior of people smoking marijuana and its smell can be bothersome to other people because not everyone comes to Khaosan road to use marijuana, there are also many families visiting too.

Thailand does not welcome marijuana smoking

Nearly 10 days after legalizing marijuana, Mr. Anutin issued regulations banning marijuana in schools, in police stations, banning pregnant women, breastfeeding, and people under the age of 20 from using marijuana. He also confirmed that he would tighten the regulation of penalizing cannabis businesses without a license.
Meanwhile, Kitty Chopaka, a cannabis trader, thinks that it’s very necessary to educate the public about the pros and cons of cannabis.

She also claims that it’s not fair for cannabis to be targeted, to be put back on the drug list, and be seen as the source of social ill. For Cannabis to be considered negative, compared to other drugs like meth, which are sold at much cheaper prices.

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