Thailand becomes first nation in Asia to decriminalize marijuana, Health News, ET HealthWorld

BANGKOK: The cultivation and possession of marijuana in Thailand was decriminalized on Thursday, like a dream come true for an aging generation of cannabis smokers who remember the kick the legendary Thai Stick strain gave. The declared intention of the country’s public health minister to distribute 1 million marijuana plants for cultivation has added to the impression that Thailand is turning into a weed paradise.

But for now, it would be the marijuana tourists who would be disappointed. Thailand has become the first country in Asia to decriminalize marijuana also known as cannabis, or ganja in the local jargon, but it does not follow the examples of Uruguay and Canada, the only two countries to do so. day to have legalized recreational marijuana nationwide.

The government has said it is promoting cannabis for medical purposes only, warning those wishing to light up for pleasure that smoking in public could still be considered a nuisance punishable by a potential penalty of 3 months and a fine of 25,000 Thai baht ($780). And the extracted content remains illegal if it contains more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical that gets people high.

That’s about the same amount you might find in hemp, a variety of cannabis grown primarily for fiber used for industrial purposes.

Thailand is looking to make a splash in the medical marijuana market, the benefits of which typically come from other cannabinol chemicals in the plant. Thailand already has a well-developed medical tourism industry and its climate is ideal for growing cannabis.

“We should know how to consume cannabis,” Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the country’s biggest marijuana booster, said recently. “If we have the right awareness, cannabis is like gold, something precious, and should be promoted.”

But he added: “We will have additional notifications from the Ministry of Health, by the Ministry of Health. If it causes nuisance, we can use this law (to prevent people from smoking).”

He said the government would rather “raise awareness” which would be better than patrolling to control people and using the law to punish them.

“Everything should be in the middle lane,” Anutin said at a press conference ahead of decriminalization on Thursday.

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