In Thailand, the food and drug watchdog FDA has drafted a bill to formally legalize the home cultivation and consumption of medical cannabis. Recreational use of cannabis will also be limited, according to The Bangkok Post. Thailand is thus proudly – and rather lonely – at the forefront of legalization in Asia.
If you want to read more details about the legalization of cannabis in Thailand and the new rules concerning growing cannabis and consumption, download for free the Hemp.im mobile app. The Hemp.im app will keep you updated with the latest cannabis news so you can stay on top of the market.
Thai households are allowed to grow their own medicinal cannabis
Legalization of household cannabis, limited recreational use’, reads the headline of Thailand’s most famous newspaper on Monday. Household cannabis, what is that again, the stash weed of a complete family perhaps?
Not quite and yet again, yes; according to the law, people can grow cannabis at home for their own consumption provided they register their cultivation with the provincial authorities and if that consumption serves exclusively medicinal purposes.
It is almost certain that the FDA bill will be passed by the parliament in Thailand. Not only because the country is actually governed and controlled by the military, but also because the Minister of Health recently issued a resolution to exclude cannabis from the banned narcotics list!
Recreational cannabis will also be legal, but there will be no coffee shops
FDA Secretary-General Dr. Paisarn Dunkum also said Monday that recreational use of cannabis could be allowed in some locations, but the details of this taboo-breaking idea for Asia are not (yet) in the bill. Those details must now be worked out by a Health Ministry committee chaired by the permanent secretary, the FDA boss knows.
Those hoping for a visit to a coffee shop on Thai beaches soon, however, we have to disappoint. ‘Of course, we’re not going to go to the phase of cannabis cafes,’ said Pairarn, ‘but there are different models for recreational use in other countries. We will pick out the best that fits our social context.’
Lighter penalties for violation of new cannabis law
The new bill also includes new penalties for those who still go wrong. For example, you can get 3 years imprisonment plus a fine of about 800 euros for violating the rules. It still sounds harsh and the war on drugs-like, but do not forget that under the current law a maximum prison sentence of 15 years (!) is imposed for just the possession of cannabis.
So it all goes pretty fast in the country that used to be known for its tough stance on all drugs. Just think back to coffeeshop owner Johan van Laarhoven who received something like a hundred years in prison for “laundering drug money”, i.e. selling cannabis legally… in the Netherlands.
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