Thailand to decriminalize marijuana possession, paving the way for legal recreational use and cultivation

Thai Legalization Marijuana
  • Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration has proposed to exclude marijuana from the narcotics control board’s list of controlled drugs.
  • It is now awaiting the approval of Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, a vocal medical marijuana advocate.
  • Once approved, the proposal will pave the way for recreational cannabis use in the country.

Thailand is set to fully decriminalize cannabis, paving the way for recreational marijuana use in the country. 

Thailand, which became the first Southeast Asian country to legalize medical marijuana in 2018, is moving to allow full cannabis access with a new proposal from its Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reported Bloomberg.

On Wednesday, the agency proposed excluding marijuana from the narcotics control board’s list of controlled drugs. Following the board’s clearance, the proposal will then be submitted to Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul for approval before it can take effect.  

Charnvirakul is a known vocal medical marijuana advocate and has been urging local authorities to let Thais grow and sell cannabis for income, according to The Thaiger.

While businesses have given more access to cannabis, restrictions in current laws still prohibit individuals from growing, harvesting and extracting it. 

Cannabis is still considered a category-5 narcotic drug in Thailand, and possession of it is a criminal offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison. 

According to FDA Deputy Secretary-General Withid Sariddeechaikool, the proposed move will remove the threat of fines and prison sentences to those who want full access to marijuana products and medicines like the CBD for anxiety and PTSD. 

Sariddeechaikool also highlighted the economic potential of marijuana, saying, “If we’re able to decriminalize marijuana, we will be able to benefit from all of the plant and not just parts of it. The flower buds and seeds could be used economically and in compliance of the law.”

Featured Image via AFP News Agency

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