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Smoking cannabis recreationally is still illegal, warns Department of Public Health

Petch Petpailin

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Photo by Olga Novikova via Unsplash

Cannabis smoke is a “public nuisance” and smoking it recreationally – at home or in public – is illegal, warns Thailand’s Department of Public Health. From June 9, growing cannabis plants at home will become legal, but smoking cannabis recreationally will remain a punishable offence.

The only prerequisite to legally growing cannabis at home, from June 9, is downloading and registering via the Plook Ganja mobile application. All parts of cannabis and hemp plants will be delisted as a Grade 5 narcotic from June 9, but consuming or smoking high-grade tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, flowers will still be illegal, in whichever form.

The aim of growing cannabis at home is not to get high, but to use the plant’s leaves or stalks in cooking or tea, for medicinal purposes only. People will also be permitted to make extracts from their homegrown cannabis plants, as long as the THC content is lower than 0.2%.

To prevent misuse of cannabis, Director-General of the Department of Public Health Suwanchai Watthanayingcharoenchai suggests that there should be clear rules set out to control cannabis use. Suwanchai fears that with all the fuss surrounding the quasi-legalisation of cannabis in Thailand, people might wrongly assume that they can use cannabis recreationally.

Suwanchai said cannabis smoke is annoying and can be harmful to other people’s health, which is why releasing cannabis smoke into the air is illegal. Suwanchai suggests that releasing cannabis smoke should be written into the Public Health Act as a “an act of public nuisance” so that annoyed neighbours can file complaints if they are annoyed by clouds of smelly cannabis smoke. The department will put the suggestion forward to the Ministry of Public Health in an upcoming meeting on May 30.

The proposed penalty for those causing “public nuisance” by cannabis smoke should firstly be warned to stop. If they fail to stop, then they should face up to one month in jail, a fine of up to 2,000 baht, or both.

SOURCE: MGR Online | Bureau of Technical Advisors

 

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Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.

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