Khao San’s ‘420’ celebrations cancelled

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The 420 cannabis celebrations planned for Khao San Road were cancelled following criticism that the event would breach Thailand’s laws that prohibit smoking cannabis in public places.

A local group of vendors intended to organise the Cannabis Day Showcase event with a parade along the street, as cannabis has been removed from the narcotics list. However, the event was met with disapproval as it would permit people to smoke cannabis in public for recreational purposes, rather than for medicinal use – resulting in event organiser Khaosan 420 cancelling it and hoping to reschedule for June 9, the anniversary of the plant’s decriminalisation.

Sanga Ruangwattanakul, president of the Khao San Business Association, acknowledged the organiser’s decision as the right one since the event had never gained official authourisation.

Over 50 metropolitan police officers, accompanied by representatives from the Phra Nakhon district office and the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, patrolled the area to make sure no cannabis regulations were violated.

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April 20 is considered a symbolic day among cannabis enthusiasts, as the number “420” has become synonymous with cannabis culture.

“I emphasise that individuals caught utilising cannabis for recreational purposes will be apprehended according to the Public Health Ministry’s cannabis control regulations,” said Mr Ruangwattanakul.

Pol. Col. Sanong Saengmanee, Superintendent of Chana Songkhram Police Station, disclosed that the police were initially informed that the group planned to hold an academic meeting, to which they consented. However, the event was cancelled around midnight.

Saengmanee explained that officers were deployed in the area to warn tourists to adhere to the law.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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