Smoking and selling cannabis in public is illegal, warns Bangkok deputy governor

photo via Naewna

Bangkok’s deputy governor would like to remind the public that smoking and selling cannabis in public places is illegal. The reminder follows a meeting in which vendors called for the infamous Khao San Road to become a “Ganja Hub.” The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration said: no.

Bangkok Deputy Governor Chakkhaphan Phewngam chaired a meeting at Din Daeng City Hall today to listen to the requests of vendors who would like Khao San Road – a popular tourist nightlife destination – to become a “cannabis hotspot.” The president of the Khao San Road Business Association Sanga Ruengwattanakul said it could do a lot for Thailand’s tourism industry.

However, the BMA said the plan was impossible. Chakkaphan cited the cannabis rules and regulations set by the Ministry of Public Health, namely that selling and smoking cannabis in public places is against the law.

But, it seems that cannabis vendors have already taken to the streets of Khao San. Pictures posted on social media reveal vendors walking up and down the road selling pre-rolled “joints” at high prices and vans moving around Bangkok selling cannabis like it’s ice cream.

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Chakkaphan says what the mobile vendors are doing is illegal because selling cannabis in public places is illegal. It is different from “cannabis dispensaries,” which are registered to sell marijuana at registered locations.

Moreover, the Khao San Cannabis Hub idea promotes smoking cannabis in public places, which is also illegal. Cannabis smoke was written into recent legislation as a “public nuisance” and is a criminal offence punishable by up to 3 months imprisonment and a 25,000 baht fine, or both.

Thailand is currently in a phase whereby cannabis is decriminalised, but clear legislation on issues such as consuming, buying and selling is yet to follow. Without clear legislation, it is almost almost impossible to regulate cannabis use.

The Ministry of Public Health is currently working on a “Cannabis and Hemp Act” which intends to clear up some of the confusion.



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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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