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22 tonnes of seized marijuana passed on to researchers

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PHOTO: Thai PBS

Ever wonder where all the marijuana goes after it’s been confiscated by police? Authorities just gave around 22 tonnes of marijuana they seized in drug busts to nearly a dozen universities and research facilities across Thailand to study its medicinal benefits. Medical marijuana was legalised in 2018 under strict licensing and conditions.

The Office of Narcotics Control Board gave 600 kilograms of marijuana to a Rangsit University. The marijuana was examined to make sure it was not contaminated with any pesticides or fungi before being handed over to research centres, ONCB secretary-general Niyom Termsrisuk told the Bangkok Post. The rest was divided up and sent to 11 other research establishments.

The Rangsit University launched its Medical Marijauna Research Centre last year. The centre is allowed to grow various strains of cannabis onsite. Another university in Korat just planted 3,000 cannabis plants for research.

In 2018, the Thai government passed legislation allowing marijuana research for medical purposes. If any cannabis researchers are interested in using the confiscated marijuana, Termsrisuk said they just need to make a proposal to the Food and Drugs Administration or his office. While the government seems to be more cannabis-friendly, growing and trafficking marijuana is still illegal.

Just in the past month, police have seized hundreds of kilograms of illegal marijuana worth millions. A woman was arrested with 200 kilograms of dried marijuana yesterday in Issan’s Khon Kaen province. Last month, police seized 400 kilograms of marijuana from members of a drug syndicate following a mysterious leader known as “Jae Saigon,” or “sister on the merit path.”

A man in Eastern Thailand was arrested for allegedly growing 1,200 cannabis plants a few weeks ago, and last week a man was arrested for allegedly growing 1,000 cannabis plants in a Bangkok warehouse for the illegal marijuana delivery service “Heaven Herb.”

Siam Legal says that cannabis production or importation has a fine of 200,000 baht to 1,500,000 baht and up to 15 years in prison.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Xinhua | Siam Legal

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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