Cannabis penalties to be quashed from Thursday
Thailand’s Courts of Justice announced that suspects and prisoners on charges related to cannabis use and possession would be freed after cannabis and hemp are removed from the Public Health Ministry’s Category 5 drug list.
But as we slowly learn the details of cannabis in Thailand, post June 9, we are learning that it’s not all clear and plain sailing just yet. To be clear, the cultivation and smoking of recreational marijuana, even for personal use, will still not be legalised.
Meanwhile, the decriminalisation of cannabis and hemp in Thailand will come into effect from Thursday, June 9 onwards, so there will be a change in all cannabis related offenses.
On Saturday, spokesperson of the Courts of Justice, Sorrawit Limparangsi, confirmed that all suspects and prisoners charged with production, import, export, distribution, use and possession of cannabis even before June 9 would be released.
Sorrawit says the court would dismiss cases for any suspects on trial, and prisoners in jail would be released. Those who had already paid or presented any assets for bail would get their assets back too.
The Ministry of Public Health is working to decriminalise the use and possession of cannabis in Thailand in a bid to develop medical tourism and the economy in Thailand. Starting Thursday, people are allowed to grow cannabis at home for medical use without asking for government permission. The only requirement, those said people have to download an app called Plook Ganja and register.
Every part of cannabis and hemp, including leaves, stems, fibers, branches, seeds, inflorescences, and roots, can be legally used at home for medical purposes if the amount of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, or CBD, cannabidiol, is less than 0.2%. That means you are not legally allowed to get high in Thailand, for now anyway.
But, even if you use cannabis and hemp products and extracts at home legally, you can be still charged if you try and smoke it because smoking cannabis is considered a public nuisance. People can file a complaint against cannabis users or smoke creators and those users face a 3-month jail sentence and a fine of up to 25,000 baht if they are found guilty of a public nuisance charge.
The Public Health Ministry says this would help prevent the recreational use and other abuses of cannabis that are currently in conflict with existing Thai laws.
The Ministry of Public Health is now working on the restrictions and guidelines, Cannabis Literacy, for legally growing and using cannabis at home to prevent the inappropriate use of the drug.
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