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From Moto GP to Weed Fest, Buriram leads the way

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From Moto GP to Weed Fest, Buriram leads the way | The Thaiger

PHOTO: A Pan Ram supporter can’t wait for the ‘cannabis festival’ next month in Buriram province – Khaosod English

They pulled off the MotoGP event with flair and great organisation. Now Buriram is bracing for a very different crowd heading for the next big event. Taking advantage of the new liberalisation of laws governing marijuana and cannabis, the north-east festival hopes to bring together the many aspects of culture, opportunity and information.

Set to run three days at the F1 speedway in Buriram, “Pan Ram” expects to draw more than 20,000 daily attendees to celebrate ‘cannabis culture’ at the dawn of the legalization age.

The new pro-cannabis festival will feature everything from music and art to educational workshops and vendors selling, well we really have no idea.

Former political powerbroker Newin Chidchob, the man revered locally for delivering a world-class football stadium and racing circuit to what had been a neglected and impoverished rural province, is the man behind the new festival. Newin, now 60 and president of Buriram United FC, is throwing the ‘weed party’ together with several pro-marijuana advocates. Promotion of cannabis as a new cash crop in post-legalized Thailand is one of the central policies of the party he founded, Bhumjaithai.

The festival, a first for the northeastern region, aims to promote awareness and understanding of the plant which has been illegal since the Narcotics Act of 1979.

Marijuana is like a genie kept in the lamp a long time, and now it’s out. It’s our chance now to make use of it.

Clearly an advocate, Newin says he regards marijuana as a “nation-altering plant” and that legalisation will lead to saving lives and creating economic value.

The Bhumjaithai has even campaigned on allowing every household to grow six marijuana plants which could be sold to authorised agencies, something it says could generate over 420,000 baht income per year, per family.

Heading the project is his daughter, Chidchanok “Nan” Chidchob. She said the three day festival will welcome cannabis activists to lead talks and Rangsit University professors to host educational workshops on medical marijuana.

Nan says the event’s goal is to push for marijuana liberation and give everyone a “full-immersion experience” that covers all of marijuana’s benefits – economic, medical and recreational.

Pan Ram will run April 19-21 at the Chang International Circuit. The Formula 1 track is located in Buriram city, about 400 kilometers from Bangkok.

Tickets are listed at 420 baht per day, and 1,000 baht for all three days. More details will be announced at a later date. Those bringing valid medical certificates for one of the conditions that can now be legally treated with cannabis can enter free of charge.

The Thaiger does not condone or promote the use of marijuana or cannabis and provide this information for the entertainment and education of our readers.

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Events

World Ganja Festival comes to NE Thailand early 2020

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World Ganja Festival comes to NE Thailand early 2020 | The Thaiger

Following the liberalising of cannabis laws, related to medical use of the drug, marijuana is now being seen as a potential cash crop which which could benefit Thailand’s economy. The Association of Researchers of Thailand is now joining members of the public and the private sector to organise the World Ganja Festival 2020.

The event will be held in Mukdahan, in far north-east Thailand, near the Laos border.

The Association of Researchers of Thailand has signed an agreement with the Thai Nationalism Foundation, the Journalist and Media Association of Thailand and provincial administrative organisations of Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon and Mukdahan to hold the World Ganja Festival between January 29 and February 2 next year.

The venue is on 40 acres of land near Nong Yat Reservoir in Nakhon Phanom province.

Gen. Charan Kullawanit, an honorary adviser to the World Ganja Festival project, says that the festival is being held for the first time in Thailand, and will serve as a platform for people to exchange their knowledge of cannabis for medical use. The event will also help promote Thailand as a developer of top quality marijuana strains, which will contribute to the country’s economic growth.

“We’re the main host. Thailand’s the main host. We’re deciding who we will invite. The association chairperson said there’ll be Chinese, Japanese and American guests. They once opposed the idea. We’ll invite them so we can listen to their academic ideas, presentations and statements. We’ll see how the event will benefit the global community.”

The World Ganja Festival 2020 will be divided into three zones, covering academic seminars, technological innovations and business negotiations, as well as local wisdom from each province. The event will also feature a product design competition and music festival.

The event organisers say the World Ganja Festival 2020 will create new opportunities and provide a better understanding of cannabis and its legal aspects.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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North East

Volunteer engineers to carry out Ubon Ratchathani assessments following flooding

May Taylor

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Volunteer engineers to carry out Ubon Ratchathani assessments following flooding | The Thaiger

A team of volunteer engineers from The Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) are in Ubon Ratchathani to carry out building assessments following the record flooding that devastated the region.

The Nation reports that the engineers will examine buildings damaged by the flood waters and provide residents with advice so that they can try to rebuild their lives.

Thanet Weerasiri, Chairman the Engineering Institute says hundreds of homes have been destroyed in Ubon Ratchathani, with thousands of others left badly damaged and residents also suffering in places like Yasothon, Roi Et and Si Sa Ket.

“In Ubon Ratchathani alone, over 400 residences were destroyed and 5,000 were partially damaged, and many people haven’t been able to return to their homes. Volunteers with experience in engineering will check building structures and give victims advice on how to resume their normal lives.”

The Nation reports that volunteers will carry checklists as they examine structural and facility soundness, moving from floor to floor as well as noting the surrounding terrain.

The EIT will then process the images, messages and videos submitted by volunteers via a phone application, as well as live weather satellite images.

Once the data has been processed, it will be fed back to the volunteer engineers so they can advise homeowners as to whether or not a structure can be safely repaired and eventually lived in once more.

SOURCE: The Nation

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North East

Mother of boy killed in Thailand’s war on drugs petitions Supreme Court to investigate acquittal of police officers

May Taylor

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Mother of boy killed in Thailand’s war on drugs petitions Supreme Court to investigate acquittal of police officers | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Freestocks.org/Unsplash

The mother of 17 year old Kittisap Thitboonkrong, who died during the war on drugs introduced 14 years ago by then PM Thaksin Shinawatra, is asking the Supreme Court to investigate how 6 police officers charged with his murder came to be acquitted last year.

In July 2004, Mr Kittisap was in police custody as a suspect in a robbery, when he was allegedly escorted from the station in Kalasin, north-east Thailand, in the company of six police officers. He was later found hanged in a farmhouse in the neighbouring province of Roi Et.

Six Kalasin police officers were arrested and charged with murder and the concealment of a body.

On July 30, 2012, three of the officers were sentenced to death by the Court of First Instance. A fourth officer was sentenced to life imprisonment, a fifth to 7 years’ imprisonment, and a sixth was acquitted.

A subsequent appeal hearing upheld the death sentence for two of the officers but commuted the sentence for the third to 50 years imprisonment. It also reduced the life sentence and the 7 year sentence to 5 years each, while overturning the verdict on the officer who was acquitted, sentencing him to life in prison.

However, on October 11 last year, a Supreme Court hearing acquitted all six officers due to insufficient evidence.

Now the victim’s mother, Pikul Promchan, has written to Salaikate Wattanaphan, President of the Supreme Court, asking him to look again at that decision. She points out that there was both enough evidence and sufficient number of witnesses to prove the officers killed her son and that he died while in police custody.

Mrs Pikul points out that due to the testimony of one witness being described as unlikely, the Supreme Court had decided all other witnesses were not credible, thereby coming down on the side of the accused officers. The victim’s mother also questions the validity of the verdict as it was only signed by two of the three Supreme Court judges.

Around 2,500 people were killed in the ruthless war on drugs, with widespread allegations that many of its victims were innocent of any involvement with drugs and were instead killed by corrupt police officers for other reasons.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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