Raid roundup: Pattaya pubs, cannabis shops scrutinised

PHOTO: Pattaya Police inspected cannabis shops (bottom) and raided pubs (top). (via Pattaya News)

Police in Pattaya are continuing their crackdown to clean up unseemly and illegal activities in an attempt to polish the tourist city’s reputation. Over the past few days, officers carried out inspections of cannabis shops around the city as well as raids on several entertainment venues that now face closure.

Early this morning, two pubs in Pattaya were shut down by two separate raid teams. Administrative officials joined police at Up To You Karaoke Bar, and New Fino pub in Bang Lamung during the raids. Both of the entertainment venues were operating at 3.30am when police arrived.

Venues are not currently allowed to be open and selling alcohol after 2am, despite major lobbying to extend nightlife curfews until four. Up To You had about 50 patrons inside drinking while New Fino how about 30 at the time of the raids.

Bangkok Post reported that when police inspected the venues and questioned the owners, they found that neither venue had licenses to operate a bar.

Police recommended that the provincial governor issue close-down orders to both venues. In the meantime, the operators of each bar were arrested and charged with serving alcohol beyond legal hours and operating without permits.


Police also carried out inspections of several cannabis shops around Pattaya on Friday evening. They aimed to raise awareness of rules that are beginning to tighten around the sale and consumption of cannabis. They also were out discouraging people from using loopholes to avoid the new regulations.

The inspector said that they’re mostly doing educational outreach but also strongly warned cannabis shops against selling to anyone under the age of 20 or allowing people to smoke inside of shops. They inform vendors that rule violations could land them in jail for up to a year and earn them fines of up to 20,000 baht.

All of the cannabis shops were found to be properly licensed according to The Pattaya News. But, police warned against skirting the new rule against smoking inside shops by building separate smoking rooms not technically connected to the cannabis business.

The decriminalization of cannabis with nearly no regulation is currently being hotly debated as Parliament works to draft an enact a cannabis law. Opponents calling for making the drug illegal once again were fueled this week as photos went viral of nine year old street kids smoking from a bamboo bong on Pattaya Beach.

Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, who pushed for legalisation but also says that cannabis should only be for medicinal purposes, spoke out against the viral photo.


Anutin said that he believes the photo was staged in an attempt to smear his Bhumjaithai Party and their pro-cannabis stance. Thai PBS World reported that he offered two conflicting reasons why the photo must be staged. First, he said that street children could not afford weed and would not be able to purchase a bong and cannabis in order to smoke.

But then, seemingly forgetting that inability, he said that street kids don’t just smoke weed, they also abused alcohol and sniff glue and use other drugs and addictive substances, so the attention should be focused on cannabis.

Cannabis NewsPattaya News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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