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The marijuana amnesty. What does it mean and how can I apply?

Tanutam Thawan

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The Thaiger neither endorses, recommends or has any opinion on the possession or use of marijuana. This information is merely provided as a service to our readers.

So, the big question, how can you RIGHT NOW, legally, smoke or use marijuana in Thailand? Thais and expats living in the kingdom now have new options following the enactment of a law allowing the use of medical cannabis.

Though there will always remain a core of ‘hush hush’ users, the Government is encouraging people to come clean in a new legal framework so that they are able to better implement the new laws and introduce legal drugs for cultivation and sale.

Like all things ‘Thai’ there is likely to be plenty of confusion moving forward, particularly in the early days but authorities are now rolling out the amnesty and new laws. But be prepared for a bit of red tape.

Please note: The contents of this article are provided in good faith and are a basic guideline to the new laws and amnesty. At all times you should check your personal situation by speaking to your local medical professional or calling the hotlines (listed below) before you proceed.

As of now, if you possessed cannabis before the law was passed, you can now register under an amnesty that went into place last week enacted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

If you application for registration is approved under the amnesty, officials will countersign and register your documentation as proof of their legal status. If your application is rejected the applicant will have their marijuana seized but you will be free to walk away without prosecution.

Importantly, Thai authorities are stressing that the amnesty is real and, if you register in good will there will be no prosecution if your application is rejected for any reason.

For now the amnesty is limited to cannabis and not kratom, though kratom leaves are also now legal, for medicinal use.

People who have been using cannabis for approved uses as a treatment before the new law was passed need to obtain a medical certificate that will verify their condition from a certified dentist, doctor or Thai traditional medicinal practitioner.

You then need to register with the FDA. Foreign nationals are also able to register.

You will need…

• Identification documents (Thai ID Card or passport)
• a medical certificate which includes all the relevant medical condition under treatment
• Download the application form, fill it in with your details and ID along with the name and registration numbers of your medical practitioner.

(As with any other formal document in Thailand, it’s in Thai so get a Thai friend to help you fill it out. THere’s a link to the application form HERE.)

The fine print…

You will need to bring the marijuana you’ve been using with the application. Department staff will need to visit your premises if the amounts are too large to bring along with you.

Under the interim amnesty you’ll be allowed a stock for your personal use up to 90 days.

For quantities over that amount, you will either have to hand the rest of your stash into authorities or fill out another form justifying the additional quantity. That form is HERE.

If you are unable to, or wish to have, someone represent you at the Department offices, you can nominate a representative. There is space in the application forms to sign up a proxy to do the paperwork in person for you.

The offices of the FDA are in Bangkok or, if you’re unable to go to Bangkok, you are permitted to take your application to a local Provincial Public Health Office. The FDA office in Bangkok website HERE.

The location of the FDA offices in Bangkok is HERE.

Tourists…

For tourists you will need to make a separate application, if you want to be ‘legal’ under the new laws and amnesty during your visit to Thailand. Failure to do so could see you marijuana confiscated when you arrive in Thailand. If it is for ‘medical’ use then you will need to fill a separate for HERE. This will declare the marijuana in your possession.

Tourists will then have to go through the same rigmarole with the FDA or Provincial Health officers. As tourists, they will need to show proof of their traveling – tickets, booking confirmations, passport, etc.

You should bring your medical prescriptions with you to show Customs officers. This will help you avoid prosecution and get your seized marijuana returned when you depart the country.

Of course none of the forms are currently available in English, well, for now anyway.

You can also call a hotline at the FDA. There’s an English option by calling 1556, Extension 3. The Narcotics Control Board has another hotline 1386, Extension 3. The hotlines operate normal Thai business hours from 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday to Friday (closed on Thai public holidays).

 

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