Thailand Moves to Decriminalize Cannabis
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Thailand is on its way to becoming the first country in Asia to decriminalize cannabis.
On Tuesday, January 25, the country’s health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, announced that Thailand’s Narcotics Control Board had agreed to drop cannabis from its list of controlled drugs.
The delisting bill still needs a formally signature from Charnvirakul, and will only come into effect 120 days after any signing, but that signing is expected soon, as reported by the Associated Press.
Under the new bill, people in Thailand will be able to grow cannabis plants at home after notifying their local government, but the cannabis cannot be used for commercial purposes without further licenses. This homegrown cannabis should instead be used for medical purposes.
The bill also legislates that anyone caught growing cannabis without notifying their local government will face a fine of up to 20,000 baht (US $605.33). Selling the cannabis on without a license could earn an individual a fine of 300,000 baht (US $9,101.94) or three years in jail.
Thailand legalized medical cannabis back in 2018, becoming the first country in Asia to do so.
“I’m doing this because it’s an opportunity for Thai people,” Jet Sirathraanon, the chairman of the country’s standing committee of public health, told Agence France-Presse at the time. “Thailand has the best marijuana in the world.”