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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thailand Moves to Decriminalize Marijuana

This Week

Thailand has become the first Asian nation to move to decriminalize marijuana, although rules governing recreational use remain unclear.

The country’s Minister of Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, announced yesterday that the Narcotics Control Board had dropped cannabis from the ministry’s list of controlled substances, AFP reports.

The delisting will come into effect 120 days after publication in the government gazette, following the removal of cannabis as an illegal drug under Thailand’s Narcotics Law last month.

However, enthusiasts are now unclear if possession of marijuana remains an offense subject to arrest, with recreational use landing in a grey area.

In 2020, Thailand decriminalized the production and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, with the use of most parts of the plant no longer considered controlled drugs. Seeds and buds, however, most often associated with recreational use, remained.

The new proposal currently being implemented by Thailand’s Food and Drug Authority will see all parts of the plant removed from the list.

Thailand hopes to promote cannabis products as a major industry for the country, developing marijuana and hemp for medical and health benefits, as well as developing a new industry and creating jobs.

Health Minister Anutin, the leader of Thailand’s Bhumjai Thai Party, announced last week that his party will introduce a draft Cannabis Act in Parliament to clarify the legal status of marijuana.

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