People In Thailand Can Now Grow And Smoke Their Own Weed

The new rule allows people to grow cannabis plants at home after notifying their local government.

Cover image via ChiangmaiDaily & Ahmed Zayan/Unsplash

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Households in Thailand will be allowed to grow their own cannabis for personal use after the country's Narcotics Control Board approved dropping the plant from the Ministry of Health's list of controlled drugs

The new rule was announced on Tuesday, 25 January, and allows people to grow cannabis plants at home after notifying their local government, according to Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

While already announced, people technically have to wait before the new rule is published in the official Royal Gazette and 120 days must pass before home cannabis plants will become legal, Reuters reported.

Furthermore, cannabis cannot be used for commercial purposes without further licences.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul sniffs a marijuana plant.

Image via ChiangmaiDaily

Household consumption, however, will be for medical purposes only with its recreational use allowed in some locations, according to the Thai Food and Drug Administration secretary-general Paisarn Dunkum

Paisarn said the recreational use of cannabis can be done in some locations that have yet to be specified.

"Of course, we won't go to the stage of cannabis cafés, but there are different models for its recreational use in other countries. We'll select the best one that suits our social context," he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, a separate draft will be presented to parliament this week in which details on the legal use of cannabis, including its production and commercial use, will be discussed and announced.

According to the Reuters report, the draft bill punishes the growth of cannabis without notifying the government with a fine of up to THB20,000 (RM2,530) and prescribes a fine of up to THB300,000 baht (RM37,961) or three years in jail, or both, for selling it without a licence.

In December last year, cannabis was removed from the list of illegal drugs under Thailand's Narcotics Law to promote it as a cash crop

At the time, Health Minister Anutin had said that starting 2022, the country will remove everything — stems, roots, sprigs, leaves, buds, flowers, and seeds — from the narcotics list.

Anutin has been the driving force behind decriminalising marijuana.

According to a report in The Associated Press, his party, Bhumjai Thai Party, campaigned in the 2019 general election for the legalisation of marijuana production to aid farmers.

The report stated that a tangle of related laws, however, means that production and possession of marijuana remain regulated for now, leaving the legal status of recreational marijuana use in a grey area.

In 2018, Thailand became the first in Southeast Asia to legalise it for medical use and research.

Meanwhile, Coconuts Bangkok reported that after the official announcement on Tuesday, weed lovers enjoyed celebratory puffs

"It's a big deal, a big move – something we hadn't expected to happen this quickly. That's why we're gathered here today," Rattapon "Guide" Sanrak was quoted as saying in the report.

He is the founder of a group called Highland to elevate awareness and campaign for legalisation.

In 2020, Thailand opened its first full-time public cannabis clinic:

In Malaysia, cannabis products used for medicinal purposes are allowed as long as they receive approval from local regulators:

Read more about medical marijuana in Malaysia:

A couple of years ago, a Sabahan working in the marijuana industry in the US asked Malaysia to take note of its well-regulated system:

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