(CTN News) – Thailand became the first Asian country to decriminalize cannabis. Cannabis is no longer a crime to grow, trade, or use parts of the plant to treat illnesses under decriminalization. However, recreational use remains illegal. Further, the government warned foreign tourists not to come to Thailand expecting to be able to smoke marijuana freely.
CNN reports that Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul warned against smoking joints and said that harsh penalties will continue to be applied to users of the drug.
We still have regulations under the law that control the use of cannabis products in non-productive ways.” Under the Public Health Act, smoking cannabis in public is punishable by up to three months in jail and a USD 800 fine.
Cafes and restaurants may serve cannabis-infused foods and drinks, but only if they contain less than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Don’t come to Thailand to smoke joints freely: Government warns the foreign tourist
Deputy Prime Minister Anutin said that cannabis extractions and raw materials were used for medical purposes and for health. There has never been a time when we have advocated that people should use cannabis recreationally — or use it in a way that might irritate others.”
CNN reported that the minister was particularly harsh with foreign tourists considering smoking weed in public.
It is Thailand’s policy to promote cannabis policies for medical purposes. If [tourists] come to Thailand for medical treatment or to purchase health-related products, that’s not an issue, but if you want to come to Thailand just because you hear it’s legal, or come to Thailand to smoke joints freely, that’s not right.”
If you come to this country just for that purpose, we won’t welcome you.”
Thailand relaxed its cannabis laws in 2018 after allowing medical marijuana use. The country’s narcotics list has been loosened further since then, with cannabis buds and flowers removed from the banned list.