Thailand Moves to Decriminalize Cannabis, Setting Bar in Asia

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<![CDATA[Thailand took a giant step Jan. 25 toward becoming the first country in Asia to decriminalize cannabis, potentially opening the door for home grows and adult use. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced Tuesday that Thailand’s Narcotics Control Board approved dropping cannabis from the ministry’s list of controlled drugs, setting up the de facto decriminalization of cannabis in the country, The Associated Press reported. Charnvirakul would need to formally sign the delisting by the ministry’s Food and Drug Administration, and then the signed delisting would need to be published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette—the public newspaper of record of Thailand—for 120 days before taking effect, according to the AP. The decriminalization effort comes on the heels of the Thailand government amending it drugs laws last year to reduce the number of people in prison. Southeast Asia has some of the world’s toughest penalties for drug usage and possession, and Thailand has the largest prison population among the 10 member states in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with more than 80% of people in prison held for drug offenses, according to the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC). Nonetheless, it remains unclear whether those who possess cannabis in Thailand would still be subject to arrest under the current decriminalization push. In the U.S., decriminalization generally means small, personal consumption amounts of cannabis are a civil or local infraction, not a state crime, or are a lowest misdemeanor with no possibility of jail time, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a non-partisan public officials association that fosters interstate cooperation and facilitates the exchange of information among state legislatures. In Thailand, “A tangle of related laws means that production and possession of marijuana remains regulated for the time being, leaving the legal status of recreational marijuana use in a [gray]…

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Source : Thailand Moves to Decriminalize Cannabis, Setting Bar in Asia

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