Thailand Removes Weed From List of Banned Substances

Thailand Removes Weed From List of Banned Substances
High Times

Thailand removed cannabis from the nation’s list of banned drugs on Thursday, making the country the first Asian nation to decriminalize pot. Government officials warned, however, that the move does not legalize cannabis for recreational purposes. Under Thailand’s new regulations, marijuana and hemp cultivation and commerce are no longer illegal. Restaurants and cafes will be permitted to sell foods and beverages infused with cannabis, but only if they contain no more than 0.2% THC. Products with higher concentrations of THC are permitted for medicinal purposes. Boosting Economic Growth Anutin Charnvirakul, the Thai health minister and deputy prime minister, told CNN before the policy reform was enacted that legalizing cannabis will help foster economic growth and development in Thailand. But he added that the non-medical use of high-THC cannabis is still not allowed under decriminalization. “It’s a no,” Anutin said, referring to the legalization of recreational cannabis. “We still have regulations under the law that control the consumption, smoking or use of cannabis products in non-productive ways.” Thailand is retaining strict penalties for the recreational use of cannabis. Under the country’s Public Health Act, smoking cannabis in public can be punished with a fine of about $800 and up to three months in jail. “We [have always] emphasized using cannabis extractions and raw materials for medical purposes and for health,” Anutin said. “There has never once been a moment that we would think about advocating people to use cannabis in terms of recreation — or use it in a way that it could irritate others.” The health minister also had a warning for tourists who may believe that Thailand’s new stance on cannabis presents an opportunity to simply enjoy weed. While cannabis tourism for medicinal purposes will be permitted, recreational use is still not allowed, particularly in public places. “Thailand will…

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