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Cannabis is becoming legal, but prosecution still a grey area

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Cannabis is becoming legal, but prosecution still a grey area
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Now that cannabis has been removed from the narcotics list in Thailand, what’s the deal with it? Can you buy it? Sell it? Grow at? Use it? The legal status of the plant-formerly-known-as-a-drug has been a murky grey area in Thailand and legal experts are telling people to hold off on taking any action until the rules are clarified and solidified.

Cannabis may have been removed from the narcotic list, but regulations and secondary laws governing its usage and possession have not yet been amended in line with its new legal status, according to the government’s legal guru Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam. Essentially, there is no top-down national standard of how cannabis should be handled and various authorities enforcing different laws have been more lenient or strict over the past few months as the status of cannabis has evolved.

The Narcotics Code was amended on December 9 of last year to decriminalize cannabis but the Ministry of Public Health had stated that they still consider it an illicit drug so the Office of The Narcotics Control Board has continued to prosecute growers.

At the same time, Thailand has been pushing to grow its medical marijuana industry and attract medical tourism with the Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul being a strong supporter. The ministry’s Narcotics Control Committee approved a draft to make all parts of the cannabis plant legal, with the exception of concentrated THC at a level of more than 0.2%. That draft is set to be approved at a meeting on January 25 and then return to the minister to be signed into law.

Once that happens, the possession and growing of marijuana will no longer be illegal and prosecutable, though importing cannabis from abroad or growing for industrial purposes will still be prohibited. Industrial Growers will need to be licensed and approved by the relevant authorities before proper grow plantations can be established.

The future of cannabis won’t be a wide-open free-for-all though, with regulations similar to other controlled substances like alcohol and tobacco planned to be put into effect. A special cannabis bill is in the works now in the government to lay out the regulations to be followed.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

Courtesy ofThaiger News

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