Cannabis Legalisation in Thailand

2022 has been a significant year for cannabis in the country of Thailand. In January, Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalise cannabis. What does this mean though? Can one smoke marijuana recreationally legally? Is CBD legal? Can one use marijuana for medically approved reasons?

Narcotics Bill

The Thailand Government has written narcotics legislature that answers such questions. Ultimately, recent changes in cannabis law have been made to encourage medical use. The Thailand Public Ministry of Health has recognised and appreciated the positive benefits of the cannabis plant for health conditions and ailments.

Anutin Charnvirakul, the Health Minister of Thailand, has been a major advocate for the medical use of marijuana. He not only sees the health benefits but sees the decriminalisation of cannabis to be rewarding for the country’s economy. Investing in medical marijuana technologies can be rewarding and lucrative for Thailand. Charnvirakul and his Ministry have made abundantly clear that recreational use is not only discouraged but still very much illegal. The Thailand Government still sees an issue in recreational use and will punish those who are caught doing so.

Cannabis Legislature Summarised

A breakdown of Thailand’s cannabis legislature would be the following:  

  1. CBD or “hemp” based cannabis products are completely legal in Thailand
  2. Marijuana can be homegrown if approved by the Thailand government. Approved homegrown cannabis is created with medical intent. 
  3. Marijuana with THC content of 0.2% or more must be used only for medical purposes and registered with the Thailand Food and Drug Administration
  4. Individuals must receive a medical prescription for marijuana from a physician. They can go to approved government hospitals or cannabis clinics to do so.
  5. If one is caught using a marijuana product with 0.2% THC content or higher for recreational use, he or she can be sent to jail for an extended period and may have to pay high fines.  
  6. Cannabis being officially decriminalised, in essence, means components of the plant including the bud and seeds can now be legally used for medical or science-related reasons. Decriminalisation is not a pass for one to go smoke marijuana for recreation. This is still a serious offense in the country of Thailand.

The central reason why cannabis has been legalised in Thailand is due to its medical impacts. According to Thailand’s legislature, conditions or diseases that have been approved for medical marijuana include HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s Disease, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, Rheumatism, Migraines, Inflammation, Alzheimer’s Disease, Epilepsy, Diabetes, Glaucoma, Lupus, Obesity, ODC/ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia, and Stroke, among others.

Not only is medical marijuana with THC helpful, but so is CBD. CBD does not produce a “high” like a THC-based product but can reduce stress and ultimately relax someone. Conditions that could benefit from CBD oil or gummies include Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, bodily discomfort, and inflammation. Yes, cannabis is now officially legal in Thailand, but the reasoning behind the decriminalisation is strictly medical. Marijuana with high THC content cannot be regularly consumed just for fun. Most of the cannabis in the country must be approved and registered with the Government. The decriminalisation of cannabis brings Thailand one step closer to complete legalisation for all purposes. The road ahead is still very long though.

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