Thailand is the first Asian country to legalize marijuana for medicinal and industrial usage after the Food and Drug Administration removed it from the narcotics list.
The Southeast Asian country made it legal to cultivate and possess marijuana on June 9, for which the public health minister plans to distribute 1 million marijuana seedlings the following day. People can grow and smoke at home, but it needs to be registered and declared for therapeutic purposes.
Its government has issued a warning to people who want to smoke marijuana as a recreational drug in public, that they might face up to a three-month prison sentence and a 25,000 baht fine ($780). THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the ingredient that gets people high, remains banned in marijuana extracts such as oil.
Tourists to approach cautiously until the laws are clarified following the passage of the new cannabis law, as advised by Professor Sarana Sommano of Chiang Mai University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.
The country is a well-developed medical tourism industry and its tropical climate is ideal for growing cannabis. Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, a proponent of marijuana legalization, recently stated, “We should know how to use cannabis,” he added, “If we have the right awareness, cannabis is like gold, something valuable, and should be promoted.”