6 June 2024

Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has warned organisers of the World Cannabis Day, taking place today (Thursday), not to consume cannabis in public venues or face legal action.

The organisers plan to hold a cannabis smoking “parade” along Bangkok’s Khao San Road this afternoon at 4.20pm, to mark the event which is also known as “Weed Day”.

According to Time magazine, “Weed Day”, also known in slang as 420 (four-twenty) can be traced back to 1971, when a group of five students, at San Rafael High School in California’s Marin county, began meeting at 4.20pm to smoke marijuana.

The minister appealed to the organisers to comply strictly with the Public Health Ministry edicts on cannabis, stating that cannabis and hemp should only be used for health and medical purposes and consumption in public places is against the law.

He said that he does not want anyone participating in the parade to consume cannabis, because they may not just be fined, but may also face imprisonment.

The minister also said that the smoking of cannabis during the parade will justify those who oppose the liberalisation of cannabis for medical purposes.

Liberalisation of cannabis is the flagship policy of the Bhumjaithai Party, led by Anutin.

Meanwhile, Dr. Attapol Kaewsamrit, deputy director-general of the Health Department, said that organisers of the parade today must exercise caution.

He said that authorities will be keeping a close watch, to make sure that the law is strictly enforced