Thai police asked to be cautious when dealing with people growing cannabis

A staff holds a cannabis plant at the Government Pharmaceuticals Organisation (GPO) medicinal marijuana greenhouse outside Chon Buri, south of Bangkok on October 8, 2020. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

The Royal Thai Police has been asked to educate its officers across the country about the new legal status of cannabis and hemp, following the arrests of two elderly women growing the plant.

A ministerial announcement conditionally removing cannabis and hemp from the banned narcotics list was made in February but has not yet become effective. Recreational use of cannabis, however, remains banned as extracts from cannabis which contain more than 0.2% of THC per its weight are not removed from the list.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said today (Friday) that there is widespread confusion, among police and the public, about the new legal status of cannabis, hemp and extracts from cannabis during the transition period until the change of status becomes effective on June 8th.

He urged police to exercise caution in dealing with cannabis or hemp cases during the transition.

The arrests of the elderly women in the north-eastern province of Khon Kaen on March 19th, for allegedly growing one cannabis plant in their backyard, have come under fire on social media as an overreaction, citing the new rules which will allow households to plant cannabis or hemp for medical purposes.

The Bhumjaithai leader said the party’s MPs have offered to post bail for the two women and to arrange for a lawyer for them.


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