Purportedly reducing penalties for both marijuana and meth possession by the end of the year, Thailand’s officials are apparently cognizant of their constituents’ passion for marijuana reform — a recent poll showed the majority of respondents believe the Thai government should legalize marijuana.
Polled on whether or not marijuana should be legalized in the beautiful Southeast Asian country made famous by its tropical beaches, ornate temples, and love of Buddha, 80.31% of those surveyed answered with a resounding “Yes, I believe it should be legalized for both medicinal and recreational uses;” conversely, 13.23% felt marijuana should only be legalized for the sick and suffering, and only 6.46% felt that keeping marijuana illegal was the best path forward.
Smelling the political and ideological shift in international marijuana reform, Bangkok’s officials announced today that “penalties and restrictions on marijuana and methamphetamine will be relaxed by year’s end,” according to online sources.
Also on the short list to be rescheduled — hemp. After reviewing the economic benefits of reclassifying hemp, Sirinya Sitdhichai, director of the Narcotics Control Board, noted that “hemp and marijuana will undergo reclassification first…followed by meth.”
In an attempt at keeping Thailand current with the fast-changing attitudes around the globe, Justice Minister Paiboon Khumchaya explained, “I have told relevant agencies to study and draft reclassification of many types of drugs, for the sake of appropriateness and compliance with [the] worldwide situation of narcotics.”
Currently, those caught in Thailand with even a minimal amount of ganja can expect to face a harsh reality:
For minor use of marijuana, the maximum sentence is up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to $290.
For possession of up to 10kg, the maximum sentence is 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,445.
For possession of 10kg or more, this is considered as possession with intent to sell, the sentence can range from 2 – 15 years in prison, and/or include a fine of $580 to $4,400. Charges can also be levied for amounts of 10kg or more for the intent to produce, import or export cannabis.
While it’s great to travel the world and see the sights, it pays serious dividends to understand the different countries marijuana laws before heading abroad.
(Main Photo courtesy of MadMonkeyHostels.com)