Cannabis sales on Khao San Rd ‘illegal’

People queue up to buy cannabis from a  mobile stall on Khao San Road in June this year. Photo by VARUTH  HIRUNYATHEB
People queue up to buy cannabis from a mobile stall on Khao San Road in June this year. Photo by VARUTH HIRUNYATHEB

The sale of cannabis and cannabis products by street vendors is illegal and it is the police’s job to take criminal action against offenders, said Phra Nakhon district chief Wasan Boonmuenwai.

Mr Wasan was speaking after Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said he smelled cannabis while jogging near Khao San Road, a popular night entertainment strip, in the district.

It prompted Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to call for the arrest of people trading in cannabis and cannabis products on the street.

Mr Wasan said even though district officials cannot make arrests, they may alert the police if sales take place in public areas. Phra Nakhon district officials routinely send thessakij inspectors to patrol Khao San Road in two shifts — 9am–6pm, and 6pm–6am daily.

During the second shift, inspections are conducted with Chana Songkhram police and military officers. The police typically look out for people smoking cannabis in public. If found, these smokers may be charged on the spot.

Mr Wasan said the 200 vendors on Khao San Road are issued licences to sell food, beverages, clothes, jewellery and accessories. He said inspectors have found four shops on Khao San Road selling cannabis products.

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  • arrest: (of the police) taking someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime - การจับกุม
  • charge: to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
  • official: someone with an important position in an organisation - เจ้าหน้าที่
  • on the spot: at a particular place where something is happening or happened - ที่เกิดเหตุ
  • patrol: to move regularly around a place in order to prevent trouble or crime or to watch for an enemy - ลาดตระเวน
  • prompt: to cause someone to take action - กระตุ้น
  • shift: a period of work time in a factory, hospital or other place where some people work during the day and some work at night - เวร, กะ หรือระยะเวลาทำงานเป็นช่วงๆ,
  • smell (n): the ability to notice or discover a substance in the air by using the nose -
  • vendors: people who sell things, e.g., food or newspapers, usually outside on the street - พ่อค้าแม่่ค้าหาบแร่แผงลอย
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