New cannabis bill is ‘knee-jerk reaction’: campaigner

New cannabis bill is ‘knee-jerk reaction’: campaigner

Photo credit: Cannabis rights activist Chokwan Kitty Chopara and members of the
Photo credit: Cannabis rights activist Chokwan Kitty Chopara and members of the "Writing Future of Cannabis Network" submit a “people’s cannabis control bill” to parliament on Oct 12, 2023. (Photo supplied)

The new cannabis control bill is a face-saving move in response to a public perception that marijuana usage has spiralled out of control, according to cannabis right activist and entrepreneur Chokwan Kitty Chopaka.

The bill, which envisages a 60,000 baht fine for recreational smoking inside one’s residence as well as prison sentences and fines upward of 500,000 baht for other offences, is “a knee jerk reaction to the general belief that there're no current rules controlling cannabis,” Ms Chokwan told the Bangkok Post via WhatsApp. 

“Many bad actors in this space can be seen, from riding down the street pulling a bong to blowing smoke guns at tourist destinations,” she said. “So to save face and show the public that there will be control, the bill was released.”

If passed into law in its current form, Ms Chokwan said the bill would be a step backward with severe consequences.  “The bill will not only infringe on people's current existing rights to grow and use within the household, but provide high penalties, [giving] authorities power similar to drug enforcers,” she said, adding sarcastically, “I don't see any problems that will come out of this at all.”

Chokwan Kitty Chopaka will be Dave Kendall’s guest on the next episode of the Bangkok Post podcast, “Deeper Dive”. What are your questions for her, and what do you think of the new cannabis bill? Please share your thoughts in the comments section of this article. 

If you would like to record your voice for possible inclusion in the podcast, please send a short mp3 to Please attach a picture of yourself.

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