Police briefed on cannabis law changes

Police briefed on cannabis law changes

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul inspects cannabis-based products on display at the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi province last month. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul inspects cannabis-based products on display at the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi province last month. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Police will be unable to arrest anyone in possession of cannabis when it’s officially removed from the Category 5 narcotics list on Thursday, according to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

The ONCB on Wednesday outlined to police nationwide how, in most cases, cannabis will not be considered an illicit drug from Thursday when a Ministry of Public Health announcement published in the Royal Gazette on Feb 9 takes effect.

This means that the production, import, export, distribution, consumption, and possession of cannabis will be formally legalised. However, cannabis oil extracts that contain more than 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, will still be recognised as a category 5 substance and regulated under laws pertaining to narcotics control and suppression.

“If police officers find any products that have cannabis oil without permission or that are not certified by the Food and Drug Administration, police can seize those products for later running at a THC lab for testing before pressing charges against wrongdoers,” said a ONCB source.

Police cannot arrest those who possess cannabis or grow the plant for personal use.

Despite permission allowing homegrown cannabis, the law prohibits using cannabis buds as a cooking ingredient.

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