Jail time for those who sell to minors

Jail time for those who sell to minors

A 'Cannabis and Hemp Free Zone' sign outside Bangkok's Ban Bang Kapi School. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A 'Cannabis and Hemp Free Zone' sign outside Bangkok's Ban Bang Kapi School. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The Public Health Ministry has listed penalties for those found guilty of selling cannabis or cannabis-based products to minors and pregnant women following the decriminalisation of the plant.

Dr Yongyos Thammawut, director-general of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, said the ministry issued the announcement to control the unhealthy use of the plant and prevent minors and pregnant women from accessing cannabis.

Anyone found guilty of offering or selling cannabis to people under 20 years old or pregnant women will face a one-year jail term and/or a fine of up to 20,000 baht under the Act on the Protection of Thai Traditional Medicine, he said.

Dr Yongyos said a Public Health Ministry committee has agreed that the restriction will cover all parts of the cannabis plant, including roots, stems, leaves and buds.

"When people eat at restaurants, they can order dishes with cannabis as an ingredient," he said. "However, they need to be sure children and the groups mentioned do not eat the dishes."

He added that agencies under the ministry will issue additional announcements to help prevent these groups from accessing cannabis pending the passage of a bill on cannabis and hemp that is being deliberated in parliament.

"This is a temporary solution, though we hope it will help ease the problem," Dr Yongyos said. "We want a society that protects vulnerable groups."

"The Public Health Ministry has heeded concerns over the matter and will put forward proposals to parliament to improve the bill and close any loopholes," he added.

The de-listing of hemp and cannabis from the government's Category 5 narcotics list took effect on June 9 following the publication of a Ministry of Public Health announcement on the matter in the Royal Gazette.

Consequently, the production, import, export, distribution, consumption and possession of cannabis and hemp are legalised.

However, cannabis oil extracts containing more than 0.2% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis' psychoactive ingredient, are still considered a Category 5 substance, regulated by the kingdom's narcotics control and suppression laws.


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